Turnip

Posted in Vegetables

Turnip

Binomial name: Brassica napus It belongs to the Cruciferae family. The stalk can measure from 50 to 60 cm height, and the form of the root can be rounded, flattened or cylindrical. The turnip can reach from 12 to 15 cm. Origin: it is thought that the turnip is native to Europe and that it has around 4.000 years, although other theories affirm that it comes from Central Asia. For centuries, this vegetable was the basis of many European primitive tribes diet. Medicinal values: cabbages and watercresses also belong to the cruciferae family. All of them contain powerful antioxidants (sulphur compound), that help to prevent illnesses. Vitamin C has a powerful antioxidant action and it takes part in collagen formation, bones teeth, and red corpuscles. Caloric value per 100 g: 29 kcal Varieties: the turnip has more than 3.000 different species, arising from the adaptation of this vegetable at different places around the world. It stands out, especially, the white turnip; ande the next one in importance is the yellow one. Curiosities: before the farming of turnips began, their leaves and roots were consumed, a tendency that it has returned with...

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Carrot

Posted in Vegetables

Carrot

Binomial name: Daucus carota From the Umbellifera family, it is a biennial plant of white flowers. Origin: the carrot is a species native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean area. Greeks and Romans already cultivated it and consumed it, although in this period it was violet. Its current orange colour is due to the selections realised in Holland in the middle of the 18th century, which increased its quantity of carotene, the pigment source of this colour. Medicinal values: carrots contain a lot of beta-carotene, which is transformed in vitamin A into the organism. The beta-carotene is an effective antioxidant, very useful to fight against some types of cancer, especially the lung one. Recent investigations suggest that it can also prevent infarcts and cardiac diseases. Besides, this vegetable has a lot of fibre and sugar. Caloric value per 100 g: 42 kcal Varieties: there are three basic types of carrots based on the shape they have: the big one, the fine one and the carrots of branch. Curiosities: because of the introduction of this vegetable by the Arab people in our country, the Spanish term “zanahoria” comes from the Arab “isfannariya”. In the Levant area is very popular the world “carlota” to mention it; its origin is Latin and comes from  “carrota”, that, at the same time, it comes from the Greek language and it means ‘to...

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Cassava

Posted in Vegetables

Cassava

Binomial name: Manihot esculenta The homonymous bush (yuca, mandioca, cassava) can measure until 2 m height. Origin: it is known also as manioc or mandioca; it is the basic food of a lot of inhabitants of America, Africa and Asia. During the World War I, the cassava purchased big importance in Europe, since, in this poverty period, with its flour it was making bread. Medicinal values: the cassava is digestive, calming, anti-inflamatory and slightly astringent. It is recommended in case to suffer gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, excess acidity, gastroenteritis, colitis and diarrhoea. The flour can be applied in hot poultices with lemon juice to treat furuncles, infected grains or in case of suffering a skin infection that produces streptococcus. Caloric value per 100 g: 110 kcal Varieties: the variety that is used to eat as a tuber is sweet cassava. The bitter one does not lose its toxicity even after boiled, consequently its consumption is mortal. Curiosities: from pulverized root is obtained flour with which are prepared thin pancakes known as mandioca bread. This flour is named “gari” in western...

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Leek

Posted in Vegetables

Leek

Binomial name: Allium porrum The leek is a vegetable of the lilly family, that has more than 3.500 species. In addition to leek, also garlics, onions and chieves belong to the Allium gender. Origin: it seems to be from South Asia, and it is cultivated from the antiquity. However, its exact origin is unknown, because it has never found a wild variety. The leek was very appreciated in ancient civilisations, as the Hebrew, the Greek and the Roman, that they included this vegetable to their diet and it was used it also to cure diverse illneses. Medicinal values: water is the main ingredient of the leek, so it is recommended to people that is following a weight loss diet. Its high content in fibre improves intestinal traffic, and vitamin C applies a powerful antioxidant function in the organism. Caloric value per 100 g: 26 kcal Varieties: – Short and semi-long: Grueso de Rouen, Musselburgh, Platina. – Long: Of Gennevillier, Of Meziers, Of Bulgaria. Curiosities: leeks were very appreciated in the ancient Egypt, where Pharaohs considered them exquisite. Inside some pyramids there are hieroglyphic that show slaves eating leeks like something...

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Pepper

Posted in Vegetables

Pepper

      Italian                                         Yellow       Red                                              Green Padrón pepper Binomial name: Capsicum annuum L. The pepper belongs to the Solanaceae family, the same as the tomato. It is an annual herbaceus plant. Origin: pepper is native to the area of Bolivia and Peru. It was Christopher Columbus the one who entered it in the European continent. Medicinal values: peppers are diuretic, digestive and blood tonic. They are indicated in cases of hypertension, gout, kidney stones and urine retention. Caloric value per 100 g: 22 kcal Varieties: Lamuyo, green and red, Californian, jalapeño, yellow, anaranjado, Italian. Curiosities: capsaicin, a compost present in all the species “Capsicum”, stimulates sensory receptors and epidermis pain. It produces a sense of burning in the mouth, that most of mammal find unpleasant. It is thought that the manufacture of this substance is a protection measure to avoid that the fruits of the plant are eaten. The capsaicin does not affect birds, since if they eat the fruits, in return they propagate the...

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