12 Dazzling Colorful Vegetables
Some of this produce looks like something Alice pulled out of the looking glass or stole from the Queen of Hearts pantry. Dazzling colorful spectacular and tasty vegetables that are more than just curiosities, but are meals in their own rights.
Many modern seeds are bred, designed and [yuck] genetically modified to make produce profitable. The endeavors of commercial agriculture, while they do keep market costs down and feed more people, more affordably are not really all that pleasing to the palette or the eye.
Old and largely forgotten heirloom vegetables and some fairly new, but little known hybrids challenge the reign of the mundane produce that rules the supermarkets.
Glass Gem Indian Corn has been dubbed the Worlds Most Colorful Corn. The effect of glass gem corn can be quite stunning at times, and when you bite into one you almost expect it will taste like candy, jelly beans perhaps. It's sweet but not as sweet as jelly beans which an ear of glass gem corn sometimes resembles. It's sweet just like Sweet corn is supposed to be.
A close rival to glass gem is Painted Mountain Corn, rugged and cold hardy plants that were bred in the frigid cold Montana Mountains where temperatures go as low negative 50 degrees. They thrive at higher elevations, can withstand reasonable drought and produce a good yield in a fairly quick time frame. Not as sweet as Glass Gem, it still serves well for corn on the cob and can also be ground, roasted or made into a flour.
Japonica Corn is another colorful variety of Corn, but it is Dent Corn not sweet corn. It differs from sweet corn significantly. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant because of its vibrant colorful stalks and tassles. It can only be eaten fresh when picked at the precise time, there is a very narrow window of opportunity as it only peaks in this department for a few days. If not harvested and devoured at the correct time it is best used for fall decor.
Atomic Grape Tomatoes are a Funky psychedelic cherry tomato. Bizarre looking and highly prolific with an awesome color array of blues, reds, yellow, orange lavender and purple tones. Hard to come by as it is currently sold exclusively by Baker Creek
Indigo Apple Cherry Tomato is a cherry size variation of the more well known Indigo Rose Tomato. Most of this tomatoes unusual coloration is caused by a natural compound known as anthocyanin which is an antioxidant also found in Blueberries and other fruits. Pleasant sweet tasting tomato and well worth planting a few.
Pretty in Purple Peppers serve as an ornamental and edible plant. Its leaves are sometimes solid Purple amd sometimes a blend of Purple and Green. The peppers are a glossy deep purple and ripen to varying shades of yellow, burnt orange and scarlet which makes for delectable eye candy for your landscape as well as your table.
Striped Toga Eggplant doesn't bare much of a resemblance to the eggplants we are accustomed to, It looks like some sort of strange exotic fruit - till you cut it open and see that its beauty is only skin deep. The eggplants are borne in small clusters on a 3 - 4 foot bushy perennial plant. They are perennials but are commonly grown as annuals. They are edible but are frequently grown as ornamental.
Easter Egg Plant is classified as an Ornamental, but the eggplants are edible and tasty so long as they don't get over ripe. As the eggplants mature they turn colors generally a golden yellow, but from time to time also creamy yellow, orange and sometimes a funky green. It is highly prolific, the more you pick the more it produces.
Assorted Colorful Crops
Purple Sweet Potatoes not only look different but the taste also differs from traditional orange sweet potatoes. It is not quite as moist but has an Earthy rich texture and subtle creamy fruit flavor. They still have that unmistakeable sweet potato taste but blended with a hint of wine.
Purple Hull Peas are a variety of Southern Pea, they are related to black eyed peas, crowder peas and some crops commonly called beans. They are tasty and versatile crop that thrives in warm climates and can grown as far North as Southern New England and the Pacific Northwest.
Pink and Red Celery Varieties.
Celery is a tricky plant to propogate. It needs persistent moisture and cool temperatures. It leaves it's crib kicking and screaming when you transplant into the grownup plant world and will not tolerate heat, celery is a sissy. In cooler northern regions it is grown as a summer crop, in warmer southern regions - it would never survive summer heat and is grown as a winter crop. In the 'olden days' pink and red varieties of celery were apparently quit common.
According to the 'Old Foodie' "... in the second half of the nineteenth century that pink/red celery was a profitable variety, not a frivolous experiment. A little further reading indicated that there were many pink/red varieties in Britain and Europe at this time." A few of these old heirlooms that have survived to the current day are Chinese pink celery and Pink Plume Celery. The Chinese celery is a true light pink while the Pink Plume variety leans more towards the red / purple end of the spectrum.
Okay, so blueberries are not a vegetable but neither are tomatoes if you wanna get technical and they still make an awesome addition to any edible garden. Pink Lemonade blueberries first materialize as yellowish-green ugly ducklings eventually maturing to juicy, succulent pink berries. They are very similar to their blue cousins in taste and texture but not identical. They are sweet and fragrant with a fairly high sugar content, which makes them suitable for baking and preserves.