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It’s easy for bananas to get lost amid the fruits and vegetables that are having a moment right now, such as açaí berries, kale and Brussels sprouts, but it’s hard to overstate bananas’ significance around the globe. This healthy, inexpensive fruit is among the top five most economically imp…

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Peas are favorites of gardeners who just can’t wait to get growing. In fact, peas can be planted as soon as the ground has thawed, meaning they’re one of the first vegetables to be harvested in springtime. Planting peas also stabilizes nitrogen levels in the soil, which benefits neighboring plants.

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When the U.S. lifted its ban on importing avocados from Mexico in the late 1990s, the stage was set for them to take America by storm. In the decades that followed, avocados have been mashed into dips, blended into smoothies, spread onto toast and made into facial masks.

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Fish has long been considered “brain food.” Some studies have shown that people who eat fish maintain more gray matter — that is, greater brain volume — than those who don’t. But the benefits of eating fish actually cast a much wider net. “Fish and other marine life are some of the best sour…

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Across the Atlantic in the United Kingdom, medjool dates stuffed with marzipan are a traditional holiday snack. But dates here in the U.S. aren’t as commonly tied to a specific season, so any time is a good one to get to know these sweet, tropical stone fruits.

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Berries are wonderfully diverse — if occasionally confusing — fruits. Botanists are quick to point out that, technically speaking, bananas and eggplants are berries while strawberries and raspberries are not. Some varieties can thrive even in freezing temperatures. For others, only the tropics will do. “Heading into the cold and often gray winter months, there’s something special about adding some color to your meals.

In the United States, lentils are sometimes thought of as beans’ less popular cousins — that is, when they’re thought about at all. Along with beans, peas, chickpeas and peanuts, lentils are legumes, and there are plenty of good reasons for them to be pantry staples. “They are low in fat, ch…

Pears prove that good things come in small packages. Not only are they available at just about every supermarket, they’re easy to eat (no need to peel or core or pit), low in calories and high in fiber: With six grams, a single pear supplies almost a quarter of the recommended daily amount. …

For years doctors have cautioned that red-meat eaters have higher rates of stroke, diabetes and heart disease than those who adopt vegetarian or plant-heavy diets, so many people view poultry as a middle-of-the-road option. “When eaten in moderation, poultry can be a great source of protein …

YIELDS | 6Ingredients1lb ground turkey6 bell peppers1 cup pearl couscous, dry2 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, low sodium1⁄2 yellow onion, diced2 cloves garlic, minced2 cups spinach, chopped1 tablespoon turmeric1 teaspoon cumin1⁄2 teaspoon paprika3⁄4 teaspoon pepper1 cu…

Though mushrooms are usually grouped under vegetables in pizza places and supermarkets, they aren’t vegetables. Nor are they fruit. And — biologically speaking, anyway — they aren’t really even plants. Mushrooms are fungi, a kingdom so vast it encompasses more than 2 million species. These p…

If you’re the sort of cook who reads a recipe that calls for three cloves of garlic and instead tosses in seven, you are doing a great favor for your health — if maybe not your breath. The same goes for onions, chives, leeks, ramps and shallots. All of these are alliums — a Latin word meanin…

When we think about superfoods — a relatively modern word used to describe foods known for their sky-high nutritional benefits — we often think of fruits or vegetables that are trendy or exotic in some way, like açaí berries or kale. Though beans do not enjoy as much time in the spotlight, t…

Beets have a curious mix of attributes. They might be hot pink or striped, sweet or nutty. Plus, their leaves are just as edible as the root itself. From top to bottom, beets bring a sweeping range of nutritional qualities. “Beets are healthy for a variety of reasons,” says Amy Glueck, a cli…

Writing off parsnips simply as white carrots isn’t just scientifically incorrect. It greatly undersells this versatile root vegetable. Parsnips are related to carrots and parsley, but their nutritional benefits are arguably better than either one of them. Their taste is earthy, sweet and nut…

Before the word “superfood” entered everyday language, there was the grapefruit. As far back as the 1930s, people turned to it for weight loss because of an enzyme that was said to melt away pounds. Though science has long debunked that the fruit has any magical properties (and doctors stron…

November ushers in the holidays, bringing with it a bounty of seasonal food ready to take its place at the table. Sweet potatoes seem tailor-made for fall: Their deep golden insides recall the color of blazing autumn leaves, and they lend a sugary note to the savory dishes everyone craves du…

It can be difficult to get excited about leafy greens. Though their health benefits are well documented, tucking into a bowl of lettuce seems underwhelming when compared to the pizzazz of, say, exotic fruits or vegetables. But leafy greens can lend a surprising amount of depth to cooking: As…

If the old farmers’ saying is correct, stalks of corn should have long passed the “knee-high by the Fourth of July” milestone and be well on their way to reaching maturity for harvest, which can last from late summer to late fall. It’s a crucially important time: Corn is planted on some 90 m…

Melons seem like they’ve been perfectly engineered for summertime. Light and refreshing, they are right at home on the breakfast table or packed in the cooler for a poolside snack. “Melons are low in calories, filling and a natural source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They make a g…

Though they cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and are full of life, oceans are also a deep mystery — about 95 percent of them remain unexplored. But the 5 percent we do know about is home to vibrant coral reefs, underwater volcanoes and countless plants and animals. King crabs, oysters…

Everyone knows how important greens are to good health, but it can be daunting to sit down to — let alone get excited about — a heaping bowl of kale. Microgreens deliver an abundance of nutrition in a fraction of the volume.

Though food and diet trends come and go, olive oil has been around for centuries as a building block of good recipes and good health alike. “It falls in that amazing food sweet spot that can seem rare these days. It is something that is both delicious and good for you,” says Hank Dart, who w…

Holidays and root vegetables go hand in hand: Mountains of buttery mashed potatoes pave the way to a sweet potato pie finale. Foods like these might not represent the healthiest choices to make this month, but that doesn’t mean root vegetables are inherently bad. Rethinking their preparation…

Missouri is right on the handle of the country’s breadbasket. Wheat grows so extensively in this region it’s easy to forget that there have been times throughout U.S. history when the government has asked Americans to scale back consumption to help conserve food, such as Wheatless Wednesdays…

It seems like you can’t swing a broomstick in October without hitting some kind of squash. The deep golds, oranges, and greens perk up porches, tumble out of cornucopias, and in general covey the awesomeness of autumn. They make up part of a huge family called Cucurbitaceae; its nearly 1,000…