BEETROOT. Its vibrant colours come from its betalain pigments – betacyanin in red purple beetroots, betaxanthin in golden and orange beets. A medium raw beetroot (about 90g or 3oz) has about 165 kilojoules (40 calories), 2g protein, no fat, 7g carbs (7g sugars), 3g fibre, 45mg sodium, 240mg potassium, and a moderate GI (64) when cooked/canned; the GL is low (4).
CAPSICUM. Red, orange, yellow, green, purple: capsicum’s crisp, juicy flesh sets the taste bar high. It’s no wonder they have made themselves at home in kitchens around the world sliced or diced into salads, or stuffed, stir fried, and roasted. A medium raw capsicum (about 90g or 3oz) has about 80 kilojoules (19 calories), 1.5g protein, 0g fat, 3g carbs (3g sugars), 1g fibre, 2mg sodium, 135mg potassium and a low GI and GL (estimated).
CARROTS. While its colour is eye-catching, it’s the sweetness that makes it popular raw and cooked as a crunchy snack or side dish, and in salads, soups, stir-fries, bakes and roasts. A medium-sized raw carrot (about 130g or 4½oz) has about 170 kilojoules (41 calories), 1g protein, no fat, 6g carbs (6g sugars), 5g fibre, 49mg sodium, 348mg potassium, and a low GI (39); the GL is low (2).
CELERIAC. Knobbly celeriac or celery root may not be one of the best-looking vegetables around, but it pays to get under its skin. Look for the smoothest skinned ones to make peeling easier and have a bowl of acidulated water on hand to help prevent discoloration as the flesh darkens once cut. A cup of grated celeriac (about 155g or 5½oz) has about 250 kilojoules (60 calories), 2.5g protein, no fat, 4g carbs (4 g sugars), 8g fibre, 33mg sodium, 686mg potassium and a low GI and GL (estimated).
EGGPLANT (AUBERGINE). The rich meaty flesh of this gorgeous, glossy, deep-tasting veg transforms into a wonderfully silky texture when pan fried, oven roasted, stuffed, mashed or pureed. A small raw eggplant (about 320g or 11oz) has about 295 kilojoules (70 calories), 3.5g protein, 1g fat, 8g carbs (8g sugars), 8g fibre, 16mg sodium, 540mg potassium and a low GI and GL (estimated).
ONIONS. Just about indispensable, onions are used on a daily basis in sauces, soups, salads, stews, stir-fries and roasts. They are one of the earliest cultivated vegetables. 1 medium raw onion (about 90g or 3oz) has about 130 kilojoules (30 calories), 1.5g protein, 0g fat, 5.5g carbs (4g sugars and 1.5g starch), 1.5g fibre, 12mg sodium, 124mg potassium, and a low GI and GL (estimated).
PUMPKIN. Boil and steam for a quick side dish or soup, but roast when you want concentrated flavour and creamy sweetness. Toss some seeds on the compost and bingo, you’ll find yourself with a pumpkin patch. A cup of raw diced pumpkin (about 120g or 4oz) has about 200 kilojoules (48 calories), 2.5g protein, 0.5g fat, 8g carbs (5g sugars/3g starches), 1.5g fibre, 1mg sodium, 414mg potassium, and a moderate GI (66) when cooked; the GL is low (5).