25 Uncommon Food Crops You’ll Want To Try

Posted by , Updated on September 24, 2018


Are you ready to be introduced to some “weird” edible plants? You are probably familiar with the benefits of crops such as potatoes, beans, rice, etc. However, are you familiar with the benefits of a yacon? How about a quamash? These are crops that you may or may not have heard of before, but they are for sure worth trying! Check out these 25 Uncommon Food Crops You’ll Want To Try.


Prickly Pears


A variety of cacti, prickly pears thrive in hot and dry climates. The fruits have a long oval shape with a thick green shell that turns yellow, purple, or red. However, they need careful handling since the shells are covered with tiny, sharp needles. Prickly pears can be eaten raw or combined with other fruits to make a simple dessert.


Asian Pear


Also known as nashi pears, bapples, Korean pears, sand pears, or apple pears, the Asian pear is a superb fruit with a wonderfully refreshing taste when slightly chilled. It can be eaten on its own or in a salad. The color of its skin varies from yellow to bronze and retains its nutritional benefits, even if stored for several months.


Cape Gooseberry


The cape gooseberry is one of the many varieties of the plant genus Physalis that were mostly used as a garnish in England. Wrapped in a delicate papery husk, the yellow-orange fruits can be eaten raw, but they can also be used for sauces, jellies, jams, and tarts.


Japanese Raisin Tree

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A deciduous tree from a wide distribution range in Japan, China, and the Himalayas, the fruits of this tree taste like raisins and literally melt in your mouth. Introduced to the West in the 1920’s, recent research showed that the extract of the Japanese raisin helps lower blood pressure and can be used as an ingredient for anti-diabetic goods.




Tomatillos are low in calories, contain antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, and E, and have a very good sodium to potassium ratio. Though these plants do not contain lycopene like tomatoes, they have phyto-chemicals known as withanolides, which have anti-cancer and anti-bacterial benefits.

Photo: Featured Image - shutterstock, 1. anonymous, YamsatBrixtonMarket, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2. Flixtey, Tiger nuts (Brown), CC BY-SA 4.0, 3. C T Johansson, Lathyrus tuberosus-IMG 4820, CC BY-SA 3.0, 4. Adam Peterson, Oxalis tuberosa plant, CC BY-SA 3.0, 5. Thayne Tuason, Camassia quamash at Leavenworth Ski Hill, CC BY-SA 4.0, 6. Sengai Podhuvan, Groundnut, wet, CC BY-SA 3.0, 7. Thomas Good, NLN Tiger Lily, CC BY-SA 4.0, 8. https://www.indiamart.com/proddetail/indian-potatoes-14036187573.html (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 9. anonymous, Yacon, CC BY-SA 3.0, 10. https://howtogrowperennialvegetables.com/the-veggies/shrubs/crosnes-or-chinese-artichoke/ (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 11. anonymous, Malva neglecta01, CC BY-SA 3.0, 12. Bff, Oxalis tetraphylla Iron Cross20100503 221, CC BY-SA 3.0, 13. Wouter Hagens, Campanula portenschlagiana A, CC BY-SA 3.0, 14. Magnus Manske, Agastache foeniculum 'Anise Hyssop' (Labatae) plant, CC BY-SA 3.0, 15. (Public Domain), 16. (Public Domain), 17. (Public Domain), 18. Pom², Quinoa closeup, CC BY-SA 3.0, 19. Norbert Nagel, Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany, Araucaria araucana - monkey-puzzle tree - monkey tail tree - chilenische Araukarie 03, CC BY-SA 3.0, 20. Montrealais, Elaeagnus pungens - JBM, CC BY 3.0, 21. (Public Domain), 22. (Public Domain), 23. (Public Domain), 24. Sage Ross, Hosui Asian pears at Lyman Orchards, 2009-08-30, CC BY-SA 3.0, 25. Tomás Castelazo, Prickly pears 2, CC BY-SA 2.5

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