A fruit or a vegetable is a food you can’t miss for a day in your diet. You take fresh juices made from fruits and your dishes from vegetables, whether at home or your favorite restaurant.
Many reasons can be attributed to that, which include the benefits we derive from them. Both are nutritious, and it’s hard to live without them.
Fruits give our juices and drink a sweet taste, and vegetables are the main dish or used as ingredients to spice our food.
Besides, there are many health benefits we obtain from them. We build our bodies and fight illnesses with nutrients gained to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I shall discuss fruits and vegetables that start with h stating their origin, what benefits we derive from them, and what dishes or drinks can you use them.
Fruit that starts with h
They are dark red berries in appearance from the Celtis occidentalis tree and are considered nature’s candy.
They are common in North America and are known to withstand drought and harsh urban climate, and are harvested only during winter.
The hackberry fruit is used for food and medicinal purposes. Its texture factors sweet, dry pulp, and a crispy skin covering the edible seed in the middle that is sweet with a candy taste.
Its seed is hard; hence, grounding the berry is needed to make a powder mixed with cornflour to make porridge or used as a seasoning additive to increase food flavor.
It is rich in nutrients like protein and sugars. Proteins help us build our body while sugars are energy-giving. They prevent diarrhea and dysentery and cure colic.
2. Hardy kiwi fruit
The fruit is grown in the Midwest of the United States, where the climatic temperature is mild by fruit farmers.
It takes up to three years to mature and be ready for use. The mother plant is not prone to diseases and takes up to nine years to grow.
It has soft flesh, black, crunchy skin that you don’t need to peel when eating the fruit; rather, eat it as well. It is greenish-yellow in color and acidic when not ripe.
But when ripe, it is juicy and sweet in flavor hence delightful to eat. It also has a longer shelf life. These are factors that help them fetch well commercially.
The health benefits derived from it are that they contain vitamin E, K, and C nutrients which equip our bodies with immunity to fight against any illnesses. They are also a source of fiber for the smooth digestion of food.
3. Honeysuckle fruit
The mother plant called lonicera is a shrub considered a hardy twining climber tender and grows in subtropical zones.
There are a variety of species; some are deciduous others are evergreen. Their flowers produce sweet edible nectar.
The fruits of that plant which is the honeysuckle, are usually blue, red, or black and elongated in appearance with many seeds.
When unripe, they are mildly poisonous but become sweet when ripe for consumption. But not all species are safe.
The fruit is not only food for people but also the wild animals.It contains nutrients like vitamin C,Vitamin B,proteins,calcium,magnesium,zinc ,sodium ,fiber and many more.
The health benefits derived from it include preventing cancer and arthritis, curing aches, diabetes, and body swellings. It helps to prevent constipation due to the fiber content.
4. Honeydew fruit
It is a fruit grown in semi-arid areas and seasonal as it is only available for harvesting between August and October in California.
It is harvested when mature, which is not determined by size. If it is heavy and has a waxy surface, then it is ripe.
Honey fruits are spherical with scar-free on the surface. It is creamy yellow or greenish to yellow in appearance.
It is also heavy due to its high water content when ripe. It looks like a watermelon from a distance when on a supermarket shelf, and it is sweet.
The fruits contain high percentages of nutrients like fat, proteins for bodybuilding, and carbohydrates for energy-giving. It also has vitamins C, B, and minerals.
The fruit prevents your body from dehydration due to the high water content and promotes heart health due to the presence of vitamins.
It helps in the management of diabetes due to the fiber and water in it. It promotes eye vision and enhances skin repair.
Honeydew can be stored up to four weeks at room temperature but only gets softer, and the sweetness does not increase. So it is best when fresh.
It is served raw as a whole or in slices and used to make a fruit salad or blended to make a smoothie or paired with yogurt for a better flavor.
5. Hawthorn berries
It is a shrub that grows in temperate climatic regions like North America. It is from the hawthorn plant that is known for its strong wood and thorny branches. The fruits only grow if the trees are exposed to sunshine.
The fruit is four centimeters wide in diameter and has a red to a blue-black color. Its taste is acidic but sweeter if sugar is added to it.
It is used to make jelly to eat with cheese and syrup. It is also used to make wine, chutney, and vinegar.
The berries are rich in nutrients like Vitamin C, and D.They also have minerals and organic acids due to their organic nature.
The fruits have some health benefits that include regulating the heart and blood pressure. It is used to make herbal medicine.
That is because the berries have antioxidants that neutralize harmful molecules that attack our bodies.
The fruits also have anti-inflammatory properties that help fight diseases like asthma and cancer.
6. Horned melon fruits
These are fruits that belong to the cucumber family and have horn-like spines. It mainly grows in sub-Saharan countries and the United States and only available during summer. It is bright yellow and orange in color.
Its jelly-like, lime green flesh contains white cucumber seeds and has a high water content that serves as the source of water for people in some arid places. Both the flesh and seeds are edible, but the seeds sometimes pose a challenge when eating.
It has a sweet, passion fruit or banana-like taste that becomes chilled when frozen. If the fruit is brighter in color, then the sweeter it is. It is eaten at any stage of maturity and weighs less than a pound.
The fruits are rich in water, vitamin c, iron, and potassium. The flesh is used in both savory and sweet dishes to enhance the taste. For instance, you can use them in making fruit salad, syrups, and ice cream.
A fine mesh is used to sieve the seeds from the flesh, and the juice made is used to flavor smoothies, cocktails, and sauces. The shell is used to make a serving dish. You can keep the fruit refrigerated for up to ten days.
7. Huckleberry fruits
These are fruits grown in North America and are tasty and edible. They are small in size and round that they resemble the popular blueberries. Due to that, some people even confuse them for the latter.
Their color is diverse in that it ranges from bright red, through dark purple to blue. The red huckleberries have a sour taste, while the blue ones have a sweet taste. They are not fed by people alone but also by animals.
These fruits are rich in vitamins, iron, potassium, and potassium. They are essential for their ability to keep our health intact by preventing heart and eye diseases. They also ensure our body tissues and nerves function as they are supposed to.
The red huckleberries are used jams, pies, and jellies as they can be stored by canning. They can also be dried, then smashed and processed to make fresh juices. Tea also tastes sweet with the fruits in it when dried.
8. Hickory fruit
These are fruits that grow on Carya ovata trees in the U.S and Canada, which is a tall mature tree that can live up to three hundred and fifty years.
The fruit consists of a hard-shelled nut enclosed by a woody pericarp. The nuts vary in taste and size but are edible.
Their flavor is excellent, but they are not commercially bible because of the quantities produced. It is unlikely that you find anyone interested in planting the hickory plant.
When it comes to recipes, the hickory plant provides us with wood for smoking cured meats, which involves cooking barbeque and adding flavor to the meat.
The hickory fruit nut, when cracked, you find a sweet, oily, rich, and pecan flavor with an incredible smell.
When harvesting the nuts, ensure to leave a cracked shell nut on the ground for them to compost back to the soil in the area.
When done harvesting, put all the nuts in a bucket of water so that the bad ones float, and you can discard them, leaving only the edible ones. Then dry them under the sun, after which you remove their shells and cook them or store them for future use.
The nut can be used to bake a cake, make syrup, oil, and butter.
The nuts are a source of minerals, organic compounds, and many more nutrients. We gain healthwise by gaining weight from the oils and proteins, increasing energy levels, ensuring body growth, and gaining more body energy.
9. Honeycrisp apple
It is an apple developed at Minnesota Horticultural Centre and released to the world in 1991 and has since then gained popularity among fruit lovers.
It is known for its sweet and tart taste and the firmness in its texture. Those who developed it wanted people to acquire a new level of acidity, sweetness, and crispiness in their fruit adventure.
When grown under sunlight, its appearance seems to have a yellow light green color with some orange-reddish flush of pink. Sometimes the skin has some dots while the inside factors a bright, crispy flesh.
It is characterized by more large cells than other apples that rupture once bitten to produce a sweet juice. It can retain its purple color skin when stored in cool conditions for long shelf life.
These apples have a sweet flavor even when cooked. You can bake them into a pie or crisp. You can also chop them, add some coleslaw and salad and eat them with a sandwich. They will add flavor to your meal.
The apple is nutritious as it contains components of potassium, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and a few calories. They also contribute to weight loss, lower the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
10. Hog plum
These are fruits from hog plum trees of the Spondias genus, which are native in Peru. The plums have a range of colors like yellow, green, purple, orange, and red. Their skin is thick and leathery, enclosing a pink, yellow pulp. They have an avocado texture.
These fruits are closely related to mangoes hence the sweet-sour taste. They are eaten raw as a snack. But sometimes they are blended to make fresh juice. And also contribute to the making of delicacies like ice cream, jellies, and jams.
The fruits are rich in iron which facilitates hemoglobin production, enhancing the production of red blood cells. They also have vitamin C that supports our immune system, and aids in collagen production, which keeps our skin healthy.
The presence of antioxidants in the plums composition aids our bodies to fight against heart diseases.
Vegetable that starts with h
The vegetables we cook have a lot of nutritional value, and it will be best if you had an idea of where to find them and how they look, and what they are used for. They include;
It is a perennial root vegetable plant grown in the temperate regions of southeast Europe and Western Asia. It is characterized by its hairless long white root and green leaves.
It is mainly grown to be used as a spice in food. Both the root and the leaves of this plant are important.
The root is important in that when cut; it produces an enzyme that is sharp in odor and taste. It causes irritation to our body surface, like the nose and eyes.
When the root is grated, it is stored in sugar, vinegar, and salt to be used as a condiment. That condiment is then served alongside fish or meat. That is because it produces a pungent taste and smell that enriches the dish’s taste.
It can also be used in sweetening tea by acting as a supplement.
The vegetable comes with many nutrition benefits because of the presence of proteins, fat, fiber, and calories in its composition.
Even if used in small amounts, it enables our bodies to fight cancerous compounds; its antibacterial property enables us to fight chronic infections and improve our respiratory system by causing a burning sensation in our noses and throat.
It is a legume grown in dry agricultural zones. It is small and kidney-shaped, and almost half an inch in diameter.
Its color varies from green-brown to red-brown. It has a hard texture and requires a long cooking time to obtain results for your recipe.
You can use horse grams in your recipe by either boiling or soaking them. If boiled, their texture becomes softer hence easy to crush for use in soup. If soaked for up to eight hours, their texture also softens, and their cooking time is minimized.
Their softness enables them to be used as salads in a vegetable curry salad. They can also be used to make a sauce by combining them with coconut, onions, and coriander, which can be served with rice.
You can also make a spicy, aromatic dish by combining horse gram with ingredients like curry leaves and red pepper.
It belongs to the legume family; hence it can be stored for a long time and still retain its nutrition content. These are rich in vitamins C, iron, and proteins.
These nutrients help cure arthritis, regulate blood pressure, sugar levels, and purify menstruation in women.
It is a seaweed harvested along the shores of Korea, Japan, and China. It is fibrous, and its color ranges from dark green to brown.
Before consumption, it has to be dried, which turns it black with tiny buds like leaves.
It has a sweet, fresh mineral-like smell and can add sweet and sharp flavors to any dish it is added into though mild not to overpower the dishes`.
Boiling the weed makes it ready for use to prepare stews, sauces, soups, and fish dishes. It is also used to season salads,
But there are those hijiki that we buy from the store shelves. They are harvested, dried under sunshine, rinsed, dehydrated then steamed in factories to remove its natural bitterness that would give our food a sour taste.
Hijiki is rich in fiber, vitamins, iron, calcium, iodine, and iron. Its fiber enables our digestive system to run smoothly by preventing constipation. It also has low-calorie content hence keeping our fat levels in check.
4. Hamburg parsley
It is a vegetable with edible roots grown in Central Europe. It is planted in cells and takes six to seven-week before maturity.
That takes place in the months of May and June. That root can be cooked or eaten raw anywhere in the world.
The root is carrot-shaped and white in color. It has the flavor of celeriac and carrot combination with a bit of a touch of parsnip and turnip.
It is hence aromatic. Its roost is best in small to medium size.
The vegetable root is prepared by boiling, creaming, or steaming. It is combined with beef or chicken meat or boiled to be served as sauce or soup. It also goes well with the family of roots like carrots and potatoes.
It can be refrigerated for up to a week while in a plastic container. It is rich in nutrients like sodium, iron, and vitamin c. These help our bodies become stronger by enriching our bones and maintaining a healthy blood level.
5. Heart of palm
They are vegetables grown in Central and Southern America and belong to the family of palm trees. When harvested, it is cut into cylindrical shapes or rings before being packed into water. They are thick and smooth in texture and have an artichoke taste.
Though compared to the artichoke, their flavor is a bit delicate nutty with a vegetable taste. They are crunchy and creamy, which makes them flexible for use in many dishes. For example, they are used as toppings in the Mediterranean style of pizza.
They can also be served while roasted or added into a sauce or shredded into patties that form cake toppings but are vegetables seeking to satisfy vegans.
They are cholesterol-free and have a low calories content. They are rich in vitamin c, zinc, potassium, and sodium from the canning process for preservation. Hence, you should rinse them before use.
You can buy the vegetables from grocery stores or online trading platforms in whole or in slices.
They are stored in cans or jars and are perishable, making them more expensive. Cool temperatures enable them to have a longer life span.
These are vegetables that originate from the Amazon region. Yucatan peninsula has been considered their biggest producer for the longest time, but they can still be found in other countries across the North American Continent.
They are chilies classified as one of the hottest peppers. They tend to be green before they become ripe and then red after that. However, some varieties are brown, white, or pink.
They are thin and have waxy flesh with a high heat flavor. What makes them different from the other peppers is the citric-like taste that makes them prefer hot sauce dishes and sweet salsa.
Habanero can be used to make a hot sauce, dress salads, pepper jams, and as a seasoning additive in chicken and pork dishes.
If you want to cook the habanero, you must wear gloves so that its burning sensation does not irritate your skin. You should also avoid using too much in your dish because too much acidity can burn your mouth.
Its nutrition benefits include lowering cholesterol, reduction of blood pressure prevents cancer, and discourages gaining weight.
7. Haricot Verts
Sometimes people confuse haricot vegetables for green beans, yet they are not. They are annual herbaceous plants grown worldwide for their edible unripe fruits or dry seeds harvested upon maturity.
The haricot vegetable is more polished than green beans, which happen to be a legume divided into four categories. They include dry beans, waxed beans, shelling and popping beans,
The dry beans are ready for use upon ripening; they are soaked in water for hours, softening their texture and shortening cooking time. Soaking also helps eliminate sugars that produce gas during their maturity period.
Wax beans have a white or yellow pod, and they are cooked by steaming, boiling, or frying. As for shell beans, they are cooked without their pod as it is not edible. Popping beans are multicolored and round and are cooked on high heat to expose their inner part.
So the haricot verts are longer, thin, and have a better taste than the beans as mentioned above. They are harvested before ripening hence limp faster than the beans. Beans take longer to cook than haricot.
Haricot is rich in nutrients like vitamin C and K, iron manganese, fiber, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Haricots are vegetables cooked with salads and warm dishes.
8. Heirloom tomatoes
This type of tomato is named heirloom, a name that means heritage, to mean that the seeds used to grow the vegetable are passed down from one variety of tomato to another.
Open pollination that enables cross-breeding leads to the growth of tomatoes with different colors and tastes.
They are grown during two seasons in the year, which are the monsoon and the blistering heat.
For example, in the U.S, you can’t get a fresh heirloom tomato during the winter season.
Different colored tomatoes have different tastes; for instance. the yellow ones have a mild flavor, the red ones have a sharp taste, while the greens taste zesty. All these attributes make them more expensive than the other tomatoes that you come across.
This vegetable also has a shorter life span than other tomatoes. Refrigeration that helps prevent perishable from going bad doesn’t seem to help maintain the heirloom freshness.
You can serve heirloom tomatoes with some pasta by making a sauce with fresh herbs, olive oil, and garlic. You can also grill or roast them over high heat to increase their flavor and sweetness and eat them alongside any seafood dish.
When it comes to our health, we can miss out on their benefits. They contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects our skin from UV rays and relieves stress for people living with diabetes.
Fruits and vegetables are a source of various flavors that we need in our drinks, salads, and food. Above are just a few mentioned that provide us with those mild or savory tastes.
They also provide us with nutrients to help us build our immunity and build our bodies for growth.
That is why we have to create time to understand each fruit or vegetable content to make the right choices for our recipes.