Green vegetables are the edible green parts of plants, including the leaves of plants such as cabbages and lettuces, and the soft stems of plants like asparagus.
Cabbages are a large group of green vegetables called the brassicas.
Cabbages were originally developed from the sea cabbage (Brassica oleracea) which grew wild near sea coasts around Europe.
Kale and collard are types of cabbage with loose, open leaves.
Common and savoy cabbages are cabbages with leaves folded into a tight ball. Brussels sprouts are cabbages with lots of compact heads.
Cauliflower and broccoli are cabbages with thick flowers. Kohlrabi is a cabbage with a bulbous stem.
The leaves of green vegetables are rich in many essential vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin E and folic acid (one of the B vitamins).
Spinach looks a little like kale, but it is actually a member of the goosefoot family, rich in vitamins A and C, and also in iron. The discovery of the iron content made spinach into the super food of the cartoon hero Popeye, who would eat it to give himself strength.
Asparagus belongs to the lily family. Garden asparagus has been prized since Roman times. In Argenteuil in France, asparagus is grown underground to keep it white. White asparagus is especially tender and has the best flavor.
Vegetables are basically any parts of a plant, except for the fruit, that are eaten, cooked or raw.
Root vegetables are parts of a plant that grow underground in the soil.
Turnips, rutabaga, beets, carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes are the actual roots of the plant.
Potatoes and cassava are tubers or storage stems.
Potatoes were grown in South America at least 1800 years ago. They were brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century
Poor Irish farmers came to depend on the potato, and when blight ruined the crop in the 1840s, many starved.
Yams are tropical roots similar to sweet potatoes. They are an important food i n West Africa. A single yam can weigh 45 kg or more.
Mangel-wurzels are beet plants grown mainly to feed to farm animals.
Tapioca is a starchy food made from cassava. It makes a popular pudding.
Carrots came originally from Afghanistan, but were spread around the Mediterranean 4000 years ago. They reached China by the 13th century.