Heritage vegetables are beneficial to health according to research at the University of Brunswick, in Germany. Results reveal a chemical constitution more favourable to health in the case of heritage potatoes than with our modern varieties. The Blue Congo potato possesses as many antioxidant molecules as cranberries – one of the top super foods!
Heritage vegetables are the old fashioned varieties grown by previous generations of vegetable gardeners. These have been replaced by ‘improved’ varieties, with higher yields, disease resistance, and superior keeping qualities.
Older varieties of potato (Solanum tuberosum) being grown, which are coloured, and therefore high in antioxidants, include:
* red orache - (Atriplex hortensis), also called mountain spinach or French spinach, is an annual with purple leaves which have a salty, spinach-like taste. * anise hyssop – (Agastache anethiodorum) a mint, with aniseed flavoured leaves, delicious in salads. The pointed leaves can be infused in a bottle of dry white wine to give a subtle aniseed taste. * good king henry – (Chenopodium bonus-henricus) also called mercury, Lincolnshire spinach or poor man’s asparagus
Heritage vegetables have superb flavours and taste. They have to be picked more often than their modern cousins, as they do not keep so well. But growing heritage vegetables in the kitchen garden is well worth the effort & have the added advantage of being beneficial to health.