20 Highest Calorie Vegetables to Grow


harvested heirloom tomatoes in basket

By Jennifer Poindexter

Whether you’re trying to be prepared for a catastrophic situation or just want to get the most bang for your buck at your grocery store, knowing which vegetables contain the highest calorie content could be a great help.

This information can also help you decide which vegetables are best to add to your home garden. If you’re interested in growing a garden based around your caloric needs, you’re in the right place.

I’m going to share with you which vegetables are most dense when it comes to calories. Here are the highest calorie vegetables you might wish to grow:

1. Potatoes

It may not surprise you that potatoes are at the top of the list. White potatoes are a vegetable well-known for being high in calories and carbs.

In fact, potatoes have 116 calories per cup. Should you decide to grow this vegetable, they’re typically planted in spring and harvested about three months later.

2. Lentils

Lentils are a type of legume. I like to use them as a meat replacement in sloppy joes. If you’re interested in growing this crop for its calories, that’s a wise choice because they provide 230 calories per cup.

When growing lentils, it’s best to plant them approximately two weeks before the final frost of spring. You should expect to harvest them in a little over one hundred days after planting.

3. Taro Root

Taro root is a crop which requires patience. It takes between nine and twelve months to reach your first harvest.

However, after you reach the 200 day mark, the tubers should be ready for harvest. They’re usually harvested in August or September. When eating taro root, you receive around 190 calories per cup.

4. Tomato

Tomatoes are a wonderful crop to grow because there’s so much variety. You can grow large tomatoes, small tomatoes, those which produce early, determinate varieties, indeterminate varieties, and tomatoes of various colors.

When growing tomatoes, they should be planted after all threat of frost is over. From there, you should expect a harvest in approximately eighty-five days. Tomatoes provide thirty-two calories per cup.

5. Avocado

Avocados are technically a fruit, but they can be enjoyed right alongside most vegetables. Plus, they provide plenty of calories and healthy fats for your diet. If you add avocados to your landscape, realize it’s a perennial tree that does best when planted in late spring or early summer.

It may take trees up to four years to produce fruit. However, once the fruit begins producing (depending upon the variety of trees planted) they can be harvested winter, spring, or July. Plus, one cup of avocado provides 234 calories.

harvested corn from the garden in a stack

6. Corn

Corn is a simple crop to grow and provides quite the harvest if cared for properly. You should wait until all threat of frost is over prior to planting corn in the spring.

Once your corn is planted, wait approximately one hundred days before harvesting. When enjoying your harvest, you’ll get 177 calories from one cup of sweet corn.

7. Beets

Beets are a wonderful crop to grow because they provide two products in only a matter of weeks. You may first enjoy the beet greens within a month of planting.

However, you may enjoy the root vegetable within eight weeks of planting. Be sure to grow beets when the temperatures are cool otherwise your harvest may become woody. Beets contain approximately forty calories per cup.

8. Shallots

Shallots are a variety of onion that can be used in the place of traditional onions. This vegetable provides a lot of flavor and around fifty calories per cup.

If you’re growing shallots, be sure to do so in the fall about one month prior to the first frost. Expect to be able to harvest your crop within three to four months.

green beans growing in a Greenstalk tower container

9. Beans

Beans come in many varieties. Some which are highest in calories are black beans, chickpeas, lima beans, and soybeans.

You may grow these crops in spring and summer, and you should expect a harvest anywhere from 75 to 140 days later. Black beans, soybeans, and lima beans all contain between 200 and 300 calories per cup. Chickpeas provide a whopping 729 calories per cup!

10. Garlic

Garlic is a delicious crop and a great way to add abundant flavor to your dishes. Should you wish to add garlic to your garden, plant it in the fall.

Once it’s in the ground, expect to receive a harvest in spring or early summer. Garlic provides 200 calories per cup. 

11. Turnips

Turnips are an acquired taste in my opinion, but I always enjoy the greens of this crop. If you’re interested in growing turnips be sure to plant them in either spring or fall when the temperatures are cooler.

Then you can expect a harvest in fifty-five days. The actual turnip provides thirty-six calories per cup. When consuming the greens, you’ll receive eighteen calories per cup.

12. Parsnips

Parsnips are another delicious root vegetable. This crop is typically planted in the spring while the temperatures are still cool.

However, they take between one hundred and 120 days to reach harvest. You may plant parsnips in the fall as well.  They can even be stored in the ground over winter. When consuming parsnips, expect to receive one hundred calories per cup.

sugar snap peas growing in the vegetable garden with rain droplets

13. Peas

Green peas are a great crop to grow no matter the size garden you have. The reason being is they can be trained to a trellis and grow vertically. In the process, they take up less space.

Should you decide to add this crop to your garden, be sure to plant in spring. Peas take a little over two months to reach harvest. While enjoying your harvest, you’ll also receive 118 calories per cup.

14. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a warm weather crop which not only provide calories but are also a good source of fiber.

If you’d like to grow sweet potatoes, plant them in the spring and expect to harvest them in approximately 120 days. Sweet potatoes provide 114 calories per cup.

15. Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is a great change of pace when you want a roasted vegetable but you’d like something a little different from the traditional root vegetables.

When growing acorn squash, be sure to plant after the first frost of spring. It should be harvested before the first freeze of fall. Acorn squash takes around fifty-five days to reach harvest and provides fifty-six calories per cup.

16. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is another vegetable that you can enjoy roasted, pureed, or used in desserts.  When consuming a cup of cubed pumpkin, you’ll receive around thirty calories.

If this is a crop you’re interested in growing, be sure to plant between late spring and early summer. You can expect to harvest your pumpkins between August and October.

harvested carrots in a galvanized tub waiting to be washed

17. Carrots

Carrots are a sweet, versatile vegetable that are great boiled, roasted, cooked in the air-fryer, and even pureed.

When choosing to add more carrots to your diet, begin by growing them in your garden during spring or fall while the temperatures are cool. You should expect a harvest in approximately eighty days. Carrots provide forty-five calories per cup.

18. Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash received its name because, when cooked, you can pull the inside of the squash apart and it resembles spaghetti. It’s a great substitute for pasta when trying to avoid carbs or gluten.

Should you decide to add this vegetable to your garden plot, be sure to plant in spring after all frost is over. Expect to see fruit within sixty days and harvest prior to the first frost of fall. Spaghetti squash provides around thirty calories per cup.

19. Jerusalem Artichoke

You’re going to want to work backwards when growing Jerusalem artichokes. The reason being, this plant tastes better after it has gone through a couple of frosts.

Therefore, look at your first frost date of fall. Know that you’ll harvest within two to four weeks after this date and then back-up five months. That will be your planting date as Jerusalem artichokes take around 150 days to reach maturity. You’ll receive 110 calories per cup when consuming this crop.

20. Butternut Squash

Our last high calorie vegetable to discuss is the butternut squash. This crop is delicious when roasted and topped with different herbs and spices.

If you’d like to add this vegetable to your garden, be sure to plant after the final frost of spring. The plants should start setting fruit within sixty days and be harvested before the first freeze of fall. You should receive around sixty calories per cup of butternut squash.

You now have twenty different vegetables to add to your garden when trying to grow crops for their caloric density.

Again, this could help you during a catastrophic situation to ensure you and your loved ones remain healthy. These crops could also keep you full and help you save a lot of money at the grocery store by being able to grow most of what you need to meet your caloric needs each day.

Pick the vegetables that best meet your needs and suit your taste buds, and begin working towards your new gardening goals.

More About Growing High Calorie Vegetables

https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/home-vegetable-gardening-a-quick-reference-guide

https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/planting-vegetable-garden

https://extension.unh.edu/resource/preparing-vegetable-garden-site

The post 20 Highest Calorie Vegetables to Grow appeared first on Gardening Channel.

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