Crunchy vegetables generally offer a number of methods for preparation. When eaten raw, crunchy vegetables provide a satisfying sound to go along with their taste. You can rid yourself of the crunchy aspect of these vegetables by cooking them in different ways. The more you cook vegetables that provide that satisfying crunch in the raw, the fewer nutrients will be left to benefit you.
Celery is a crunchy vegetable when it is fresh. The longer it sits, the less the crunchy it becomes, until it eventually becomes a limp vegetable offering no snap at all. Celery contains potassium, vitamin C, folate and vitamin A. The benefits of celery are that it is very low in calories while being high in fiber. Celery does contain high levels of plant nitrates which have been linked to an increase in the risk of cancer.
The crunch offered by carrots is quite robust and so is the veggie itself. Among the benefits of carrots is that it is among the best sources of beta carotene. Carrots are also a prime source for dietary fiber and potassium. It is not myth, but fact, that overconsumption of carrots can produce a yellowish tint to the skin.
Raw cauliflower does not provide the quality of a crisp crunch that you get from celery or carrots, but it does qualify. If you are looking for a crunchy veggie that provides significant amounts of nutrients, cauliflower should be near the top of your list. Cauliflower contains, vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamin B6 and cancer fighting bioflavonoids. Fresh cauliflower should be firm and feature crisp green leaves. Cooking cauliflower results in an excessive loss of nutrients available in its raw form.
Peppers of most varieties offer a crunchy delight that can be eaten raw on its own or cut to add texture and sometimes, heat, to other foods. Choices range from bell peppers that provide no significant spiciness to fiery hot, habanero peppers that are not suitable for everyone’s taste buds. All peppers are low calorie foods, but their nutritional value varies according to color. Red peppers offer more nutrients than green peppers and the deeper the color of the pepper, the more bioflavonoids it contains.
The crunch of a pickle may well be one of its selling points. Whole pickles eaten out of the jar should produce a hearty crunch when you bite into them. If the crunch is not there, the pickles have likely been sitting in the refrigerator for too long. Pickles can also be consumed in a variety of shapes and sizes when cut to be used to add flavor to hamburgers and other foods. Fermented pickles are immersed in a brine for the purpose of inhibiting bacteria growth. Pickles are low in calories, but higher in sodium than most other vegetables.
References and ResourcesWhole Foods: Bell Peppers
"Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal;" Suzanne E. Weiss, Ed.; 1997