Are you eating your veggies? Eating in season is easy in the spring and summer, but it can get kinda tough when that cold weather sets in. But wait – that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be adding those greens (and oranges and reds) to your diet.
So what are the best winter vegetables to add to the menu? We’ve gathered up a list of our faves!
The Best Winter Vegetables
While some vegetables can’t handle the frost, some can survive the cold, even under a blanket of that fluffy white stuff. This is thanks to the higher amounts of sugar they contain.
The sugar causes them to freeze at a lower point, which allows them to survive in cold weather. The frost also makes them sweeter, which is an added bonus for sure.
Here are our top 10!
- Broccoli – excellent source of vitamin K (critical for bone and heart health and important for brain function), A, B, and C, high in fiber and alpha-lipoic acid.
- Carrots – great source of beta-carotene, which the body can convert to vitamin A in the body, making them great for eye health. They’re also chock full of carotenoid antioxidants.
- Brussels Sprouts – high in vitamin A, B, C, and K, manganese and potassium. Brussels sprouts also have high levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants that can protect DNA from oxidative damage.
- Kale – packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and powerful plant compounds, plus loaded with flavonoid antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
- Cauliflower – high in fiber and B-vitamins. It provides antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer.
- Winter Squash – this veg has high levels of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, and polysaccharides that can help regulate and/or control blood sugar.
- Cabbage – loaded with vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic compounds called glucosinolates. Some studies even suggest that cabbage can reduce cholesterol and lower your risk of cancer and diabetes.
- Spinach – excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, folate, manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2.
- Sweet potatoes – loaded with fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. Plus, they’re fairly low on the glycemic index, so they’re great for filling up without loads of calories.
- Turnips and rutabagas – full of cancer-fighting glucosinolates, vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, fiber, and calcium.
Winter Wellness Soup
There are plenty of ways to use your winter vegetables, and one of the easiest is with a hearty soup.
Gather your ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup turnips, scrubbed and chopped
- 3 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, and diced
- 1 small winter squash, peeled and chopped
- 3 potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 cups spinach, reserved for later
#1 – Throw all your veggies in the crockpot (save the spinach for the end).
#2 – Add the stock and spices, and give it a good stir.
#3 – Cook for 5 – 6 hours on low or 2 – 3 hours on high.
#4 – Once vegetables are tender, add the spinach and leave for 15-20 minutes more.
#5 – Serve warm, and freeze any leftovers! Yum!
Here’s to healthy eating all winter long!