Top 6 Seasonal Vegetables for Fall/Winter
You found out all you needed to know about the top seasonal fruits. What else would we write about this week but the best vegetables to snatch up this fall and winter? These six items will be in abundance in the next few months, so test out some new culinary skills and recipes and read on to learn more about these hardy, cold weather finds.
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Artichokes are a variety of the thistle plant, a flowering bud that is used frequently in mediterranean-style cooking. Artichokes, and all thistles, protect their fruit from predators by creating a hard exterior-- this is why the outer layer of artichokes are fairly inedible. However, the inside hearts and the inner leaves are tender and delicious if cooked correctly-- and full of folate, vitamin C and fiber. For an easy Mediterranean twist, grill trimmed artichoke halves and dip in a tzatziki yogurt sauce.
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Beets are touted everywhere as a superfood, and they are at their ripest during the season in which you might need their power the most! This ruby root is a great source of folate and manganese-- and surprisingly, comes in varieties in a rainbow of colors from white to purple. Try brushing slices with some olive oil and sprinkling with sea salt, and switching them for your normal bag of potato chips. You can also throw in a handful of kale and do a kale-beet chip mix for some added color and nutrients!
3. Brussels sprouts
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Brussels sprouts are one of my personal favorite vegetables, despite them being a sworn childhood enemy. If you go to a farmer’s market, you can commonly find these sold on the stalk-- buy them this way as they will stay fresh longer! Brussels sprouts are jam packed with vitamin C and K-- one serving will provide you with over 100% of your RDA of both! Although their flavor is uncommon and not loved by all, they are such a versatile vegetable. Try a pan-roasting technique using your favorite oil, some balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt for a great Thanksgiving side dish.
4. Parsnips, turnips and rutabagas
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These root vegetables are most commonly harvested in the winter and were historically used as filler dishes, and mashed and added to stews and casseroles. In recent years, they are having a rebirth of sorts-- they are not as nutritionally deficient as the potato, as they contain vitamins C, E, and manganese in higher amounts, and can be used in a myriad of recipes. If you’re not ready to give up your potatoes just yet, swap half of what the recipe calls for with one or all of these root vegetables for some added sweetness and a new take on a mashed potato or au gratin dish.
5. Winter squash
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Winter squash comes in many different varieties, from pumpkins, to butternut, to acorn. These squash are not exactly named correctly, as they are grown in the fall-- but their recipes will have you feel like you’re snowed in, sitting by a fire. One of my personal favorites is butternut squash soup flavored with fennel. Because of the natural sweetness and texture of the squash, it is a fairly easy soup-- and a great meal to freeze and serve all week.
6. Sweet potatoes
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Sweet potatoes are another hardy, starchy root vegetable meant to sustain you through the cold weather months. Sweet potatoes are one of THE best natural sources of vitamin A, clocking in at 368% RDA in one small potato. It is also fairly low in calories for a starch, and naturally sweet. Its sweet flavor can lend it to unhealthy dishes, so beware! Thanksgiving sides covered in marshmallows and syrup may not be the best choice. But a baked sweet potato with some drizzled olive oil and your favorite spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg is a delicious healthy option. These are also great when cut up into chips and tossed into your beet and kale mix that you made earlier!