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8 Jan

Vegging Out in a Winter Wonderland: Top 10 Vegetables for the Winter Season

Mashed potatoes and steak, mashed potatoes and chicken, mashed potatoes and meat loaf. And we wonder why people pack on the pounds once winter hits. Break out of your vegetable rut with these popular winter wonders:

Artichokes

Artichoke:

Touted as an excellent source of fiber, and vitamins A and C, artichokes also provide a hefty dose of magnesium, folate, copper, potassium and phosphorous. The artichokes themselves are compromised of a meaty lower half, known as the heart, and a protective covering of purple leaves and thorns (but don’t let that discourage you!). Artichokes are best when submerged in cold water, rubbed with lemon (to prevent browning) and then steamed or served cold in salad with a tart vinaigrette.

Bokchoy

Bok Choy:

Although once relegated to Asian dishes, Bok Choy is increasingly stepping out and moonlighting as another winter favorite…the cabbage. Indeed, this leafy green vegetable—which is an excellent source of folate and vitamins A and C—has become a popular addition to winter casseroles as well as a regular accompaniment to corned beef! Bok Choy is best when the leaves are glossy and free of brown spots and the stalks are a bright white.

Rapini

Broccoli Rabe:

The international vegetable of mystery, this leafy green vegetable is not only easy to confuse with just plain ol’ broccoli, but also has more aliases than Jennifer Garner (often going by the name of just rabe or, harking back to its Italian roots, rapini). This popular salad favorite—which is also good served steamed or lightly sautéed in olive oil—is a good source of vitamin C and iron and contains high volumes of phytochemicals, which are though to protect against cancer.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower:

Rising to popularity during the Atkins diet frenzy of the 90s, if the cauliflower could speak it would request to be considered more than just a substitute for mashed potatoes. Counting broccoli and cabbage among its not-too-distant relatives, cauliflower is thought to reduce the risk of cancer, particularly those affecting the colon and liver. Cauliflower can be used to add bulk to winter casseroles and soups but is also tasty when steamed and paired with a cheese or chilli sauce or served raw in salads.

CDC celery

Celery Root:

Although it gets a bad rap for having a high Glycemic Index (and for being possibly one of the ugliest vegetables in the produce aisle) celery root actually contains very little sugar, meaning that it overall has very little impact on blood sugar levels. Further upping its health ante, celery root—or celeriac—is a good source of vitamin C, calcium and iron. Similar to cabbage, celery root makes a popular addition (or substitution) in coleslaw, stir fry, or to add flavoring in various soups and stews.

628px Boerenkool

Kale:

Logging off the chart levels of vitamin K, A and C and a high fiber content for relatively few calories, kale sure does pack a mean nutritional punch. The high vitamin A content—which logs in at 164% RDA for one cup—provides protection against ailments of the eye and promotes lung health, while the vegetable’s vitamin C content bolsters the body’s immune response and provides protection against rheumatoid arthritis. Kale is best served as an addition to hearty winter soups and stews.

Radieschen

Radishes:

A few carefully placed cuts can easily transform these mighty morsels into a beautiful rose garnish, but this little red stunner is also a rich source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folate, sulphur, iron and iodine. Used to spice up a vegetable juice cocktail, liven up a salad or add punch to a stir-fry, the radishes anti-inflammatory properties can help clear sinus cavities, soothe a sore throat or even reduce the symptoms of asthma. In addition, the veggies’ high potassium level can promote kidney health and reduce the risk of stroke.

369px Rhubarb07

Rhubarb:

Rhubarb and custard, rhubarb pie, rhubarb cobbler, rhubarb jam…and the desert list goes on. Despite frequently masquerading as a delectable desert option, this vegetable (that’s right, vegetable!) also works well when paired with richer meats such as lamb or when added to salad dressings, salsas or sauces. Healthwise, rhubarb is considered a good source of calcium, fiber and vitamin C and is thought to extinguish heartburn, reduce cholesterol, decrease hot flashes in menopausal women and protect against infection.

800px NCI peas in pod

Snow Peas:

Coming to us as the flatter, sweeter version of the run-of-the-mill garden pea, the sweet pea is a prime source of fiber, vitamin C, iron, potassium and magnesium. Eaten pod-included, the snow pea makes a welcome addition to stir-fried dishes featuring soy, sesame and ginger as well as in when added raw to salads.

Nasturtium lvs

Watercress:

Rumored to be a Liz Hurley slim down secret—when made into soup—watercress can also be added to salads, served as a garnish with fish or poultry or used to add flavor to stir-fry and other Asian dishes. Watercress logs high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C as well as the minerals calcium and iron for increased immunity.

Hit us up with your favorite winter vegetable in the comment board!

Further Reading:

Smart Winter Fuel: Avocados

Healthy Tastes Great!

More Tuesday 10s

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  1. In winter i do like a side dish of steamed cabbage. It’s just plain good. For me, it’s especially a great side dish with boiled shrimp!

    Donna wrote on January 8th, 2008
  2. Interesting combo, Donna. I may have to try that out. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Aaron wrote on January 8th, 2008
  3. Cauliflower is my favorite winter
    vegetable – it is extremely versatile. I like to make an Indian dish with tomatoes (canned in the winter), minced onion, garlic and ginger. Is onion a vegetable? Our winter pantry is always stocked with onion.

    VnV wrote on January 8th, 2008
  4. I think the overriding message in this article is that green vegetables and rhubarb. I remember my grandfather used to grow rhubarb in his garden and make little dessert items with it, ahh memories…

    Alex Legion wrote on January 8th, 2008
  5. Btw, does anyone else enjoy rhubarb?

    Alex Legion wrote on January 8th, 2008
    • Judging by a straw poll of family and friends I reckon most of the UK enjoys rhubarb – are you in the US, and is it an uncommon things there?

      Primal V wrote on November 8th, 2012
  6. OOOhhh I love greens!!

    phil wrote on January 8th, 2008
  7. Yes, onions are vegetables and surprisingly healthful if you don’t overcook them.

    Sonagi wrote on January 8th, 2008
    • Take whole onions – don’t bother to skin them. Roast on your BBQ for about 45-60 minutes. They will be so tender inside and just begging for a big dollop of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is a staple at my BBQ’s.

      hiker wrote on September 9th, 2010
  8. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten rhubarb. But, I love celery root. For Thankgiving, I peeled the celery root and boiled it just like potatoes. I also steamed some cauliflower. I then mixed(with the mixer) the two together with butter, cream, salt and pepper. There wasn’t any leftovers.

    Crystal wrote on January 8th, 2008
  9. Thanks a lot, Mark. I’m really sorry I missed this article — I’ve been checking back most every day, but I guess I skipped over it. Didn’t mean to waste your time with my questions!

    Erin wrote on January 19th, 2010
  10. Just reading this ….I tried mixing rhubarb with organic yogurt last night. It was REALLY good.

    John wrote on October 25th, 2011
  11. I found this a very strange article, as a large number of the veggies mentioned are actually spring crops that are difficult to find in my part of the world before late May or June! Would love to see an article about the easier to obtain winter veg- including more roots/cellared produce.

    Em wrote on January 7th, 2014

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