Sometimes, in the dead of winter, vegetables seem a bit out of date. Especially if you live in Michigan like I do. It’s cold and dreary and thoughts of vegetables growing tend to conjure up thoughts of spring.
Luckily, some vegetables thrive at different times of the year and that means eating well is never dull. This winter, I want to share with you just a few of my favorite vegetables that are in season and should be in the grocery store produce section this time of year.
I’m pretty sure I eat at least 3 sweet potatoes a week. Subtly sweet, they pair so well with pretty much every dish I make. Don’t believe me? Here are three easy go-to recipes featuring this delicious vegetable.
I also have tips for how to roast them.
From a nutritional standpoint, you’ll want to add these root veggies to your plate because by doing so you’ll add a little fiber, a little vitamin A and a little potassium to your day. Your body will love you.
I love the versatility of cauliflower! Because of its modest flavor, it really lends itself well to any dish. Roast it, rice it, mash it, or even eat it raw. No matter your prep or cook style preference, this veggie is an easy add in. By the way, most kids love cauliflower so its a winner around the family table.
Nutrition-wise, we’ll find more vitamin A in addition to vitamin C, K and many B-vitamins; a whole alphabet of importance.
These little green orbs were neglected by me for a VERY long time and more recently have begun getting the love they deserve. Of course, its totally dependent on how you prepare them. I would highly recommend NOT boiling them. Actually, for most vegetables I’d recommend another cooking route. Boiling often results in over cooking and reduced flavor. No thank you. Instead, look for ways to maximize that flavor so you enjoy your veggies, like Brussels, even more. My favorite method? To roast or to saute.
Steaming can also be your friend – especially if you are short on time.
Side note: If you do boil, say potatoes, so you can mash them later on, don’t forget to add some flavor to your cooking water. I like to throw garlic cloves right into the pot with my potatoes. I also incorporate low-sodium broth from time to time for an additional flavor boost.
This leafy green most often shows up in my egg scrambles. Yep, I really enjoy kale cooked. Of course, you can eat it in a variety of ways – raw, cooked, baked into chips. It’s versatile and nutrient-rich – two of my favorite things!
Considered a “super food,” you shouldn’t be surprised that kale is loaded with nutrients. Everything from vitamin K to fiber and even a smidgen of protein. Personally, I don’t like calling foods “super” – food is just food. But I do think you’ll be pretty super if you give kale a try.
Did you know that there is more than one type of winter squash? Actually, there are a lot of winter varieties – Butternut (yum!), acorn (delicious!), and spaghetti (fun!) – just to name a few. This is good news for you and your family because it means you don’t have to settle for just one type of squash. Instead, you can experiment with different varieties and have fun discovering which ones are your favorites. One of mine? The sweet and versatile Butternut squash! Saute it, roast it, or toss it in a quiche. Or puree it and throw it into your favorite cheesy sauce to increase the nutrient value of your meal and enhance the flavor.
Although it may be difficult to think about produce during the colder months, don’t forget about them completely. Seek out your winter options and have fun exploring different foods with each season. It’s a great way to keep your meal plan interesting and have fun in the kitchen.