The warm summer months are not the only time you can enjoy fresh vitamins. Now that winter is here, some particularly healthy vegetables are in season. These are vegetables that are harvested and consumed during the winter. Cabbage, carrots and roots are an abundant source of vitamins and minerals and thus make an important contribution to a healthy diet.
Winter vegetables can also be prepared in a myriad of ways and are tasty side dishes for many meals. They also make for hearty casseroles and delicious bakes or gratins.
Kale is currently making a real comeback. The trend started in the USA where this green vegetable is practically worshipped as a health secret and eaten all year round. Here in Europe, on the other hand, it is harvested when temperatures drop as the mature kale then contains fewer bitter compounds. In reality, kale can serve as more than a side to hearty dishes like Kasseler (smoked pork) or sausages. It is one of the healthiest vegetables around and is worth giving a try in salads or in green smoothies. The crunchy winter vegetable is rich in protein, vitamins A, C, K and calcium for healthy bones and magnesium for a functioning nervous system. And kale isn’t short on iron, phytochemicals or fibre either. It’s our secret green tip!
The parsnip is a plant that grows in the wild; its fleshy root has a sweet and spicy taste. It was an important food staple in Germany for a long time before its popularity was eclipsed by the potato and the carrot. In countries like the United Kingdom, the parsnip features regularly on menus. With good reason – its potassium, magnesium, zinc and manganese content is higher than that of carrots. Because parsnips are equally good when eaten raw or in soups or purées, the spicy root is our tip for a versatile winter cuisine.
Admittedly, the swede doesn’t look too impressive. But it can be combined with many other vegetables and its sweet aroma is reminiscent of the flavour of carrots. For this reason, children also like swedes and puréed or finely chopped swede can persuade them that it is a tasty vegetable. Swedes are nutritious, low in calories and can provide a healthy balance to hearty Christmas dishes. This winter vegetable has now also made it into the repertoire of celebrity chefs and has definitely earned this attention. Our tip for anyone who wants to rediscover a tried and tested classic.
It literally adds colour to the plate – the dark red beet is rich in minerals and low in calories. Beetroot is the perfect ingredient in light cuisine as it adds an aromatic delicacy to salads for example. And beetroot juice tastes delicious. To make it, simply peel the root vegetable, cut it into small pieces and add to a juicer. But be careful – beetroot can also stain your hands and clothes. A tip to bear in mind when you are looking for an uncomplicated all-rounder.
Brussels sprouts are a true vitamin C miracle. Vitamin C, which is necessary for building connective tissue and for a stable immune system, is abundant in this winter vegetable, which beats even most tropical fruits. Brussels sprouts can be cooked simply in salted water and are a tasty side dish. They also work well in soups or salads. Because Brussels sprouts are full of fibre, they keep you feeling full for longer and are therefore ideal for a balanced diet. Our tip for a quick and enjoyable cabbage snack!
What’s your favourite winter vegetable? We look forward to hearing your personal tips!
Your Dole team