Food is not only good for local farmers and the environment, but also for the quality of your food in general. For example, the seasonal food guide states: Seasonal produce is fresher, tastier and more nutritious than foods eaten out of season. This means eating autumn and winter fruits in the cold months and summer fruits and vegetables in the warm months.
What vegetables are grown in the winter when the weather cools and the local outdoor markets close?
Here are some examples of crops that can generally be successfully grown outside in cold weather.
They are rich in nutrients, including vitamins C, A and K, and fiber, which support gut health and the immune system during the coldest months of the year.
You can use this vegetable for healthy and hearty recipes like crouton soups, mashed potatoes or winter vegetables roasted with herbs and olive oil. Read on to learn more about the best vegetables to buy and grow in the winter and the specific reasons why they are a healthy addition to your diet.
What are winter vegetables?
Winter vegetables are vegetables that can grow outside in very cold weather, even below freezing. The benefits of choosing food in season, including winter, include
- Purchasing local products helps to support local farms.
- It helps preserve farmland and open space in your region and benefits the entire ecosystem (especially if grown organically and sustainably).
- Locally grown and distributed food creates jobs in your community.
- The products do not have to be transported over long distances, which has advantages for the environment.
- Foods are generally more nutritious because they are fresher and generally taste better.
Some species are counted as roots because they grow underground. Many of these vegetables (e.g. carrots, potatoes and beets) contain more starch and sugar than other vegetables, but this helps them to grow in colder climates.
Some winter vegetables develop a higher starch/sugar content when the temperature drops to help them survive the cold, giving them a salty taste (another reason to eat seasonally!).
Not all winter produce falls into the category of root crops. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale also grow in winter.
Here are some of the most popular vegetables that grow during the coldest months of the year:
- Brussels sprouts
- Finish the job
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Frisian salad
- Repetition of
- Winter pumpkin varieties (including acorn, butternut, deli, spaghetti and kabocha pumpkin).
Top 12 healthiest winter vegetables
What makes winter vegetables a good addition to your diet? Here are some of the benefits associated with our 12 best winter vegetables:
1. Jerusalem artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchoke) are an excellent source of prebiotics, including inulin, which helps feed healthy probiotic bacteria in the gut. They also contain large amounts of essential minerals such as potassium, iron and copper.
Broccoli is rich in fiber, carcinogens like glucosinolates, antioxidants like carotenoids, chlorophyll, vitamins E and K, essential minerals, phenolic compounds, etc.
Cabbage is full of flavonoid antioxidants, including quercetin and kaempferol, as well as vitamins A, C and K, B vitamins, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and magnesium.
4. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are not only delicious when roasted, they are also rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Cauliflower is an excellent substitute for potatoes in low-carb recipes and is rich in essential vitamins, carotenoids, fiber, soluble sugars, minerals such as folate and potassium, and phenolic compounds. Several antioxidants found in cauliflower – including beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin and kaempferol – may help reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Like other black vegetables, escarole is low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin K and iron. It is also an excellent source of several antioxidants and polyphenols, including caffeic acid, vitamin C and flavonols, which promote healthy aging.
All cabbages are low in calories but high in filling fiber (including insoluble fiber, which aids digestion), as well as vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and antioxidants such as anthocyanins.
Beetroot is unique in that it is one of the best dietary sources of nitrates, which promote good blood circulation and blood pressure. They are also an excellent source of fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C, not to mention protective substances like betanin and vulgaxanthin that fight inflammation.
Including carrots in your diet is a great way to increase your intake of vitamin A/beta-carotene, which promotes healthy skin and eyes. Carrots are also rich in antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote healthy aging and fight free radicals, as well as vitamin K, potassium, thiamin, niacin and fiber.
Fennel is known as a vegetarian vegetable that aids digestion thanks to the unique compounds that give this vegetable anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antitumor and antispasmodic properties. The fennel bulb contains a number of phenolic compounds that fight disease, including bioflavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins, coumarins, and hydroxycinnamic acids, as well as potassium, vitamin C, and vitamins A and B.
11. Winter squash
Nutritionally, winter squash has many similarities to sweet potatoes, including high levels of vitamin A (alpha and beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and polysaccharide carbohydrates.
Chicory root is usually used to make an herbal tea that has a soothing effect on digestion. It can be a good substitute for coffee and helps with loss of appetite, abdominal pain, constipation and bloating. It is also high in fiber and acts as a prebiotic – it also provides manganese and B vitamins.
How to include them in your diet
Looking for easy ways to incorporate more fall and winter vegetables into your meals? Here are some ideas:
- Easy cooking roasted winter vegetables in an oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Prepare a vegetable soup or stew
- Fake potatoes with beets or cauliflower.
- Stir cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower into the grain-free pizza crust.
- Add grated vegetables like carrots, cabbage, onions and leeks to veggie burgers or homemade omelets.
- Winter squashes stuffed with quinoa or other whole grains
- Adding raw kale to smoothies.
- Preparation of winter salads with leafy vegetables and grilled vegetables
- Herbs cooked in garlic and olive oil
Try these recipes for healthy winter vegetables:
How to grow
Are you looking for a list of winter vegetables to grow in your own garden? They are among the easiest vegetables to grow in allotments during the coldest months of the year (generally from November to March in the Northern Hemisphere):
- Repetition of
- Onion / Squirrel
Here are some tips for maintaining a successful winter garden:
- According to Savvy Gardening: The key to successful winter vegetable growing is knowing which vegetables to grow in winter and combining them with the right seasonal thinners. This means growing cold tolerant plants in structures such as cold frames, mini tunnels, greenhouses or multiple tunnels.
- Start with a few plants and a frame or cold tunnel with a mini-circle. Some also like to put a layer of plastic wrap, cloth or flannel over it for extra protection in very cold climates.
- Most winter vegetables are planted between mid-summer and early fall. Those less tolerant of cold weather should be selected as early as December, while others may last longer.
- If you’re looking for vegetables with a long growing season, try onions, shallots and garlic, which are easy to grow almost year-round.
- Carrots, parsnips and beets grow well in the cold because they grow underground and have a protective layer. Mulch and dust can also be placed on the ground to keep it insulated. These vegetables are best planted in late summer.
- Try using frames and cold tunnels to make a garden bed for greens, for example. B. Spinach, escarole, kale and chard can be sown in early fall and produce tender young leaves throughout the winter. If you have a greenhouse, you can also experiment with many other green vegetables in the winter, including mustard, corn salad, arugula and Asian vegetables such as bok choy, tasso and mizuna.
- Winter squashes grow best in places that are not very cold in the winter. Seeds are planted directly in the ground, for example B. in rows or in heaps, or it is placed in old manure or buried deep in the ground. They need lots of space and water to thrive and have a long growing season. They are usually planted in late summer.
Risks and side effects
While most people can benefit from adding a variety of winter vegetables to their diet, those with certain medical conditions may need to limit or avoid certain varieties due to the presence of certain types of carbohydrates or minerals.
For example, people who are sensitive to FODMAP may need to limit the amount of cruciferous vegetables they eat, and people with kidney problems may need to watch the potassium intake of root vegetables because of their effects on kidney function, especially if they are taking medication to control their blood pressure.
Some winter vegetables, such as. B. Beets and squash also contain slightly more carbohydrates and sugars than non-starchy vegetables. They may need to be consumed in small amounts if someone is closely monitoring their blood sugar or following a low carb or keto diet.
- Winter vegetables are vegetables that grow during the coldest months of the year, usually from November to March. The most popular varieties are cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, green vegetables like escarole and kale, beets, onions, carrots, fennel and winter squash.
- Depending on the variety, the benefits of adding these vegetables to your diet include vitamin C, A and K to support the immune system, potassium and magnesium, fiber, prebiotics and various antioxidants.
- Some ideas to make at home include roasted vegetables, vegetable soups and stews, omelets, veggie burgers, fries and fake potatoes.
- Eating seasonally also benefits local farmers, and the produce is usually fresher, tastier and more nutritious than food eaten out of season.