Veggies: A source of kids’ worst dinner nightmares everywhere, often labeled as “boring.” However, these nutrient-filled powerhouses are key to a healthy diet and packed with more vitamins than anything Centrum can put into a bottle. And if you prepare them right, vegetables are anything but boring.
These days, you can get almost any vegetable at any time of the year, thanks to freezers, cans, and refrigerated transportation. However, these five veggies are currently in their peak season and at their freshest. Read on to find out how each benefits you and some suggestions for enjoying more green veggies this winter.
(spoiler alert: there will be bacon)
Where do we start? Broccoli is a winner all around. Each stalk contains nutrients known as phytochemicals that are proven to be anti-inflammatory and benefit arthritis, cancer, immune system health, blood pressure levels, vision, skin health, blood sugar disorders and more. While they have more benefits when eaten raw, they’re delicious roasted and make a great, quick addition to any dinner with a quick steam. I love broccoli so much I'm going to give you two recipes:
My favorite dish to prepare or bring to a party. This recipe is full of low carb, high fat goodness, plus the benefit of raw broccoli. Replace the white sugar with monkfruit or erythritol to make this fully keto.
Don’t let the fact that broccoli gets third billing in this recipe name throw you off. Roasted broccoli holds its own in one of the most popular recipes on this blog.
Call me a weirdo, but I’ve always loved brussels sprouts, even as a kid. These cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, contain powerful cancer-fighting nutrients, as well as antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, fiber...the list goes on and on. They’re also great for detox!
My favorite way to eat brussels sprouts? Pan-roasted with bacon and onions in butter. (Told you there’d be bacon!)
Cauliflower is GREAT for—you guessed it!—fighting cancer. This is probably a good time to tell you that ALL cruciferous vegetables (which accounts for four of the five veggies on this list) are great for fighting cancer. So eat up! Aside from that, cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, folate, choline, and antioxidants.
If you’ve been in the low carb world for awhile, you know cauliflower is basically the MVP. You can make buffalo cauliflower, cauliflower steaks, cauliflower rice, cauliflower hummus...I mean really, what can’t cauliflower do? However, if I had to choose, I’d go with this recipe for Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes. If you’ve tried smashed cauliflower before and it didn’t quite tickle your fancy, try this recipe before you give up. Trust me on this one. (If you still don’t like it, you can come back and yell at me...I’ll take the beating!)
Ok, this is the last of the cancer-fighting cruciferous all stars. It’s also high in antioxidants, vitamin C, folate...ok, seriously, everything that the other vegetables have above as well. What can I say, crucifers of a feather flock together (feel free to throw tomatoes at me).
Another huge benefit of cabbage, however, is how economical it is—arguably one of the cheapest vegetables you can buy. At prices like $0.29 per pound, a head of cabbage can cost you $1-2 and feed 4-6 people. Who can beat that?
Although there are several ways to enjoy cabbage, I’m choosing to share a complete meal with you: Kalua Pig with Cabbage. Pork shoulders, also arguably cheap for the amount of people they serve, are a great complement to cabbage. If you don’t like cabbage, this one pot meal is sure to make you a fan.
Spinach was Popeye’s favorite vegetable for a reason. Although the amount of iron in spinach was grossly overestimated over the years due to a transcription mistake, you can’t take away spinach’s other benefits. It’s an excellent source of all the ABC vitamins, potassium, folate, manganese, fiber, zinc, choline...the list goes on and on. And, unlike broccoli up there, spinach is actually better for you cooked. So heat it up!
Since I recommend eating vegetables with every meal, it’s only right that I give you a breakfast recipe in this list. Here you go: Egg muffins with spinach. I should note that the egg muffin recipe with spinach is just a template—egg muffins are infinitely customizable, and most of the above veggies would work well as a great addition to your breakfast!
There you have it, five awesome winter veggies to eat this week and beyond. Do you have a favorite? Or maybe one you just can’t stand? Share below in the comments!