Let Winter Greens Shine – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

Simply because the climate cools down, it doesn’t imply it’s a must to miss out on the ability of winter greens. Flip to seasonal greens that develop within the winter, together with Brussels sprouts, cabbage, parsnips, pumpkin, and winter squash.

When earthy tomatoes, plump zucchinis, and candy bell peppers are in season on the farmers market, it’s straightforward to pump up the quantity of recent produce in a single’s weight loss program. However, as soon as these final heat rays of summer season expire, many vegetable choices comply with swimsuit. As an alternative of buying recent produce out of season—shipped from 1000’s of miles away or grown in heated greenhouses—it’s a extra healthful, sustainable possibility to change to seasonal produce. Winter greens embrace these which might be harvested late within the season and endure nicely for a time frame, and cool-weather, hardy greens that develop within the winter throughout extra temperate climates. For instance, winter greens California model embrace a better selection due a extra delicate local weather—I can develop peas, carrots, radishes, lettuce, kale, and herbs all winter lengthy.

In my winter vegetable backyard at house in Ojai. Take a look at my winter vegetable backyard video here.

Many winter backyard greens had been those who as soon as stuffed root cellars of our nice grandmothers and past, offering a supply of vitamins to maintain folks over the lengthy winter. Winter greens embrace root greens, reminiscent of potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and beets; allium greens, reminiscent of onions, garlic, and shallots; cruciferous greens, reminiscent of cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower; hardy greens, like kale, spinach and chard; and winter squash and pumpkins. There are numerous methods to take pleasure in this seasonal produce, from roasted winter greens to shaved salads to smoothies.

I selected 5 high winter greens (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, parsnips, pumpkin, and winter squash) to shine a light-weight on this month, asking dietitian bloggers to share their high recommendations on the way to to embrace these nutrient-rich greens this season.

Brussels Sprouts

A part of the cruciferous vegetable household, these petite cabbages develop alongside a stalk about three toes tall. There are numerous uncommon styles of Brussels sprouts, together with purple, which you’ll develop in your backyard or spy in a farmers market. A one-half cup cooked serving of those tiny greens is full of vitamin A (12% DV), vitamin C (81% DV), and vitamin Okay (137% DV), along with glucosinolate compounds, that are linked with anti-inflammatory results and potential most cancers prevention (1).

“One serving of Brussels sprouts has all of the vitamin Okay you want for the day, which helps decrease irritation and helps bone progress and the cardiovascular system,” says Megan Casper, MS, RDN, dietitian and proprietor of Nourished Chunk Vitamin, primarily based in New York Metropolis. Casper advises her consumer to not overcook Brussels sprouts, as they are going to lose a few of their dietary worth and begin to scent like “rotten eggs”. Casper provides, “Drizzle with oil, minimize an ‘x’ into the core, and roast or attempt rapidly steaming till tender.”

Thai-Impressed Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

“I’m obsessive about Brussels sprouts, as a result of they’ve a mildly bitter taste and are full of cancer-fighting sulfurous compounds. I really like them shredded into salad and loved uncooked or halved and roasted till caramelized and crispy,” says Abbey Sharp, Toronto Registered Dietitian and blogger at Abbey’s Kitchen.

Although roasting is among the hottest methods to take pleasure in this vegetable, additionally they will be included in stir-fries, grilled vegetable skewers, pureed in cream soups, and served as a facet dish with a flavorful sauce.


Cheerful purple cabbage is a flexible winter vegetable.

One other member of the cruciferous vegetable household, cabbage—with tons of of sorts floor world wide—present up as a key function in lots of meals cultures, starting from Asia to Europe to Central America. Are you able to think about Mexican road tacos with no beneficiant topping of crunchy white cabbage, German delicacies with out sauerkraut (feremented cabbage), and Chinese language stir-fry with out its basis of cabbage?

Cabbage is full of a wide range of phytochemicals, reminiscent of glucosinolates, with antioxidant and anti inflammatory actions. Particularly, purple cabbage could have much more advantages, due to the presence of anthocyanins. A one-half cup serving of cooked purple cabbage accommodates a formidable cache of vitamin Okay (40% DV), vitamin C (35% DV), and vitamin B6 (10% DV). Along with most cancers safety (1), cabbage consumption could also be linked with coronary heart well being, due to reductions in levels of cholesterol and a rise in blood antioxidant ranges. (2)

Pink Cabbage Raisin Slaw with Cumin French dressing

“Cabbage is excessive in sulfur-containing compounds, which helps shield in opposition to heart problems, diabetes, and lots of varieties of most cancers,” says Casper. She means that cabbage turns into sweeter when it’s harvested in cooler climate, and that it is among the most budget-friendly vegetable buys. “Encourage your sufferers to attempt it steamed, sautéed, or chopped right into a salad,” provides Casper.

Further methods to make use of cabbage is as fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) in casseroles, sandwiches, or as a side-dish; shredded cabbage added to a slaw, sandwich, salads, wrap, or taco; Thai or Chinese language model stir-fries with cabbage served with brown rice; cabbage casseroles, reminiscent of stuffed cabbage or slow-cooker cabbage; and in traditional soups and stews.


Parsnips are root greens out there in supermarkets, in addition to farmers markets.

One of many lesser-known root greens, parsnips deserve extra recognition throughout the winter vegetable season. Originating from the East Mediterranean, these greens have a protracted conventional use in Europe, the place potatoes usurped their prominence when the Spanish explorers launched them from the New World. Pale yellow or creamy coloured, parsnips saved nicely in root cellars, and packed a nutritious kick into diets. A one-half cup cooked serving of parsnips accommodates folate (11% DV) and vitamin C (17% DV), in addition to fiber and phytochemicals with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Roasted Winter Greens with Za’atar

In accordance with Toby Amidor, MS, RD Wall Avenue Journal best-selling cookbook creator, throughout the first frost this winter vegetable converts its starch to sugar, giving it a candy and nutty taste. “Parsnips are additionally excessive in vitamin C, and a very good supply of folate and vitamin Okay. Though you sometimes see parsnips eaten cooked, you can even eat them uncooked by grating or chopping them into matchsticks and including to salads or as a part of a crudité,” provides Amidor. She suggests utilizing parsnips in creamy winter soups, as they supply a slight, candy taste and pure thickening skill, roasting them, pureeing them right into a mash, baking them, or utilizing them instead of potatoes and carrots in any recipe.

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN, creator of 365 Snacks for Each Day of the Yr additionally enjoys recommending parsnips within the winter season. She notes, “They’re so versatile to prepare dinner with and have much less starch than a potato.”


Pumpkins are scrumptious in lots of recipes.

Whereas most individuals may assume pumpkin is relegated to pumpkin lattes, jack-o-lanterns, and pumpkin pie, this winter vegetable has an essential historical past in meals traditions across the globe. Originating in North America, pumpkins are a cultivar of the squash plant, and have been used historically in lots of cultures, together with Caribbean, South American, and Asian, the place pumpkin is loved in soups, stews, stir-fries, and dumplings.

Pumpkins are potent with vitamins; a one-half cup cooked serving accommodates vitamin C (10% DV), vitamin E (5% DV), and a wealthy provide of beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A (123% DV per serving), as nicely a supply of fiber and minerals. Research have discovered that beta-carotene-rich meals are linked with decrease mortality (3).

Smoky Pumpkin Hummus

“Pumpkin is a wonderful winter vegetable as a result of it’s available year-round. I hold it in cans readily available always. It’s straightforward to make use of, and a diet powerhouse, with nutritional vitamins A, C, E, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese,” says Catherine Brown, CDM/CFPP, Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, and Natural Grower. Brown means that shoppers attempt buying entire pie pumpkins, roasting wedges, and serving it as a facet dish; or puree pumpkin right into a silky-smooth pumpkin soup. She says you can even add canned pumpkin to sizzling entire grain cereal, chia pudding, or smoothies.

One fast means to make use of pumpkins this winter is to begin with these folks use to embellish their porches and mantles throughout the fall season. Merely break up them in half, take away the seeds (save them for roasting), and bake them such as you would different winter squashes. The cooked flesh can be utilized in soups, stews, muffins, breads, bars, cereals, smoothies, hummus, and past.

Winter Squash

A wide range of winter squash can be utilized in cooking all season lengthy.

An array of winter squash (from the Curcubitaceae household) await discovery throughout the cool climate months, together with acorn, buttercup, butternut, delicate, hubbard, and spaghetti squash. The laborious outer shell means winter squash will be saved for lengthy intervals of time; as soon as break up open, they reveal vibrant yellow-orange flesh, a calling card for his or her wealthy carotenoid compounds linked with well being advantages and illness safety (3). Relying on the range, these greens comprise various quantities of nutritional vitamins A, B2, B6, C, and Okay; fiber, and minerals.

Winter squash will be traced again to Mexico. They develop into an essential a part of the agricultural traditions of the Native People relationship again a minimum of 1000 years often known as “the three sisters”, during which maize, squash, and beans had been planted collectively, forming the again bone of the normal weight loss program.

Sage Lentils with Squash and Mushrooms

“My favourite vegetable within the winter season is squash, wealthy in vitamin A, fiber, and folate. There are such a lot of stunning varieties and versatile makes use of in cooking. Whether or not it’s roasted, sautéed, or mashed, they make a superb foremost and facet dish,” says Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan MS, RD, LDN,  scientific dietitian and blogger for One Hungry Bunny.

Judy Barbe, registered dietitian and creator of Your 6-Week Information to LiveBest, Easy Options for Recent Meals & Effectively-Being, suggests, “Roasted winter squash, reminiscent of butternut, hubbard, kabocha and acorn, will be served as a facet dish, then tossed in tomorrow’s salad, stirred into pasta with a spoonful of ricotta, or pureed for soup. Cooked squash additionally freezes nicely.”

Spaghetti Squash Salad with Basil and Tomatoes

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT of Shaw Simple Swaps and creator of Fertility Meals Cookbook, says that acorn squash has develop into considered one of her favourite winter greens to suggest. “Throughout winter months, when individuals are infamous for popping vitamin C drugs, I take pleasure in educating on the meals first philosophy and together with extra entire meals of their weight loss program.”

Liz Weiss, MS, RDN, host of the Liz’s Healthy Table podcast and weblog, says, “I encourage folks to incorporate extra greens of their diets, and spaghetti squash makes that advice straightforward. This nourishing winter vegetable is flexible, delicate in taste, and enjoyable to eat. As soon as cooked, I shred it into spaghetti-like strands after which high it with all kinds of nourishing components, together with beans, sautéed bell peppers, and avocado; pasta sauce, grated Parmesan, and meat-free crumbles; and steamed broccoli and shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese.”

Maggie Moon, MS, RDN, of MIND Eating regimen Meals, likes to showcase winter squash in a Korean dish referred to as “hobakjuk,” which refers to zucchini or winter squash porridge, however mostly refers to a porridge that celebrates the candy winter squash referred to as danhobak (often known as kabocha squash).

For different recipes that includes winter produce, try: 

Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Cranberries
Peanut Chinese language Cabbage Salad
Jade Edamame Brussels Sprout Rice Bowl
Delicata Squash Risotto


  1. Royston KJ, Tollefsbol TO. The Epigenetic Affect of Cruciferous Greens on Most cancers Prevention. Present pharmacology stories. 2015;1(1):46-51. Accessed on August 31, 2018. doi:10.1007/s40495-014-0003-9.
  2. Bacchetti T, Tullii D, Masciangelo S, et al. Impact of black and purple cabbage on plasma carotenoid ranges, lipid profile, and oxidized low-density lipoprotein. Journal of Practical Meals. 2014;8:128-137. Accessed on August 31, 2018. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S175646461400070X?via%3Dihub
  3. Lengthy-Gang Z, Qing-Li Z, Jia-Li Z, et al. Dietary, circulating beta-carotene and danger of all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis from potential research. Scientific Stories. 2016;6(26983). Accessed on August 31, 2018. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep26983.