When the weather turns cold and most of your half of the world is under snow and ice it can be hard to think about seasonal vegetables as a thing. We all know about tomatoes and greens and all the amazing fruit that’s available in spring, summer and fall but what do I do with those roots and other weird looking things. I mean, carrots, OK, but a rutabaga? Really!?!!
Why eat winter veggies at all? Why not just keep buying the same old broccoli, kale mix, green beans and Brussels sprouts? One word. Quality. A lot of those traditional summer green leafies are grown thousands of opposite hemisphere miles away and are shipped under-ripe for several days before they get to your grocer. This robs them of some of their nutritional value and overall goodness. It also makes you a dull boy/grrl to eat the same old stuff day after week after month. Admit it, you get in a “groove” that’s actually a rut. This is boring and not just in a meal enjoyment way. We are best off with a shotgun approach to food selection. It’s how we developed and how our body gets the broad range of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients we need to thrive.
Since you brought it up let’s talk about nutritional value. Root and other winter veggies are high in vitamins A and C for healthy eyes and ears, a good bit of potassium and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Both these last two are alkalizing and anti-inflammatory. A little beta carotene also helps reverse free radical damage, which can lead to age-related eye disorders, sun spots or wrinkles, UV damage, and potentially skin cancer. In fact, a diet high in vitamin A and vitamin C can act like a natural treatment for macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and skin cancer.
With all this going for them try a yummy winter stew. Cube some parsnips and turnips, saute with onions, carrots and celery, add broth, your favorite protein, salt and pepper and like magic you've got soup! A chunk of crusty bread and you'll think you're at the bistro.
Give these gifts from the earth a try. They're versatile, comforting and tasty.
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