The 9 Healthiest
Winter is here, and it's time to feast on winter vegetables like kale,
Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Packed with phytochemicals and vitamins,
here are the best winter vegetables for your health.
Winter is here and unless we live in warmer climates, many of us spend the
majority of our time indoors. The gardens may be frozen over, but that does
not mean we can't enjoy the bounty of the earth and use this winter to heal!
Plenty of vegetables thrive in winter, making this the perfect season to
use them in your favorite recipes.We recommend that you choose organic produce,
Here are 9 of the healthiest winter vegetables for you to try this season:
Why? This descendent of wild cabbage is a member of the Cruciferae
family, along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and collards.
Kale originated in Asia Minor; around 600 B.C., and Celtic wanderers most
likely brought the vegetable to Europe.
Leafy green kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese.
It also has plenty of dietary fiber, copper, calcium, vitamin B6 and potassium.
Look For: Crisp, tender leaves that are bright in color.
Make: Do not eat these raw. Instead, here's a favorite recipe. Sauté
onions in a bit of ghee and then add the chopped Kale. Pour about 2 inches
of salted water over the top. Now, slowly pour a small amount of olive oil
over the top in a spiral. This will make the kale even tenderer. Do not
stir until the very end of cooking. Simmer the kale over low heat for at
least an hour. Try adding cooked kale to your salads or eat for breakfast
or brunch with eggs.
A note about cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower,
kale, collards, and Brussels sprouts all belong to the Cruciferae family
of vegetables. These vegetables when eaten raw and unfermented may suppress
the thyroid. We recommend cooking them to eliminate this tendency. You can
also ferment them; fermentation boosts the nutritional content of these
vegetables because their nutrients are much more available to you. Read
You Need to Cook These Vegetables For Maximum Nutrition to learn more.
Why? Artichokes are a great source of fiber and vitamin C, and have
minerals like magnesium, folate, copper, potassium and phosphorus. Be sure
you cut off all of the point "chokes" before cooking with a pair
Look for: Heavy artichokes that are tightly closed.
Make: Steamed artichokes taste great with little adornment. Cultured
butter or olive oil with a squirt of lemon and dash of Celtic
Sea Salt are all you need. Cut up steamed artichoke bottoms or "hearts"
from last night's dinner into your salad.
Why? The milky, sweet, nutty flavor of cauliflower is a nice change
from stronger-flavored vegetables.
Even though it lacks chlorophyll, cauliflower has plenty of other nutrients
including vitamin C (91.5% of the DV), folate and dietary fiber. Cauliflower
is even a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Look for: Tightly packed heads that have no brown spots.
Make: Delicious soups and pureed cauliflower spice up your usual
Try Claire's Creamy
Curried Carrot and Cauliflower Soup The Body Ecology Diet book also
has a recipe for a delicious Cauliflower Dill soup.
- Cabbage (also a member of the cruciferous family, see note on kale
Why? Grown in ancient Greece and Rome, cabbage was considered a cure-all
for a myriad of health conditions. Later, sailors took sauerkraut (made
the traditional way ... see article below) on long voyages to prevent scurvy.
Now we know that cabbage (especially fermented
cabbage) has amazing anti-cancer properties and is an excellent source
of vitamins A and C.
Look For: Tight and firm heads with no broken or bruised leaves.
Make: Check out the Sweet
and Sour Savory Cabbage, a favorite Body Ecology recipe. And you can
make your own cultured veggies and kimchi
to really benefit from the wonderful cleansing benefit of cabbage.
Make a delicious dish using your favorite winter squash, sweetened
the all-natural zero-calorie sweetener that tastes just like sugar,
but does not feed candida. Ideal for holiday recipes, you'll get
all the nutrients and tons of flavor, without the calories of sugar.
- Winter Squash
Why? Winter squash comes in a variety of shapes and flavors. Examples
are acorn, butternut, buttercup and delicata squash. Pick one (or more)
that you enjoy for a delicious and nutritious winter dish. Winter squash
is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, and
a good source of folate and thiamin.
Look For: A squash that feels heavy for its size. Skin should be
thick and hard without blemishes.
Make: One simple and VERY DELICIOUS recipe called "Yummy
Baked Acorn Squash." You can also make roasted squash, pureed squash
in place of mashed potatoes, or add to a starchy soup.
- Brussels Sprouts (another cruciferous vegetable, see note on kale
Why? Native to Belgium, specifically Brussels, these little vegetables
were once a staple all around Europe.
They look like perfect miniature cabbages. An excellent source of vitamin
C and vitamin K, they also have folate, vitamin A, manganese, dietary fiber,
potassium, vitamin B6 and thiamin (vitamin B1), omega-3 fatty acids, iron,
phosphorous, protein, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin E, copper
Brussels sprouts also have amazing disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Look for: Brussels sprouts of equal size (if they are no longer on
the stalk) to ensure they cook evenly.
Make: Steamed Brussels sprouts with butter and Celtic Sea Salt are
excellent. Be sure to cut an x in the stem so that the tightly packed interior
leaves also cook.
For a new twist on ordinary Brussels Sprouts, check out this Dijon
Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe that will make everyone want to eat
Why? Delicious avocadoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, C
and E and potassium, and a good source of fiber and iron.
Look for: Avocadoes that yield to soft pressure, are uniform color
and have no bruises.
Make: Add half an avocado to a green
smoothie, or cut up avocadoes into salad, or enjoy as an edible "dish"
along with cultured vegetables. Donna Gates, BodyEcology.com founder, often
cuts them in half, removes the big seed and fills the hole with cultured
veggies. She then sprinkles dulse flakes and pumpkin seed oil over the top
to create a quick lunch or snack.
- Turnip Greens (another cruciferous vegetable, see note on kale
Why? Turnip greens are an amazing source of vitamin A (through their
concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin
E, vitamin B6, folate, copper, calcium, and dietary fiber. These nutrients
are of special importance when fighting rheumatoid arthritis, colorectal
cancer and atherosclerosis.
Look for: Healthy, un-wilted leaves and moist stems.
Make: Turnip greens cook up beautifully. Slice off the stems and
just quickly sauté the leaves with onions and cook until tender.
Mix with other greens for flavor and texture.
- Broccoli (cruciferous vegetable, see note on kale above)
Why? Broccoli contains glucosinolates (special phytochemicals),
and the carotenoid, lutein.
Broccoli is an excellent source of the vitamins K, C, and A, as well as
folate and fiber. Broccoli is a very good source of phosphorus, potassium,
magnesium and the vitamins B6 and E.
Look for: Firm stems with heads that are a dark green-purple color.
Buds should be closed with no sign of yellow flowers.
Make: Broccoli florets can be steamed until tender. They are delicious
to eat on the go like in lunch boxes. If you peel the woody part off the
stems and you can use them too. Also, steam them for a fiber-rich and crunchy
winter vegetable dish.
As you can see, there are so many ways to eat healthy mineral-rich vegetables
in the winter months. Winter is the season designed to restore your adrenals/kidney/bladder
organs. If you have adrenal fatigue or burn out this is your time to harness
the power of Nature to heal. Adrenals need lots and lots of minerals. It's
amazing, isn't it, that Nature is always giving us just what we need?
Winter is perfect for slowing down, resting and reflecting. It's also an
ideal time to nourish your body with delicious, vitamin, mineral and phytochemical-packed
soups and meals made with Nature's perfect superfood... vegetables!
(PS. Don't forget those ocean veggies either ... read 8
Healthy Seaweeds Worth Knowing and Trying now!)