best winter vegetables

7 of the Best Winter Vegetables

Seasonal vegetables are not only a great way to support the environment, but your health too. Winter is one of the best times of year to enjoy some delicious vegetables, and there is a great selection to choose from in local stores. Whether you plan on cooking up some hearty soups or healthy, wholesome roasts, there’s plenty of inspiration to give you ideas with our pick of some of the best winter vegetables.

 

1. Leeks

Leeks are a popular winter favourite, making a great accompaniment for Sunday roasts, in Asian-inspired dishes and in sauces too. Of course, one of the most popular ways to enjoy leeks over winter is with leek and potato soup, a tasty and affordable winter staple which can be made in large quantities and frozen for later. Leeks are part of the allium group of vegetables, which have shown to have benefits against different cancers as well as being rich in vitamin A.

 

2. Kale

Kale has grown in popularity in recent years, and is now commonly available in most stores. When eaten raw, it has a bit of a sharp, peppery taste, which makes it great for salads and can also be used in stews, stir fries and soups too. Kale is high in iron, helping to promote cell growth and improve liver function, whilst also featuring antioxidant properties, making them a must for winter.

 

3. Spinach

Like kale, spinach is also full of iron and is a versatile ingredient to use in many dishes. Spinach can be eaten raw as well as wilted and added to different dishes, providing a filling option without the calories. With plenty of health benefits, including containing protein and plenty of vitamins, it’s not wonder it was Popeye’s favourite.

 

4. Parnsips

Parsnips are always a welcome addition to the dinner table at winter, and are great to eat roasted or mashed with everyday meals. Easy to prepare and to grow yourself in the garden, it’s always good to have a supply of these sweet tasting favourites in your kitchen. Parsnips are also a great ingredient for soups, with curried parsnips and parsnip and parmesan being popular choices during the winter months.

 

5. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have always had a bit of a bad reputation, associated with being left on the plate after you’ve eaten the rest of your Christmas dinners. In actual fact, there are plenty of great ways to cook them to make them a family favourite. Roasted with herbs and bacon or pancetta, or stir fried with noodles and other ingredients, there are plenty of alternative ways you can take advantage of sprouts. They also have many great health benefits, including their cholesterol reducing properties.

 

6. Onions

Whilst popular all-year round, onions are at their best in winter, and are a key ingredient for many dishes. Sage, red onion and butternut squash risotto is a great winter warmer, whilst winter is a great time to prepare some chutneys and sauces to enjoy during the colder months. Red onions are able to boost the body’s absorption of vitamin C, so make sure to eat plenty over the winter months to boost your immunity.

 

7. Potatoes

Potatoes aren’t generally considered a ‘healthy’ vegetable because of their high carbohydrate content, but in fact, there are plenty of other health benefits associated with potatoes. For example, potatoes are rich in potassium and vitamin C, ideal for boosting winter immunity, whilst also being high in protein. Potatoes are extremely versatile and can be featured in a number of dishes, making them an essential part of your weekly shop.

 

Winter is the ideal time to enjoy home cooked, warming dishes which are made even better with vegetables. If you’re struggling for recipe ideas, the BBC Food website has many great suggestions for things to cook with seasonal vegetables, and there are many other online resources packed full of inspiration. Don’t forget that most vegetables can be frozen in portions so cut down on your food waste and be sure to preserve your veg to enjoy at a later date.