Functional Winter Vegetables
Eating fresh product is easy in the Spring and Summer when the weather is warm is the soil is hospitable to a variety of different vegetables. Despite the harsh weather, there are crops that can grow in the winter despite the cold temperatures and snow. These hearty vegetables often contain a higher sugar content than produce grown in other seasons, allowing them to survive the winter. Packed with natural vitamins and nutrients, these vegetables and fruits are delicious and versatile. Join us at Advanced Biotech as we explore the health benefits and uses of some of our favorite functional winter fruits and vegetables.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that thrives in cold weather. Exceptionally nutritious, kale is often thought of as a superfood and contains large amounts of vitamins A, C, B and K. It is also rich calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Containing both folate and vitamin B, kale is known to boost brain function as well as supporting many other body functions. Kale is delicious as a salad and pairs well with proteins like chicken and salmon. It can also be sautéed, wilted into vegetable-packed soups, and even coated in olive oil and roasted at high temperatures to create crispy kale chips, a great substitute for processed snacks like potato chips or pretzels.
A vibrant orange root vegetable, carrots reach their peak in fall and winter and because they grow underground can survive harsh weather. Chilly conditions cause carrots to convert stored starches into sugars to keep the water in their cells from freezing, so the colder the temperatures the sweeter carrots are! Carrots are naturally rich in beta-carotene, which can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for eye health and is also boosts the immune system while fostering proper growth and development. Carrots can be enjoyed raw with dips like hummus, roasted with herbs and spices like rosemary and black pepper, or added to soups, stews, and stir fries for an added boost of flavor and nutrition.
With an appearance and flavor similar to cabbage, brussels sprouts begin to develop in cold winter months and are able to stand up to harsh climates, making them a must for seasonal dishes. Although small, they are packed with natural nutrients and functionality and have a wide variety of potential applications. High in vitamin K, which is essential for bone, heart, and brain health, brussels sprouts are high in fiber and alpha-lipoic acid, both of which have been proven stabilize blood sugar levels. Boiled, roasted, or sliced thinly and eaten in salads, this winter vegetable is rich in both flavor and health benefits.
Many delicious and nutritious vegetables can survive the winter’s harsh conditions and bring functionality to consumers’ every day lives.