During the colder months, it can be tempting to curl up under a quilt with a batch of post-holiday cookies and a plan to emerge in the spring. There’s something about winter that inspires cravings of warm, cozy, and carb-heavy cuisine. While we’re all in favor of comfort food, a three-month break from veggies may not be the wisest course of action for your health. In addition to improved nutrition, consuming more vegetables can aid your digestive system and boost energy levels during the season when you’re likely to be the most sluggish.
To experience the best of both flavor and nutrition, here are 10 winter vegetables to add to your grocery list right now.
1. Belgian Endives
The cornerstone of some of our favorite salads and hors d’œuvres, Belgian endives can be grown year-round, making them the perfect winter snack. They contain vitamin B6, which is a natural mood enhancer, as well as vitamin C, which provides a seasonal immune boost.
As a small, botanical variant of onion, shallots add both rich flavor and warmth to savory dishes. They also come with an array of health benefits—from improved metabolism to lower blood pressure.
3. Brussels Sprouts
A staple among side dishes at culinary hot spots, Brussels sprouts have enjoyed a cultural resurgence among winter vegetables. Roast or sautée with natural spices and oils (bonus points for hand-chopped garlic) for a filling and flavorful dish.
Kale is having a resurgence in popularity as a superfood, and its relevance is far from over. This mandatory winter vegetable is a good source of protein, fiber, and a range of vitamins and minerals like potassium and vitamin A. Add kale to braised veggie dishes, soups, and more.
As long as we’re adding kale to the menu, there’s no better addition to a winter kale salad than sliced beets. Pair with pistachios and aged bleu cheese for a seasonal flair, or grab a packet of beet chips for a healthier take on winter snacking.
6. Winter Squash
No list of winter vegetables would be complete without the inclusion of winter squash. This must-try veggie is delectable when baked with light spices and ghee and will add a splash of color to your kitchen countertop.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Rich in beta-carotene and B vitamins, sweet potatoes are a flavorful winter vegetable that’s ascended to popular status in recent years. While it’s higher in sugar than other root veggies, it can be a good way to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your wellness goals. Just bake and enjoy.
Radishes are another one of our favorite winter veggies that pack a host of potential health benefits—from supporting immunity to aiding in weight loss. If the flavor of raw radish is too intense for you, they can also be sautéed, roasted, or poached in butter for a more delicate flavor.
Often overlooked but incredibly versatile, cabbage is rich in vitamins C, K, and B6. In addition to a strong nutrient profile, cabbage actually tends to grow sweeter in the colder months, making it one of the best winter vegetables.
10. Collard Greens
Another member of the cabbage family, collard greens are ideal for braising, cooking into stir-frys, and incorporating in chilis and stews. Like the best winter vegetables, this versatile and flavorful veggie cooks perfectly with comfort food.