Insider’s Viewpoint: A Rainbow of Winter Vegetables
While many people think of the summer as the time for fresh vegetables, winter too offers a bounty of colorful produce to help you meet your daily needs. Here are my top five colorful winter vegetables …
A crisp carrot stick is the perfect go to snack; easy to prepare with dips or easily packed as part of a school or work lunch. Rich in beta-carotene, potassium and fiber, carrots will fill you up and satisfy your urge for something crunchy, or even a bit of sweet.
Yellow Winter Squash
Very versatile winter squash can be puréed and added to savory pancakes, ravioli, or casseroles. Or simply slice in half and roast. Loaded with potassium and vitamins A and C, this nutrient-rich winter vegetable will add warmth to your meal.
Not only are avocados delicious, a ½ cup serving offers 7 grams of monounsaturated fat and 20% of the percent daily value for fiber. Dice it into salad, mash it to create guacamole, choose it as heart-healthy sandwich spread, or enjoy it many other ways.
Raw, canned or freshly cooked beets are a natural source of heart-healthy potassium and folate. Use them to add color to your winter salad, sandwich, and soup or as ingredient in baked goods and casseroles.
Cream of Carrot Ginger Soup
- 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ qts low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 ½ lbs carrots, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and finely chopped
- 5 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 (3-inch) piece peeled and grated fresh ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 handful chopped chives or parsley (optional garnish)
- Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth slowly, whisking constantly to incorporate it smoothly. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add carrots, onion, sweet potato, celery, ginger, and nutmeg. Sauté 15 minutes.
- Add thickened stock to the vegetables. Bring to a full boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, for about 45 minutes, until soup is thickened and vegetables are tender. Stir periodically.
- Add salt and pepper. Purée soup with an immersion blender until smooth, or in small batches in a blender or food processor. Stir in cream and heat over low heat until just warmed through.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives or parsley leaves if desired.
Allison J. Stowell MS,RD,CDN
Hannaford Brothers Company