The winter is coming! And so are the winter vegetables. A famous Dutch wintermeal is ‘stamppot’, a mashed dish using vegetables of the season. You either love it or you hate it. However, it is very healthy! We list some examples for you.
Endive is eatable either cooked or raw, however some nutrients get lost when it is heated.
That what makes endive so healthy are the minerals, endive contains more minerals than any other vegetable. For example: manganese, iron and copper. Manganese is good for your metabolism, iron is needed for oxygen transport and copper is good for the formation of bones and connective tissues. Furthermore, endive is rich in vitamin A and C, good for your skin, eyes and the resistance.
Kale got more famous over the years. We, the Dutch, have been using kale for years to make ‘stamppot’. But nowadays kale is also added to smoothies and salads. It is a superfood, you do not even need goji berries and chia seeds anymore!
Kale contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. Just like endive it contains a lot of vitamin A and C, but also a considerable amount of vitamin B3. You need vitamin B3 for energy supply and the production of fatty acids. Next to that, it contains magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is needed for muscle function and potassium to maintain a healthy fluid balance and to control your blood pressure.
Try to vary between normal potatoes and sweet potatoes every once in awhile! Sweet potatoes are not healthier than normal potatoes, but they contain different nutrients. Sweet potatoes contain a little more kilocalories and a little less protein than normal potatoes, however they contain more fibers so it keeps you full for longer. The sweet potato contain more vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and a little less potassium. Also the glycemic index is a little lower, which means less fluctuations in your bloodsugarlevel. So it is good choice for diabetics!
Brussels sprouts are not a very loved vegetable, because of its bitter taste. The smell and the reaction on your bowels do not make it any more populair. Too bad, because they are very healthy! They contain even more vitamin C than oranges and are rich in vitamin B, folic acid, magnesium, potassium and fibers. The sprouts will maintain the most nutrients when they are cooked shortly.
It might surprise you, but chicory is family of endive. Next to sprouts, also chicory is not a very loved vegetable. You can soften the bitter taste by removing the core or by serving it together with fruits, for example in a salad. Also baking or grilling it will soften the bitterness. Chicory contains a lot of potassium and vitamin C. To maintain the nutrients you should store it in a dark place, for example the fridge.
Because of the cartoon character Popeye you probably already know that spinach is good for you. He implies that spinach can make you stronger, but spinach has even more health benefits. The combination of iron and vitamin C is a magic duo, since they absorb the best when eaten together. Next to that, spinach also contains other important nutrients, like; vitamin K, vitamin A and folic acid. Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting, vitamin A is good for you eyes and skin and folic acid is needed for the generation of white and red bloodcells. Use spinach as lettuce in your salad, add some to your smoothie or make a delicious ‘stamppot’!
What is your favorite vegetable in the winter?
Want to know about the fruits of the season? Click here!