The 10 Healthiest Winter Veggies and How to Incorporate Them into Your Holiday Meals

Finding certain vegetables can prove to be a challenge when cold weather sets in. Thankfully, some vegetables can survive the cold. These winter vegetables can withstand frosty temperatures due to the higher amount of sugar that they contain. This makes winter the optimal time for harvest because the sugar found in the water of the vegetables causes them to freeze at a lower point.

Let’s look at the 10 healthiest winter veggies and how you can incorporate them into your holiday meals.

1. Kale

This leafy green vegetable contains an impressive number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You can include this in your winter meals by making a kale salad instead of lettuce or adding it into your creamy pasta for a savory taste.

2. Carrots

Packed with vitamin A and powerful antioxidants, carrots thrive in colder weather and may help protect against certain diseases like prostate and breast cancers. This popular root vegetable reaches peak sweetness in the fall and winter months. In fact, after a frost they are sometimes called “candy carrots” because of how sweet they get in the cooler weather. You can add your carrots into soups for those cold nights or make a side dish of candied carrots for Thanksgiving dinner.

3. Brussels Sprouts

These mini cabbage-like heads are rich in vitamin K and have an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid. This antioxidant may benefit people with diabetes. It has been able to reduce the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, a painful type of nerve damage that affects people with diabetes. Adding brussels sprouts into your meal plans should be easy! Try making a garlic butter brussels sprout casserole or oven roast them and serve as a side dish.

4. Collard Greens

Known for having a slightly bitter flavor, collard greens are high in calcium and vitamin K, which help promote healthy strong bones. They can withstand prolonged freezing temperatures and taste best after being exposed to frost. Best served sautéed, you can also add them into your winter meals by mixing it with some brown rice or noodles.

5. Parsley

Aside from being exceptionally cold-tolerant, this aromatic green contains the plant compound luteolin, which promotes brain health. Parsley can be cooked in almost anything and can be used as a garnish for meals.

6. Artichokes

Only in season twice a year during spring and winter, these leafy greens can increase your intake of vitamin C and fiber. You can add a few artichoke leaves to your favorite chicken dish this season.

7. Cauliflower

This versatile veggie is a good source of fiber, iron and potassium. It can be oven roasted, steamed or even eaten raw. A great way to try cauliflower is mashed. It’s a much healthier option to substitute for mashed potatoes. You can even splurge and add cheese or bacon.

8. Onion

Full of health benefits like phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory compounds onions help protect against heart disease, strokes and certain types of cancer. They add flavor to your meals in soups, stews, stir fry and salads.

9. Winter Squash

Winter squash comes in various shapes and flavors like butternut and kabocha. It has high amounts of vitamin A, potassium and fiber. Add winter squash to your meals in a delicious soup or baked in the oven.

10. Snow Peas

Increasing your levels of vitamin C and K, these hearty veggies are also low in calories. They make a great addition to any pasta dish, tossed salad or stir fry.

The bottom line is that several vegetables thrive in colder weather. While any vegetable from this list would make a highly nutrient-packed addition to your diet, these cold-hardy veggies make it possible to have seasonal produce all winter long.