Recently, I tried to eat better and to invest more in greener practices. That's no easy task every day, I'll grant you that! So today, I decided to pair both coming up with a super list of 5 seasonal veggies. Consequently, it will help you cook in favor of your health and of the planet, downright super!
And, because I'm super sweet, I also provided you with nice and tasty recipes for each seasonal veggie (you do not have any longer excuse).
Enough blabla, let's jump to the core. What do we have on this seasonal veg list?
Seasonal veg #1: Rutabagas`
Rutawhat? The rutabaga comes from Nothern Europe, Nothern US, Canada, and Great Britain. It's often considered as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage.
Rutabaga is also known to boost the flavor of your plate. It offers heaps of positive nutritional and health benefits as well. Let's look at that together:
Anti-cancer properties because of its antioxidant components
Anti-premature aging properties by stimulating the generation of cells and improving eyesight
Digestible properties due to its high fiber rate
Weight loss properties because it fills you very quickly and thus reduces the chances of overeating
Better metabolism due to its high protein content, which encourages the creation and the development of new cells, muscles, healing, reproduction, etc, ...
Better immune system via vitamin C producing white blood cells, which help fight illness and infections.
Well, in terms of cooking, it's pretty easy to prepare. You can cook the leaves like spinach and the heart like potatoes except that it's a veggie, a super healthier alternative.
You can integrate it into your daily cooking by substituting it from the potato. Personally, I prefer mashed potatoes than regular potatoes, plus it's easy, quick, and healthier. Promised you'll love it. To do so you'll need to:
Cut rutabaga in cubes
Add rutabagas cubes into a large water pot
Once the water is fully absorbed by the rutabaga cubes, mash everything
Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper
Serve it with your fav meat and starchy food and savor!
Seasonal veg #2: Sweet Potatoes
First thing first, I have to make it clear. Sweet potatoes can be grown in Belgium (believe it or not), but the harvest is in October and not in March...
As I'm currently living in Vancouver, and because I truly love sweet potatoes, mentioning them in this article makes sense to me and my Canadian friends (for us they're seasonal).
So, for a bit of context, sweet potatoes take their roots in Central America. We can also find them in Africa and now (as already mentioned) in Belgium! Yes, that's true, Bart and Anja Nemegheer of De Aardappelhoeve (whoever they're) grew the first sweet potatoes in Belgium 3 years ago.
Contrary to popular beliefs sweet potatoes aren't healthier than regular white potatoes. They're both very nutritious and offer different nutritional properties.
As sweet potatoes have almost all the same health benefits than rutabaga I'll skip this part and jump to the recipe.
To diversify the flavor, you can replace regular fries with sweet potatoes fries. You simply have to:
Peel the sweet potatoes
Cut them in order to form some fries
Display them on the oven for a healthier alternative
Add some olive oil, salt, and pepper
Let them baked for 20 minutes
Seasonal veg #3: Turnips
Turnips are thought to be grown in Europe and in the middle of Asia in a temperate zone.
Like our two last veggies, turnips have tons of great health benefits namely:
High fiber content helping reduce inflammation of the colon as well as the risk of diverticulosis and relieve constipation
Good source of calcium strengthening bones, which is increasingly important with age...
High in potassium, which lowers blood pressure
For the cooking tip, I want to try and share with you the turnip salad. I've to admit that I've never tried this recipe, but I'm always running out of inspiration when it comes to making a salad ending up with a traditional ceasar or goat cheese salad.
So you only need to:
Cut the turnip in cubes and baked them in the oven after having added one teaspoon of olive oil and seasoning (one pinch of salt and one pinch of pepper)
Serve 4 cups of washed baby arugula greens in a bowl
Add 1 cup of goat cheese
Add 1/8 cup of red onion
Add the baked turnip cubes
Pour some lemon vinaigrette (1/2 lemon, 3tb of olive oil, salt, and pepper)
Seasonal veg #4: Beets
Beets are considered as root vegetables and they're very popular in Europe.
By driving some research for this article I found that beets have very interesting benefits.
Let's crawl it together:
A high concentration of nitrates lowering the blood and reducing the risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke.
Enhance our athletic performances by improving oxygen use and time to exhaustion. To maximize these effects, you should eat beets 2–3 hours before a workout (for lunch)
Reduce Inflammation in your body
Good source of fiber (needless to say it helps digest)
Boost your LIBIDO !!!!
It's very simple to integrate this one into your diet routine. With a good food processor, 2 carrots, 1 red apple, 1/2 lemon and obviously 1 beet it's a real breeze!
Seasonal veg #5: Squash
Last one, squash. It's a family of plants that comes from Central America. Squash includes lots of different varieties such as butternut, zucchini, acorn, yellow squash,...
Concerning the health benefits, it's very rich in antioxidants (as already mentioned antioxidants tend to reduce risk diseases such as lung cancer, mental decline, heart attack,...)
Cooking tip? What about a butternut soup to warm us up?!
1kg of butternut squash baked in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper
Place some leeks in a large pot and pour a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper
Add garlic and sage on the pot
Add the baked butternut squash and some chicken broth
Blend it all
That's it for today. Hope you liked this article if you have other great recipes including these seasonal veg feel free to share.