Winter Vegetables

As the weather gets cooler and cooler (I hesitate to use the term ‘colder’ here in Vancouver, where I find the weather to be rather balmy all year round) people often change what they eat to suit the season.  During the winter months there is really nothing quite like settling down to a hot bowl of soup or stew on a cold and wet day – especially after we’ve changed out of our damp socks.  It’s simple fare, but like most foods, when done right simple is all you need.

There are a million and one different recipes and ways to go about constructing your winter recipes, whatever they may be.  And more often than not they will include winter vegetables.  Winter vegetables are the ones most often associated with storage during the months when little to nothing could be grown and harvested – they keep well and are harvested later.  These often include root vegetables, winter squashes, and cruciferous vegetables.

And if I felt like concocting something was too much effort I’d just cut them up, coat with a little melted butter (unsalted!) and olive oil, toss with some herbs, and roast until delicious.

By and large winter vegetables are nutritious and will keep well in your refrigerator or pantry for an extended time.  This makes them excellent for having around the house.  Unfortunately when many of us think of winter vegetables potatoes are often the tuber that comes to mind.  Potatoes are generally considered to be very high in starch (which they are relative to many other foods) and in today’s day and age and current set of diet crazes this is akin to being made out of pure poison.

Starch!  Paleo dieters beware…  Actually green potatoes can indicate higher levels of alkaloids that are toxic – so sometimes yes, poison.

Potatoes do get a bit of a bad reputation.  They are high in starch.  But as is the case with many foods, western society needs to learn that many things can be enjoyed in moderation.  It need not only be all or nothing.  But I don’t want to go on and on about potatoes (I’ll save that for another time).  It’s important to mention them when speaking about winter vegetables because many of the other veggies that fall into this category are often unfairly lumped into the ‘high-starch’ group along with potatoes.  This is not always the case.

If you’re still looking to have that big bowl of winter stew but are wanting to cut out many of the carbohydrate calories that come with including potatoes you should give some of these other vegetables a try: cauliflower, celeriac, beets, turnips, jicama, rutabaga, squashes.  I’m sure there are many others that would make suitable substitutes.

Great alternatives that aren’t as starchy.

So when you’re thinking of winter dinners and holidays don’t always go with what’s known and expected.  Changes you make to your diet don’t have to be boring, unpleasant, or difficult.  It’s easy to enjoy the same dishes you always use to and discover new ones as well.  Explore the wide variety of winter vegetables at your disposal in the grocery store.  And enjoy them knowing that they’re not all nutritionally the same as potatoes.

Wednesday

Tech:
-3-3-3-3-3-3 kettlebell windmills
-5 x max. hold plank (weight on back)

Workout:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of:
-pull-ups
-hang clean (95/65)

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