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Thursday, November 8, 2012
By Karen Kwan
You’ve probably noticed that some of your favourite veggies from the summer just aren’t tasting as lovely as they did just a couple of months ago. There’s a whole new crop of vegetables in season now, and we thought we’d check in with some of our favourite health experts on what vegetables they can’t get enough of in the fall. Read on for some inspiration for your fall and winter meals!
Did you used to have to sit at the dinner table as a kid until you ate all your Brussels sprouts? You may think you hate them, but you just may not have tried them prepared deliciously! “Brussels sprouts get a bad rap from the days of serving them steamed until they are mushy and overcooked,” says Dara Gurau, a registered dietitian based in Toronto. “I love Brussels sprouts when they are roasted until browned, crispy and tender. You can pop them in your mouth and they are just as good as popcorn!” she says. Gurau recommends tossing them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasting them for about 15 minutes. Another fave way to prepare them? Tossed with this sweet, salty, and spicy sauce she’s shared on her blog, How to Eat.
Why you should eat more Brussels sprouts: They’re high in fibre, contain antioxidants such as vitamin A, C and E, and the mineral manganese. Also, they’re high in vitamin K, which has been shown to reduce inflammation.
Registered dietitian Erin MacGregor is sweet on sweet potatoes. “I eat them year round, but definitely amp up my intake come fall.” She prepares it as a base for a sweet potato and lemongrass soup, as a key ingredient in vegetarian Thai curry, and even pureed with a little stock and fresh ginger as an option for a healthier starchy side dish. MacGregor, who blogs with fellow registered dietitian Dara Gurau over at How to Eat (the Brussels sprouts-loving dietitian above), says this veggie burger recipe is one they both adore and have been making for years.
Why you should eat more sweet potato: A good source of fibre and antioxidants, sweet potato is better enjoyed with a bit of fat (three to five grams of fat) as you’ll better reap the rewards of veggie’s beta-carotene.
For Lisa Richards, the communications manager and an elite drill instructor with Booty Camp Fitness, it’s butternut squash she can’t get enough of now that fall is here. “I love roasting it along with other root vegetables with a bit of olive oil and maple syrup for a sweet veggie dish,” she says, although her favourite way to enjoy it is a curried butternut squash soup.
Why you should eat more butternut squash: This member of the winter squash family is rich in B-vitamins, including folate and riboflavin, and contains minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and potassium.
The versatility of cauliflower is making it a regular in the grocery basket of holistic nutritionist Sarah Maughan this season. “You can eat it raw or in soup or mixed with mashed potatoes, but my fave is as a curried cauliflower soup becaue I prefer my veggies cooked and warm in the winter, and this soup just hits the spot!” she says.
Why you should eat more cauliflower: Cauliflower contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K, both of which help to reduce inflammation. It also boasts a host of other good-for-you vitamins and nutrients, such as folate, fibre and allicin.