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What are the best foods to cook in winter?

Winter is cold in most areas of the country. It's a time when people are trying to stay warm. Did you know that certain vegetables actually help your body to stay warm? These winter vegetables are naturally at their peak in this season. Not only do they help keep your body warm, but they are also rich in anti-oxidants.

With today's worldwide distribution of foods, it is difficult to tell what season we are in these days when we go into a supermarket. As nice as it is to take advantage of the availability of foods year round, for optimal health benefits and flavor, it is equally important to pay attention to what is naturally in season. One of the best ways to keep track is to go to the local farmer's market where you'll find the freshest, locally grown produce.

In winter, the vegetables that help your body stay warm are the root vegetables and hearty winter greens. Any vegetable that takes time to grow and whose edible part grows beneath the surface of the ground, or any vegetable that likes the cold weather, is usually warming and a good vegetable to eat in winter.

Winter is also a time of the year when you may want to eat a little more hearty protein, such as meat or fish, than in the summer months. This is for the same reason as eating winter greens and root vegetables. It helps to keep your body warm.

If you like to eat salads, try eating salads that are more root vegetable, bean, or grain oriented, rather than the usual leafy green salads. Or add some cooked beans, hard boiled egg, nuts or a little meat to your green salad.

If it is very cold in your area in winter, I would avoid green salads completely. However, in some areas where it is not quite as cold, it can be very beneficial to have a romaine salad with chicken. If you love fish, one way to have a winter fish meal is to serve it with root vegetables, winter greens or potatoes instead of rice.

"The World's Healthiest Foods" vegetables in season in the fall and winter include:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Winter Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yams
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Cabbage

For quick, easy and delicious recipes featuring these warming vegetables, click Recipes.

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