For some people, green veggies can be a hard sell—and it can be even harder to psych yourself up for a salad when the weather gets chilly and all you want is something warm and carby.
However, if you’re looking to avoid a carbo-load food coma and keep eating healthy during the chillier months, I’ve got the perfect solution: winter greens.
Winter greens are a perfect way to liven up a salad, and many of them are hearty enough to withstand sautéing, braising and steaming. Graduate from baby kale, tender arugula and mesclun greens to something a bit more substantial.
These powerhouse veggies are loaded with antioxidants, which are associated with reduced risk for chronic disease. Check with your doctor for more healthy dietary advice during the winter months.
Here’s a list of cold-weather hardy greens that are packed with nutrition, flavor, and color—plus, ideas for ways to enjoy them!
Belgian Endive. Add kick to your salad with chopped-up endive leaves. Skip the crackers for your hummus or cheese spread by using a sturdy endive leave, raw or baked. Endive provides potassium, fiber, and vitamins B, C and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron and folate.
Beet Greens. With a mild taste similar to kale, beet greens should not be tossed when you chop off the amethyst bulb at the end. The greens provide an abundance of nutrients including vitamins A and C. Look for firm, fresh greens still attached to the root. Beet greens can be enjoyed raw in a salad, sautéed, braised or steamed.
Kohlrabi. A cousin to broccoli, kohlrabi (aka The German Turnip) has purple, pale green, and white varieties. Slightly sweeter than broccoli, it’s high in potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, and folate. Use shredded or chopped, add to soups and salads; eat raw or sautéed.
Parsley. Beyond garnish, it’s a green worthy of being added to your salad blends. Use parsley in the final steps when preparing soups, sauces, salad dressing, rice or pasta. A cup of parsley provides iron, potassium, vitamins A, C, K and folate.
Radicchio. Abundant in vitamin K and potassium, radicchio is one of the prettiest winter veggies. It adds color and texture to salads and entrees. It’s also a great green for digestive health. Don’t confuse radicchio with red cabbage; radicchio is a member of the chicory family and has a distinctive, unique flavor that will bring your meals to life.
Watercress. A lovely addition to any salad, watercress is a great source of nutrition, containing fiber, antioxidants and minerals. It contains a high amount of Vitamins K, A and C. One of the more delicate winter greens, it makes for a lovely garnish to any dish.
Check out the accompanying recipe if you’re sold on winter greens.