Sunday, December 13, 2009

5 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables During the Winter

Veggies are good for the environment! Now that the farm stands have long closed and winter is upon us gone are the days of fresh vegetables from the garden or your local farm stand. So how do you maintain your vegetable intake to ensure you are getting everything you need? Here are some tips on where you can find vegetables and incorporate them into any recipe!

1. Frozen vegetables! You can find frozen vegetables in any grocery store at any time of the year. These can easily be added to any dish you like or eaten alone. My personal favorite is to steam them and have them as a side. Veggie Panini's are a huge favorite in my house, and in the winter we switch over to frozen vegetables!

2. Grow your own! If you have some extra room in your kitchen or another part of the house, there are a lot of kits now sold to help you grow your own vegetables inside of the house. While it may not be ideal in the summer, in the winter this is perfect if you are looking for fresh vegetables! There are also many miniature herb gardens which are also sold, allowing you to grow your own basil, rosemary and whatever your favorite spices may be. For some all you need is a sunny window, others will come with a heat light to help them grow!

3. Jarred vegetables! The one item I would caution you on is that a lot of vegetables sold in jars have been pickled or soaked in brine. A favorite, artichokes, are usually stored in brine. To get read of that brine-y salty taste, drain the artichokes or vegetable of your choice and let them soak in water. This will allow the brine to come out of the vegetable, leaving behind the true taste of the artichoke.

4. Grocery store vegetables (from the produce section)! Keep in mind what vegetables are currently in season. Right now that would include a lot of the root vegetables. Root vegetables are great to bake and make for an easy meal. Keep in mind which veggies are in season when buying vegetables in the grocery store. The vegetables that are in season will taste the best and most likely had the shortest trip to the store!

5. Canned vegetables! Last but by no means least is canned vegetables. Now while these may be the easiest ones to use, use caution. Recent studies have shown that these veggies could potentially contain BPA which is coming from the cans. I would use this as a last alternative, and definitely not something to be used on a regular basis.

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