The Three Healthiest Winter Vegetables

In winter you eat far fewer vegetables than in summer. But especially in winter, we need the vital substances and minerals from fresh vegetables so that we are not overwhelmed by icy weather or rampant infections. We not only tell you the three healthiest winter vegetables, but also unusual recipes with these old and in many places long forgotten vegetables. If you eat it regularly during the cold season, even the harshest winter can no longer harm you.

Hearty, sweet, and hot in winter?

In summer we can’t get enough salads, vegetable pans, raw vegetable plates, and fresh fruit. In winter, on the other hand, many people prefer hearty, sweet, and definitely hot food.

And so now is the high season for stews, cheese soufflés, cured meats, curd cheese dumplings, Kaiserschmarrn, and French toast.

All of this not only burdens the body with a lot of things that are difficult to digest, too many carbohydrates, far too much salt, and even more sugar but also lacks vital substances at the same time.

No wonder the susceptibility to infections increases in winter. Now all that’s missing is a vitamin D deficiency due to the rarely shining sun in combination with staying at home due to the weather – and there’s free rein for bronchitis, flu & Co. And winter depression isn’t far away either.

Lots of vital substances in winter

In winter we, therefore, need a particularly large number of nutrients and vital substances in order to finally end up feeling healthy and alert in spring despite the cold, dry heating air, lack of light, and nasty viruses.

We introduce you to the three healthiest winter vegetables that will help you:

The kale

Sadly, kale has been completely sidelined in the modern diet. Mild summer vegetables such as courgettes, tomatoes, and peppers have long been available all year round, so hardly anyone reaches for the old, spicy winter vegetables such as kale, let alone knows how to prepare them tasty.

Compared to the imported greenhouse zucchini, however, native winter vegetables would provide many times more vitality in the form of vital substances, minerals, and antioxidants. If you avoid kale, you miss out on a lot – but primarily a large portion of health!

Kale has an impressive nutritional content. It’s packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium. These vital substances are all known for keeping inflammatory processes under control, strengthening the immune system, and fighting cancer.

Kale: More vitamin K than any other vegetable

Just one cup of kale provides 180 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A (or beta-carotene) and twice the vitamin C content of lemons.

Kale also provides more vitamin K than any other vegetable. Just one cupful of kale provides ten times the minimum daily requirement of vitamin K. Vitamin K supports bone health, improves your blood quality, and keeps blood vessels clean.

Kale: Twice as much calcium as milk

Even calcium is more than abundant in kale, namely twice as much as in milk.

The two secondary plant substances lutein and zeaxanthin are also contained in extremely high amounts in kale. They directly affect the eyes—and since kale also contains almost as much beta-carotene as carrots, it’s THE vegetable for the eyes.

Kale for Cancer

Of course, like all vegetables from the cabbage family, kale is an ideal supplier of a substance called DIM (diindolylmethane), which is extremely effective in fighting hormone-related cancers and other hormonal problems, such as. B. for menopausal symptoms, PMS, or prostate problems.

Kale: A frosty night makes it cuter?

Kale is often frozen before it is used in the kitchen because it is said to taste sweeter then. It is also often said that some frosty nights have the same effect. But that’s not entirely true. It’s not the frost that makes the kale tastier, but the fact that kale that’s allowed to stay in the field until frost simply has longer to mature and turn its starches into sugars than kale that is harvested early in the fall.

Kale is alkaline

As a green leafy and cabbage vegetable, kale is of course one of the most alkaline vegetables of all. Therefore, use it as often as possible during the season – from November to February.

There are many different ways of preparing hardy kale, which can easily withstand double-digit minus temperatures. It can be boiled, fried, steamed, or prepared raw in a salad.

Kale Blueberry Smoothie

The kale also goes well in the green smoothie. Yes, it was kale or its American brother (Kale) that gave the inventor of the green smoothie – Victoria Boutenko – the idea of ​​mixing vegetables with fruit in the first place and developing the delicious and at the same time unbeatably healthy drink.

For example, for a kale and blueberry smoothie you will need:

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice or apple juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or coconut butter
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 large leaf of kale
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger
  • water to taste

Squeeze the juice, remove the large stalk from the kale leaf and combine all the ingredients in the blender. Mix thoroughly and serve the dark blue drink immediately after preparation.

Kale Chips

Another very special kale recipe that we would like to share with you today is the one for kale chips.

Kale chips are a super healthy snack. Their preparation requires little time and even fewer ingredients. They can be made in the oven or even better – namely in raw food quality – in the dehydrator.

All you need is kale, olive oil, and sea salt.

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees. Wash the kale and dry it in the salad spinner. Remove the rough veins of the leaves and then tear the leaves into chip size. Please note, however, that the chips will shrink during drying or baking, so do not pluck them too small.

Put the oil and salt in a large bowl and mix well. The kale leaf pieces are now turned in the oil and salt mixture until they are well-wetted on both sides.

Spread the kale leaves on an oven tray and bake for 15 minutes or until nicely crispy and crisp, but not burnt.

Would you like to enjoy your kale in raw food quality? No problem. In this case, spread the leaves on the trays of your dehydrator and dry the kale at 45 degrees for about 4 to 5 hours or just until it is crispy.

Of course, you can also add a pressed clove of garlic or cayenne pepper to the marinade.

The times of greasy and high-calorie potato chips at the evening program are over now.

The turnip

Rutabaga – sometimes called butter beet, ground beet, or ground kohlrabi – is one of the very old types of vegetables that hardly anyone knows what to do with today.

Belonging to the cruciferous family, swedes have all the health benefits of this group of vegetables.

Swedes, for example, contain the powerful anti-cancer antioxidant sulforaphane. Isothiocyanates, which protect against breast cancer, and the diindolylmethane already mentioned in kale are also found in swedes.

Swedes from pig feed to superfood

Swedes were once cultivated as feed for pigs. But then the swede was discovered – out of necessity – also for the human kitchen. Potato crop failures and famine during wartime meant that countless swede recipes were quickly developed.

Whether puree, cake, soup, fried slices, jam, or fermented as a substitute for sauerkraut – everything is possible with turnips. Their varied use is due to the fact that the turnips taste so mild and even take on the flavor of the vegetable with which they are cooked.

So if you cook swedes with carrots, they taste like carrots, if you cook them with apples, they taste like apples, if you cook them with kohlrabi, they taste like kohlrabi, etc.

Turnips in the low-carb diet

Another interesting advantage of the swede is its relatively low carbohydrate content, which is why it can also be used in low-carbohydrate diets (low carb).

For example, while potatoes contain around 15 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, turnips contain less than 4 grams.

Mashed swedes instead of mashed potatoes

So if you’re looking to reduce the number of carbohydrates in your diet, try making roasted turnips instead of fried potatoes, or mashed turnips instead of mashed potatoes. The preparation is very easy and the taste is delicious!

Swedes: Only half the calories of the potato

In addition, the swede provides more calcium and more vitamin C than the potato, but at the same time only half the calories of the potato. The swede is therefore a wonderfully filling food for light cooking.

As always, you can find recipes with swedes in our recipe database, e.g. B. the baked swede puree as a fine side dish or the basic swede soup.

However, for the three cancer-inhibiting ingredients described above, it would be ideal if the swede were not heated too much. We have therefore selected a very special recipe for you from the haute cuisine of raw food cuisine:

Raw turnip pizza

As mentioned, turnips are true quick-change artists when it comes to taste and can therefore be used as an excellent basis for preparing raw pizza dough. Of course, you could also use pumpkin, zucchini, or a mixture of these vegetables.

Toppings could include hummus (chickpea sauce), olive paste, marinated mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and dried herbs. Of course, you can also make the topping in the traditional way with tomato sauce, onions, vegetables, salami, and cheese (both are also available in a vegan version, although not in a raw version) or according to your personal preferences.

Ingredients for the pizza crust

  • 2 ½ cups peeled and diced swedes
  • 2 ½ cups walnuts
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup hulled hemp seeds
  • ½ tsp sea or herb salt
  • 2 teaspoons water (or as needed)


Grind the walnuts in a blender and place them in a large bowl. Blend the swedes in the blender, but do not puree them completely. The mass should still contain small pieces. Add the swede mixture to the walnuts along with all the other ingredients.

Mix everything into a dough and adjust the amount of water so that the dough can then be easily spread out on the drying foil of the dehydrator.

If you want to make a round pizza, first form a ball out of the dough, place it in the middle of the drying foil, and spread it out evenly on all sides.

The amount of dough is enough for two medium-sized pizzas.

Slide the two trays into the dehydrator (such as the Sedona Dehydrator) and dry the bottoms at 45 degrees for 6 to 8 hours. Then turn the floors over, peel off the foils and dry the floors for another 3 hours.

The next day or the day after that, you can add the topping of your choice to the dried pizza bases and place them in the dehydrator again to warm them up for an hour.

The celeriac

Celeriac is mostly known in connection with the Waldorf salad, which – if homemade and if you are not allergic to celery – is a very healthy affair.

Celery is truly one of the most valuable vegetable families. And if you find a bulb with leaves, don’t throw away the green ones. It is richer in nutrients and more healing than the tuber itself.

Celeriac fights cancer

Celeriac also contains what is known as apigenin, a phytochemical from the flavonoid family that studies have shown to be clearly anti-cancer on various cancer cells, including skin cancer, breast cancer, and bladder cancer cells.

However, apigenin does not cooperate with conventional chemotherapy, as it has been shown that some of the cell lines to be combated (at least in leukemia) appear to be less susceptible to the effects of chemotherapy under the influence of apigenin.

A cure with celeriac or celery juice is therefore wonderfully suitable for cancer prevention or outside of conventional medical therapy. However, this is not recommended during such treatment.

Celeriac in autoimmune diseases

The anti-inflammatory and immune system-regulating mechanism of action of apigenin in particular is said to be helpful in autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis, as scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago discovered in 2009.

It is therefore enormously worthwhile to regularly enjoy celeriac. A very tasty option is the so-called celery schnitzel.

To do this, peel a celery root, cut it into slices and fry it in olive or organic frying oil until golden on both sides. Of course, breaded versions are also available.

In the following wonderfully aromatic recipe, two of the healthiest winter vegetables are combined, namely celeriac with kale. This recipe also comes from the health food kitchen and is therefore not cooked.

Celeriac “rice” with kale cream

The recipe is called “rice” because the celeriac is transformed into small rice-shaped sticks with the help of a blender. Of course, it can also be cut into another fine shape with a vegetable slicer or a food processor.


  • 2 cups celeriac, chopped in a blender until it resembles rice
  • 3 large or 5 smaller kale leaves, washed, coarse ribs removed and shredded into small pieces or thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup husked hemp seeds for garnish
  • ½ cup tahini or white almond butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ bunch of fresh dill
  • sea ​​or herb salt
  • juice of 1 lemon

In a bowl, mix the celeriac with the kale. Mix all the ingredients from tahini to lemon juice in a blender to cream and fold the cream into the vegetables. Scatter the hemp seeds on top.

Enjoy your meal!

If you regularly integrate the three winter vegetables presented in combination with green winter salads (corn salad, sugar loaf, and endive salad) and fresh sprouts into your winter meals, then spring will not find you tired and weak, but rather fit and full of energy.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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