With the shorter and colder autumn days – and especially in the frosty winter – the appetite for hot, hearty and spicier food increases. Also in these months there is a good range of local vegetables and salads.
Zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, fresh green beans, cucumbers? It was delicious, but now their time is over. By the end of September at the latest, there is a lack of light and heat to allow such summer vegetables to ripen. Still, no reason to fall into the winter blues.
Because now completely different types of vegetables are booming: swedes and beetroot, Hokkaido and butternut squash, Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips. Not to mention the types of cabbage, some of which only really taste good after the first frost, such as Brussels sprouts and kale. So even in winter there are enough regional vegetables to make the menu varied and diverse.
Time for stews, curries, and casseroles
Body and soul need different food in winter: warming casseroles, hearty stews, hot soups, spicy curries – everything that was unthinkable in June, July and August. On the other hand, a soup can be a real comfort to the soul if it feels cold and gray for at least 28 out of 30 days in November.
Quiches and casseroles are also in season. No wonder, because the oven spreads a cozy warmth and also a scent that makes the anticipation of the meal grow.
There are hardly any limits to the imagination when it comes to ingredients: the quiche dough can be topped with onions, leeks, savoy cabbage, beetroot, spinach or even sauerkraut. In casseroles, the variety goes from the classic potato gratin to baked pumpkin wedges and swede casseroles.
Delicious cabbage: from white to red to green
The winter cuisine is traditionally hearty. But if you don’t like it too rich, just follow the example of upscale gastronomy. Cabbage, for example, is anything but primitive, difficult to digest food. Star chefs transform cabbage steamed, boiled, au gratin or raw into sophisticated dishes.
Shredded red cabbage becomes a delicacy with balsamic vinegar, kale as a curry becomes a completely new taste experience. And why not try a minestrone with different types of cabbage? If you are afraid of flatulence: Cooking caraway seeds counteracts this wonderfully.
Vegetables can also be stored
In any case, the local goods provide everything the body needs in terms of nutrients. Because our winter vegetables contain considerable amounts of potassium, calcium, sodium and iron as well as numerous essential vitamins. There are also plenty of secondary plant substances in the outdoor plants. These substances, which give the plant colour, fragrance or taste, are also important for the human organism.
Stored vegetables such as carrots or beetroot also contribute to a healthy diet until spring. Onions and garlic contain sulfides, phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory, digestive and cholesterol-lowering effects. And sauerkraut is a real vitamin bomb: just 200 grams, eaten raw, cover half the daily requirement of vitamin C for an adult.