Think pumpkin is only meant for pumpkin spice lattes and sweet potato can only be turned into fries?
It’s time to re-visit some of these popular fall and winter veggies and get a little creative in the kitchen.
Here’s 5 veggies that are great for weight loss and how you can mix things up with them this season:
- Beetroot – This red beauty is one of the best superfoods going. And if you don’t have it as a regular staple in your diet, it’s time to make some changes. The beautiful color – so vibrant and deep – means it is chock full of antioxidants, which fight free radicals in your body, helping to reduce your risk of cancer. It has a delicious earthy flavor, so naturally, it is amazing to roast for dinner, but you might not have thought of putting it in your smoothies, or adding cooked beetroot to your hummus, dips and spreads. It also does well turned into fresh juice, perfect for all the athletes out there!
- Sweet potato – The humble sweet potato should not be forgotten amidst the pumpkin craze that takes over every fall! Sweet potato is great turned into crisps, using the dehydrator or baked in the oven, and if you cook up a pot and mash it up, you can store it in the fridge to use in your smoothies. In need of a quick dinner? Add some sweet potato to a pot with vegetable broth, salt, your choice of herbs and a bit of nutritional yeast, and pretty soon you’ll have a delicious sweet potato soup that you can enjoy as is, or puree with coconut milk until smooth and creamy!
- Pumpkin – You’ve no doubt heard lots about the pumpkin for your fall pleasure, most notably in the infamous pumpkin spice latte. But what if I told you that you could use pumpkin in your desserts, making delicious fudgy brownies? That it turns into amazing chocolate ice cream when blended half and half with frozen bananas, ice and some raw cacao powder. Or that you could use it to make chocolate pudding: simply blend with an avocado, raw cacao powder, and your choice of sweetener and then place in the fridge overnight to set!
- Cabbage – This delicious root vegetable may not be every one’s favourite, but that might just be because you haven’t given it a good chance! No longer just known to be boiled into soups or stew, cabbage is a great vegetable for fermenting: massage it with some salt until the water is released, add your choice of seasoning and then press into a jar and leave for a week or two to develop healthy gut friendly bacteria. Better yet, take that shredded cabbage and steam it until just tender so you can enjoy it as a low carbohydrate noodle option. It does well in cream sauces, or delicious tomato based options and cooks to al dente just like real pasta!
- Parsnip – Stop discounting parsnips as a healthy vegetable option, because all you ever knew them as were just plain boiled veggies. They are a versatile vegetable because they have a relatively neutral flavor and can take on other flavors very well. Roast them up coated in herbs, or boil them and then turn them into a delicious cheesy puree using nutritional yeast, salt and coconut milk. They are perfect turned into crunchy chips, made in the dehydrator or the oven, and here’s a little secret: they are perfect to add creaminess to your smoothie bowl! The next time you make parsnips, cut up some extra and then steam them. Throw them into your smoothie the next day and you won’t taste them, but they will add extra fiber and B vitamins, as well as help make your smoothie smooth and delicious!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH