Everybody knows that fall is for pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes and pumpkin pancakes, but did you know there are lots of other amazing fall fruits and vegetables that shine this time of year? Parsnips, turnips, winter squash, dark leafy greens, and lesser known veggies, such as kohlrabi are just to name a few. While we could write pages on all the delicious and nutritious fall vegetables in season, here are just five of many fall vegetables to “fall” in love with this fall.
Brussels Spouts, named after the capital of Belgium from which they were originally cultivated, look like mini cabbages. Purchase these cute little veggies on the stalk or off the stalk. Brussels sprouts on the stalk typically last longer in storage. Brussels Sprouts can be boiled or steamed, but they really shine when they are roasted with either a savory or sweet seasoning. They pair well with sweeter vegetables, such as carrots or sweet potatoes. Eat just four Brussels sprouts to get over 100% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin C and 10% of the daily recommended intake for fiber. They are so good though, we are sure you will want more than just four!
Collard greens are another cold weather vegetable that grows from the fall well into the cold winter months. A member of the cabbage family, collard greens are better eaten stewed or steamed rather than raw due to their tough skin and bitter taste. Collards are an excellent source of folate and vitamins A and C. Yet one cup of chopped collard greens contains only 10 calories. Pair cooked collards with salty, smoky and acidic foods, such as sausage, ham, vinegar or tomatoes to off set their bitter taste. Stir fry chopped collards with garlic, diced tomatoes and sausage for a quick dinner.
Parsnips look like carrots, except they are a creamy off white color instead of orange. They are a good source of fiber and vitamin C, but have more carbohydrates per serving than carrots. Unlike carrots, parsnips have a stronger flavor and are generally not consumed raw. When buying parsnips, choose thin parsnips that are heavy for size. Cut around parsnips tough inner core and discard before eating them. Like other root vegetables, parsnips are great roasted. Since parnsips have a strong flavor, a great way to try them this fall is to bake them with other root vegetables in a medley.
Turnips have a white and purple skin and are close in size to beets. Similar to radishes, turnips have a “hot” or peppery taste and can become bitter if stored for too long. Don’t wait too long to eat turnips, they are best consumed within 3 days of purchasing. When buying turnips, be sure to choose turnips that are firm and not wrinkly or mushy. Smaller turnips are generally sweeter than larger turnips. Add turnips to stews featuring other root vegetables for an extra kick. These humble veggies are a great low carb option to replace starchy vegetables, such as potatoes. One turnip only has 8 grams of carbohydrates, whereas a small potato contains about 60 grams of carbohydrates. For a lower carb version of mashed potatoes, try this mashed sweet potato turnip recipe.
Kohlrabi is comes in green and purple varieties and looks like a green bulb with tentacles. Typically only the bulb is eaten, but the stalks can be sautéed similar to collard greens. Kohlrabi tastes sweet, crunchy and peppery at the same time. Peel kohlrabi before eating, as the outer layer is too tough to digest. Eat raw kohlrabi sliced with hummus or shredded into a slaw. This versatile veggie can also be roasted or boiled and added to mashed potatoes or soup. Roast kohlrabi to bring out it’s natural sweetness. Kohlrabi is a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
Hopefully this post inspired you to try some of these delicious but lesser known fall vegetables. For more information on nutrition topics, or to meet with our Registered Dietitian, call 301-288-1319.