Fall and Winter Vegetables – Part 2!

Well it seems that fall and winter vegetables are a favorite of many! After the last blog on them I received comments about vegetables that were not listed, so let’s checkout fall and winter vegetables – part 2!

Fall and Winter Vegetable Choices


Arugula, also referred to as rocket, is a member of the cruciferous family, sharing traits like broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, turnips, and other vegetables. With a bit of a spicy taste, which is partially due to the sulfur content of cruciferous vegetables, arugula provides a variety of vitamins and minerals. Calcium, potassium, folate, vitamins C and K provide a few of the more notable amounts. It is also a good source of fiber and phytonutrients, compounds that help prevent disease but that are not vitamins or minerals.


Like arugula, and other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is high in an antioxidant that is sulfur based. As with other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage can have a strong taste when cooked. When it comes to nutrition, cabbage is high in fiber, vitamins K and C and it provides folate along with smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals. Enjoy cabbage cooked or raw and if you want to boost the health benefits, try kimchi, fermented cabbage.


Chard or Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable that can be used much like spinach, either raw or cooked. In terms of nutrition Chard is like spinach providing an excellent source of vitamins A, K and C, it also provides a good amount of magnesium, potassium, and fiber.  For a bit of variety in your meals try adding chard to dishes.


In terms of appearance parsnips look like white carrots and that is because they are in the same botanical family. Parsnips are sweet in taste but can be used in place of potatoes in mashed potatoes for a bit of variety. Nutritionally, parsnips provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals with vitamins C, K and folate providing larger amounts. Parsnips are a source of fiber with about 3 grams in a one-half cup portion. My colleague Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN  shared this great one pan recipe for roasted vegetables.


There are many varieties of winter squash – there is acorn, butternut, spaghetti, sugar pumpkin and other varieties that are less common. Nutritional content of winter squash varies, but all tend to provide a nice amount of vitamin A and C, folate, potassium, fiber and some of the B vitamins.  Depending on the type of squash, preparation methods will vary but they lend themselves well to stewing, roasting, baking or microwaving.


Spinach is well known by most people for its use in salads, but it you can enjoy it steamed or add it to soups and casseroles. A favorite of mine is to add spinach as one of the layers in lasagna. Spinach is packed with nutrients including Vitamins A and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, and smaller amounts of other nutrients. It is also a source of fiber.


Turnips are another member of the cruciferous family providing similar health benefits and nutrient content. The root and the leaves of the turnip are edible, but the nutrition varies a bit between them. Turnip roots provide vitamin C, calcium, and folate while the greens provide pro-vitamin A, vitamins C and K, along with folate and fiber. Use turnips in recipes much like potatoes but they do have a bit of a tangy taste so you might combine them with potatoes in the beginning and then change the turnip to potato portion as your family learns to enjoy turnips!

About Connie Connie is a Registered Dietitian with extensive experience communicating in the food and nutrition space. Taking the science of food and nutrition and translating it to simple messages, new products, or exciting menus is her expertise. Making nutrition messages clearaccurate, and engaging aids all consumers.

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