Why and How to Eat White Vegetables
It’s that time of year again, when winter has settled in and so has the snow. While you may not love shoveling, embrace the snowy season by adding white vegetables to your diet. What these vegetables lack in vibrant color, they make up for in nutrients, and should not be forgotten when you aim to “Eat the Rainbow.” Here we discuss how you can prepare and enjoy some of our favorite white vegetables, and why they may be good for your health.
Cauliflower: One cup of cauliflower contains nearly all your daily vitamin C, an antioxidant nutrient that supports the immune system. It has even been reported that a weekly serving of cauliflower may help lower risk of prostate cancer. Roast cauliflower with spices such as curry, cinnamon, paprika, or cumin to customize this vegetable to fit your taste. Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Raisins makes an exciting and flavorful side dish.
Onions: According to the National Onion Association, the average American eats about 20 pounds of onions per year. These fan favorites contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and cancer. Onions are versatile and add pleasant taste to salads, sandwiches, casseroles, and soup.
Potatoes: The poor potato never gets the nutritional credit it deserves. One potato is an excellent source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber. White potatoes must be eaten cooked: boil or roast them (just keep them out of the deep fryer!). They are delicious mashed with fresh herbs like rosemary or parsley.
Leeks: A cousin to onions, one leek provides half the amount of daily vitamin K, a nutrient needed in the blood clotting system. They are also a good source of vitamin C and folate. Add leeks to your vegetable stir-fry or soups.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a good source of riboflavin, niacin, and copper, a mineral involved in energy production. A recent study linked eating mushrooms with improved immunity. Mushrooms are an excellent addition to stir-fry, casseroles, or pasta. Try our recipe for Barley Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach for creamy and nutritious winter supper.
Daikon Radishes: A cup of Daikon radishes provides over 40% of your daily vitamin C and about 2 grams of fiber. Radishes have been associated with protecting male reproductive function, thanks to compounds that may activate the body’s own detoxification enzymes. Incorporate Daikon radishes into Asian-inspired recipes or eat them raw in a salad.
Parsnips, a root vegetable and cousin to the carrot, are filled with essential vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of vitamins C and K, fiber, folate, and manganese, a mineral that helps activate powerful antioxidant protection enzymes. Roasting or baking this vegetable brings out its natural sweetness. Use them in salads or enjoy as a side dish with dinner.
Published February 1, 2016