This is part III and the final blog of our powerhouse vegetables series. You may view previous posts in this series here and here. It is interesting to explore vegetables with a variety of colors, taste palettes, and nutrient value. Think about adding one or all of these to your weekly menu. Most importantly, have fun and keep an open mind.
Beets are related to Swiss chard and spinach. They contain vitamin C, potassium, iron, manganese, and zinc. Beets are vibrant in color from phytonutrients which give them antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and fight cell damage. Several studies now suggest that nitrates found in beets may boost athletic performance. Preparation methods and beet recipes have become more diverse and delicious. Roast beets in the oven, grate for a salad, juice for a smoothie or blend with yogurt for a dip.
Asparagus is a member of the lily family and can be either green, white, or purple. It’s a flavorful, low-calorie vegetable. Asparagus contains vitamins A, C, K, and folate. Its’ antioxidants may have blood pressure lowering or anti-inflammatory effects. Asparagus makes a wonderful addition to salads, omelets, pasta or by itself as a side dish.
Sweet potatoes are an underground tuber and an excellent source of the antioxidant beta carotene which is the precursor to vitamin A. Only 3.5 ounces of this vegetable provides the recommended daily amount of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes also have vitamins C, K, potassium, and fiber. Their potent antioxidants may provide health benefits such as reducing cancer risk and boosting eye health. This vegetable can be enjoyed boiled, baked, steamed, or fried.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable related to kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Despite its’ white color, it is an impressive source of vitamins C, K, and fiber. One cup of cauliflower provides 3 grams of fiber. Cauliflower also contains antioxidants that may have an anti-inflammatory effect which boosts immune health and reduces risks of certain diseases. Most importantly it’s versatile and can be used to replace grains and legumes. Utilize it as a substitute for rice, mashed potatoes, or pizza crust.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. We’re amid an exciting time when preparation methods and recipes continue evolving around these powerhouse vegetables. Enjoy their healthful impact and flavor profiles. Check out our next blog during National Nutrition Month. To start, try this Moroccan Golden Beet Tagine recipe.