winter vegetables

The clock has gone back, the evenings are getting dark, and the mornings are hat and scarf worthy. It’s a cosy season, and it’s our favourite time of year for using up some delicious winter vegetables. There’s nothing like a warming soup or a hearty stew to take the chill of nippy November nights. Our veg boxes are full of delicious produce to make meals that will keep your body healthy and happy right through till the Spring sunshine arrives – order yours from The Paddock Farm Shop today!

Here are our top 4 favourite winter vegetables, and ways in which you can get the best out of them!

Carrots

The humble carrot is probably your best friend during the coldest time of year. This king of winter vegetables is one of the best health foods around. It’s packed full of Vitamin A from the beta carotene which helps boost your immune system, Vitamin B6 which helps convert your food into energy, as well as plenty of other vitamins and minerals to kick-start your metabolism, lower blood pressure, and promote bone health.

Carrots are a great filler food; add them to stews for a splash of colour on a dull day, juice them as part of your winter diet, or add them to soups. We particularly love a steaming bowl of carrot and ginger soup to warm the cockles on a cold November day.

Here’s a great low-calorie carrot and ginger soup recipe from Delicious magazine that includes tangy orange and plenty of garlic for that extra healthy punch.

Leeks

Well, we wouldn’t be a proud Welsh company if we didn’t include our national veg in our top winter vegetables list, would we? These bright green, oniony beauties are closely related to garlic, chives, and shallots. They provide a uniquely sweet and mild onion flavour to dishes, and are more versatile than people think!

Leeks are low in calories, full of fibre, and contain no fat at all, so they’re the perfect winter vegetable for staying healthy while staying in. You can have them as a side to main meals with butter, you can add them to soups (because who doesn’t love leek and potato stew with a few rashers of chopped Carn Edward bacon fried into it?), or, our all-time favourite winter dish, use them in Cawl.

Welsh actor Michael Sheen taught Jamie Oliver his Cawl recipe (yes, really!) which uses the traditional cut of meat neck of lamb, plenty of chunky root veg, and piles of sweet and delicious leeks. Blasus!

Parsnips

These winter vegetables are a bit like Marmite – you either love them or you hate them. They’re a close relation to the carrot but are known for being uniquely super sweet and cream in colour.

They’re a more carby vegetable than their relatives but are packed full of antioxidants, which help your body to defend itself against some cancers and chronic health conditions. They’re also a great source of fibre to get things moving if you’re not moving your body as much in the cold.

They can bulk out soups, or are even used coated in parmesan as crisp alternatives, but we love them just as they are, roasted in the oven to have with our Sunday dinner.

The BBC Good Food suggest that a little mistard, along with a drizzle of honey, adds just the right amount of heat in their mouth-watering recipe.

Swedes

Rich in calcium and magnesium, swedes are a vastly underrated vegetable. Sometimes called a rutabaga or Swedish turnip, swedes are a great source of vitamin C. Swedes are classed as a carbohydrate, and are a great winter vegetable alternative to potatoes with your sausage and mash.

Although we like to think that this is a stalwart of Welsh cooking, swedes were actually only introduced to Britain in 1800, when King Gustav of Sweden sent seeds as gifts to British noblemen – hence then name, Swede!

Boiling is the least nutritious way to cook swedes. Why not try something different, such as The Great British Chefs website recipe for Swede, Onion, and Cheese pie?

For more fresh ingredients, why not visit us at The Paddock Farm Shop? Call ahead and book your seasonal veg box, or take a look at our online shop for preserves and chutneys to add to your winter recipes!