Just a little while back it was still sunny and warm outside, and all of a sudden it’s freezing and we all want to stay home with our blankets and warm drinks. One good thing about winter is the abundance of fresh and crunchy green vegetables, which are packed with vitamins and nutrients. Some of the most common winter vegetables that are easy to prepare and taste nicer this season round include broccoli, kale and spinach.
Broccoli is a vegetable that is popularly loved. Apart from its enjoyable taste, it has a lot of benefits like lowering cholesterol levels; detoxing the body and lessening the impact of allergy related substances in our bodies. It’s also a great source to help combat vitamin D deficiency. When cooking it, remember first to separate the stems from the broccoli florets because the stems usually take longer to cook. Make sure not to overcook it because the more soft and mushy it becomes, the more nutrients and flavor it loses. You can blanch, steam, sauté, or roast broccoli. When blanching it, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and add a pinch of salt. Then add the florets to the boiling water for a minute. Prepare an ice cold bowl of water next to the stove and remove the boiling broccoli, plunging it into the ice cold water. Repeat the same for the stems but keep them in the boiling water for 2 minutes. When steaming it, you can either use the microwave or the stovetop. When microwaving it, put in a dish with water and cook on high for 4 minutes then remove. When cooking it on the stovetop, fill a pot with 2-3 inches of water and place the florets and stems in a sieve on top, making sure it doesn’t touch the water. Let the water simmer over medium-high heat and let the broccoli cook for 4-5 minutes until tender.
Kale is a very healthy and newly explored leaf. It can help with lowering cholesterol level as well as lowering risks of getting cancer and it helps with detoxing the body. Believe us; you will want to include kale in all your food from here on. The great thing about kale too is that it gets sweeter as the weather gets colder. Avoid washing kale until just before use. One of the ways to cook kale is to blanch it, since blanching it reduces bitterness and softens the greens. Another tasty way is to cook up kale chips in the oven. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a pan in the oven and check until turning brown then turn on the other side. Once done, take them out and sprinkle salt all over.
Spinach is a very nutritious and healthy vegetable. Bright and vibrant looking spinach leaves are not only more appealing to the eyes, but they are richer with nutrients and more nourishing than pale looking ones. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C. For a yummy and light side dish, try sautéing spinach. Add oil to a deep pan and heat it, add garlic and allow sitting until garlic turns golden. Cover the pan and leave to cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and turn the leaves to re-coat once again. Cover it once more and leave for a minute to cook. Once the leaves look wilted, uncover the pan and remove from the heat and drain the pan from any moisture. Add olive oil and salt according to taste.