Christine Sprehe, MS, RD, LD
Army Residence Community, San Antonio, Texas
We all know that pumpkins are in season during the fall, but what other vegetables are? Many of the root vegetables (such as beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and shallots) as well as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnips, and watercress) are highly available during this time of the year. Root vegetables are the root of the plant and grow underground. Sometimes the tops of the plants can be eaten as well. As seedlings, root vegetables can be sown into the ground around early spring time and be harvested year round. Because the main flesh of the vegetable is underground, the nutrients it contains comes directly from the soil it’s grown in. Root vegetables tend to be high in fiber, vitamin A, B vitamins, and vitamin C. They also can be high in antioxidants. Beets have a rich color which indicates that it is high in antioxidants. This color is also being used as a natural color agent in food and cosmetics versus dye. Root vegetables can be eaten in different ways including raw, steamed, sautéed, baked, or fried. If you decide to go to the store and buy some for yourself, remember to look for fresh leaves on top (if still attached), blemish-free skin, and make sure that the vegetable is still firm. Root vegetables should be stored in a dark, cool, humid space.
As we journey into the fall season, remember to try some of the seasonal vegetables and expand your taste buds!