During the summer months, it’s easy to get your fruits and veggies every day. It’s rare that you encounter a cookout a devoid of a crisp, colorful salad or a company picnic without a watermelon in sight. But when the snowy months arrive, it’s second nature to forgo fresh produce in favor of starchy or sugary comfort foods.
Just because you may have to wait a few more months for plump, local tomatoes or farm-fresh lettuce doesn’t mean you should give up on a balanced diet. It simply presents an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and embrace what the winter months do offer in the way of produce—root vegetables.
Read: What Fruits and Veggies are in Season?
Even in the dead of winter, you can always count on your grocery store to stock plenty of pretty potatoes, flawless brussels sprouts, and vibrant yams. Although these root veggies tend to be higher in carbohydrates, they also promise immunity-boosting vitamin C, ample amounts of fiber, and other vitamins and minerals your body is craving. So they make for a perfect side to any meal served as snowflakes fall.
Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a chef, roasting vegetables is almost laughably simple. If you know how to chop a potato and turn on your oven, it’s pretty hard to mess this up. Start with a recipe like the following—it actually has the phrase “super easy” in the name, so it’s perfect for beginners. Some adjustments to this recipe were made with your health in mind, including the removal of added salt, the swap of unsweetened dried cranberries for the typically sugary variety and the option of roasted pecans versus candied.
Super Easy Roasted Winter Vegetables
Adapted from Simple Health Kitchen
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- ½ lb. small purple tomatoes (or any baby potato you like), halved
- ½ lb. green beans, trimmed
- 1 medium apple, diced or sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. dried, unsweetened cranberries
- 1 oz. roasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 425℉.
- Combine sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, apple and shallots in a large bowl (or Ziploc bag). Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread vegetables in a single layer on baking sheet, leaving a little room around each vegetable ( you may need 2 baking sheets).
- Bake until vegetables are tender enough to pierce with a fork and have some charred bits on the edges (approximately 25 to 35 minutes). Use a spatula to flip vegetables mid-way through cooking.
- Transfer to serving dish and top with pecans and dried cranberries.
Submitted by Michelle Algeo, Aramark Dietetic Intern with Harrington HealthCare.