I don’t know why it still shocks me when I read that we aren’t eating our vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that most Americans eat less than half the amount of recommended vegetable servings. What gives, people? Vegetables are so awesome! You just have to cook them right.
So here’s my challenge to you: pick one new vegetable to try each week. To get you started, I’ve selected three of my favorite fall vegetables. Not only are they ripe right now and at their most delicious and nutritious, they all keep well and are endlessly versatile. Plus you can get good deals on them if you shop smart. Here are my best tips for cooking these 3 vegetables and how to get the best deal on them at the grocery store.
How to use it: Nothing says “fall” quite like butternut squash or other winter squash. Its creamy texture and sweet flavor is a welcome addition to many dishes. I love to add cubes to soups and stews or roast it along with potatoes and root vegetables for a hearty side dish.
Why it’s good for you: One cup of cooked winter squash is high in both vitamin A (214 percent of the recommended daily value) and vitamin C (33 percent), as well as a good source of vitamins B6 and K, potassium and folate.
How to get a good deal: Save $3.74 per pound when you skip prepeeled, precut squash and do it yourself.
How to use it: Oh, broccoli! Now here’s a vegetable I always have on hand. Not only does it make a super dipper for hummus and light creamy dips, it’s great in scrambled eggs for breakfasts, tossed into a salad for lunch and makes a welcome side dish for dinner.
Why it’s good for you: A nutrient powerhouse, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins C, K and A, as well as folate and fiber. Research suggests that broccoli (and the rest of the cruciferous family) may help prevent some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Plus, broccoli contains a certain pectin fiber called calcium pectate, which may help lower blood cholesterol.
How to get a good deal: Save $2.37 per pound by choosing whole broccoli over bagged florets.
How to use it: Crunchy and versatile, cabbage is more than just the base for your backyard-barbecue coleslaw. It adds texture to a tossed salad, makes a great topping for your taco and, when sauteed with apples and bacon, is the perfect accompaniment to roast pork.
Why it’s good for you: Like most of its Brassica relatives, cabbage is full of health benefits. Rich in vitamin C and fiber, it also supplies isothiocyanates—chemicals that amp up the body’s natural detoxification systems. Studies suggest that cabbage may help fight breast, lung, colon and other types of cancer.
How to get a good deal: Save $3.59 per pound when you buy a whole head instead of preshredded bagged cabbage.