Travel To Wellness

Must Have Winter Vegetables

Ten years ago, when I volunteered in the kitchen of a 300-seat dining room, I developed enormous respect for the orange-fleshed gems we call pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato. My first few months on-the-job were spent exclusively in the ‘vegetable room’ where I learned to prep these three winter vegetables.

Pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato have since become part of my regular cooking repertoire and are now my true favourites. These three orange-fleshed vegetables are easily accessible at any farmers market or grocery store. So, why wait for a yearly holiday to enjoy their lusciousness?

Honestly, there’s nothing more comforting than coming home after a bone chilling day to the aroma of pumpkin cornbread, just out of the oven. Even something as basic as a bowl of soup, can be transformed into an outstanding first course when sweet potato or butternut squash is the star.

Credit: Thinkstock – fotokris

Ideas on how to prepare pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato

Dress your sweet potato with a little healthy fat, such as a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and increase the amount of beta-carotene your body absorbs.  And, who can resist the crispy skin and tender melt-in-your-mouth flesh of roasted sweet potato fries, hot out of the oven?  These mighty tubers provide the potassium and fibre our bodies desperately need.  The flavour of sweet potatoes can range from sweet and sticky to delicately complex, depending on how your prepare them. 

Here are a few other ideas:

By now, you’ve probably already started to think about many more ways to include pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato in your cooking.

Start with one vegetable at a time and experiment with your favourite dishes, have fun with it and see what transpires.  Like me, you too might be surprised at how well one of these orange-fleshed vegetables enhances the flavour of your dish.  Perhaps, it’s because it adds a richness or creaminess not usually possible without loads of butter, cream or cream fraiche.

I challenge you to incorporate more pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato – aim for once a week.  Drop me a line on how you brought one of these orange-fleshed vegetables to life. 

Eleni Tzotzis is a Toronto-based writer and regular contributor to Travel to Wellness.  


Exit mobile version