• Livia Ly, MS, RD, LDN

In season: January / February

Buy seasonal local foods. The food is grown closer to you so it doesn't spoil on its trip and it's harvested at the peak of its season.

flavor     nutrition     affordable     environment     community

  • Vegetables: beets, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, fennel, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, mushrooms, mustard greens, onions, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, shallots, sprouts, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter greens, winter squash 

  • Fruits:  apples, cranberries, pears


Learn how to add 3 vegetables that are probably not so common in your kitchen... Or are they?

1. Celeriac

Celery root - the actual root of the celery plant

Remarkable nutrition (best when raw): one of the best suppliers of Vitamin K, which is essential for your bone health and proper clotting functions. It is also very rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant and an important nutrient for skin health and immunity. 

Flavor: pungent, intense, and nutty and it has the texture of a potato

How to select: celery ranks very high on the Environmental Working Group’s list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues, and celery root can fall right under that, so make sure you buy organic celeriac. Select smaller specimens, roots that have few ridges or the smoothest skin. Avoid roots with soft spots. If you’re buying celery root that still has leaves attached, look for those that are lively. At home, trim side roots and stalks (which you can use in soups keeping in mind they have a stronger flavor).

How to store: the root should be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

How to cook: before using, peel and soak briefly in water with a little vinegar or lime/lemon juice to prevent cut surfaces from darkening. You can use celery root just like you use potatoes, but celeriac has a low-glycemic load (great for blood sugar control)! Use celeriac in soup and other hot dishes like stews and casseroles or enjoy it raw.

Celeriac Soup Recipe


2. Kohlrabi

Crispy crunchy bulb

Remarkable nutrition (best when raw): excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that is also important for skin health and immunity. Very high in fiber, essential for digestive health and weight maintenance. It’s also considered a good source of glucosinolate, a compound that may ward off cancer.

Flavor: earthy sweetness of cabbage with a bit of the sharp bite and heat of turnips and radishes. 

How to select: most bulbs are a pale green and sold without their leaves attached, but purple varieties are seen at some markets. Look for small bulbs for a sweeter flavor. 

How to store: the root should be wrapped in a perforated bag with a few drops of water inside your fridge.

How to cook: remove all of the fibrous peel to reveal the tender vegetable underneath. Kohlrabi is delicious raw; you may soak and add vinegar/lemon to prevent surfaces from darkening. Cut it into wedges and use it as a snack with a creamy sauce. Kohlrabi also adds crunch to salads or can be chopped and added to soups or stews. This vegetable can be cooked just like carrots and sweet potatoes.

Roasted Kohlrabi


3. Parsnips

Look like white carrots

Remarkable nutrition (best when raw): another great source of vitamin C and K. Parsnip is an excellent source of folate, which is an important nutrient for heart and brain health. This vegetable is also packed with copper, that is important for producing red blood cells and keeping our bones and nerves healthy.

Flavor: larger parsnips can have a woody texture, but smaller roots have a tender texture and sweet flavor

How to select: look for small to medium roots with ivory color and a firm texture. Avoid parsnips that are soft, shriveled, or have blemishes.  How to store: trim off any green tops and refrigerate the roots for up to three weeks.

How to cook: try them roasted, baked, broiled, pureed, mixed into mashed potatoes, and added to stews. If you buy organic parsnips, there is no need to peel them, just scrub them clean. Learn more about avoiding food waste here

Simple parsnip fries 

January 30, 2017

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