Having a balcony garden allows you to have a diverse selection of fresh, local vegetables. This time of year brings with it flavorful vegetables that are perfect for creating recipes that satisfy your craving for comfort food and culinary exploration.
Christmas is just around the corner, so bring flavorful dishes to your table, filled with not only taste but also well-being!
But what are the seasonal vegetables we find in winter?
December is the month to stock up on broccoli, broccolini, cabbages, and cauliflower, but not only these! We've seen that urban cultivation allows us to expand the range of possible vegetables. For more information, read our article "Tips for the winter garden, even in the city."
What are the nutritional benefits of urban gardening?
One factor that significantly affects the nutritional value of vegetables is the time it takes for them to reach the table. Vegetables that arrive in major cities have to travel quite a few kilometers to reach the point of sale, causing a significant decrease in nutrients and freshness.
Having a balcony garden can be a real boon! Cultivating right outside your window provides certainty about the product's origin and allows you to eat various types of vegetables at the height of their beneficial properties. This way, you can enjoy a truly superb taste, rich in nutrients and minerals.
Why eat vegetables in winter?
In addition to the satisfaction of cultivating various types of vegetables even in the coldest months of the year, we must not forget the numerous benefits of their nutrients during these gray and cold months. Winter vegetables practically serve as natural medicine, protecting us from typical winter afflictions such as coughs, colds, and the flu.
But it's not just that; eating a variety of different vegetables helps keep us in shape and healthy!
The large green vegetable family
Directly on the plate
The fiber in vegetables aids digestion and lowers bad cholesterol.
For example, salads are among the vegetables you can eat without limits! The most digestible varieties include Romaine Lettuce, Red Leaf Lettuce, Four Seasons Lettuce, and Arugula. These varieties have high water content, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, which are valuable for your daily requirements. Including raw salads in your diet helps increase the presence of natural enzymes, improving the body's health, resilience, and resistance to chronic diseases and eating disorders (Howell, 1985).
In the pot
Pointed cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and broccoli rabe are winter vegetables known for their anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties. Thanks to their high content of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they promote digestion and proper hydration. Most of us consume only the flowers or leaves of these vegetables, but did you know that the broccoli stems and cabbage hearts are also very good and contain a large amount of antioxidants? If you want to preserve their properties and digestibility to the maximum, steam them. Broccoli, in particular, requires only a few minutes of cooking to preserve their valuable vitamin C, especially the florets!
Winter white vegetables
Among the winter vegetables that can and should be consumed raw is fennel, considered a precious ally for our health. With its fresh but bold taste, it is recommended for detoxifying the body from excess toxins, aids digestion, and even acts as a hormonal regulator in women.
Turning to other winter vegetables that are consumed cooked, we find bulbs like Red Fiascona Onion, green onions, and leeks. These vegetables are considered highly disinfecting, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory, specifically effective against colds. To make the most of the bulbs' properties in the kitchen, finely chop them to facilitate the release of aromatic substances, which occurs with the greatest intensity 5 to 20 minutes after the start of cooking.
The inevitable oranges
Carrots and squash are highly nutritious because they manage to retain carotenoids and vitamin A during cooking. Seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, they promote the assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, F, K) and are an excellent source of antioxidants and minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
The ever-present aromatics
Finally, let's not forget the family of aromatic herbs, also known as medicinal plants, famous for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties. Thanks to their mineral content, aromatic herbs can enhance the savoriness of dishes, helping to reduce salt content.
To fully benefit from aromatic herbs, pick them from the plant shortly before consumption. If the plant has been grown indoors or has not been exposed to particular contaminants, it is highly recommended not to wash them and instead chop or break them to have a complete aromatic bouquet and not lose a single drop of their precious essential oils.
Each vegetable has its function, and each color has its own benefit!
At Hexagro, we want to make healthy food accessible through urban agriculture, giving everyone the opportunity to eat fresh, local, and, above all, nutritious food. Eating the fruits of your garden not only improves your diet but also has a positive impact on your psycho-physical well-being.
Greenery keeps us away from stress and negative thoughts, improves mood, and even boosts creativity! These are just some of the benefits of having a garden in the city, making it clear that its implementation can be a true revolutionary act. Discover Poty, our vertical garden, and bring both taste and health to your table.