Especially during the holiday season, it’s easy to forget to eat your vegetables. With so many sweet treats around, eating healthy just doesn’t feel right! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to include veggies in your diet this winter while still satisfying that sweet tooth. From carrot cake to zucchini bread to sweet potato pie, there are a ton of dessert recipes that call for a variety of winter vegetables. This year, treat yourself right while still treating yourself by baking with these veggies. Check out this list of 10 vegetables you should bake with this winter!
1. Butternut Squash
While butternut squash is in season during the fall months, they store so nicely that they’re available all year long, including winter. What’s better? This winter veggie is super high in nutrients like vitamins A and C, and potassium. It’s also low in calories and rich in antioxidants. There are a variety of ways to incorporate butternut squash into your baking this winter. From roasting it in the oven for salads to baking it into a dessert, once baked, butternut squash yields a sweet and rich flavor that presents a beautiful orange hue. Butternut squash pie is just one great way to bake with this winter squash. Offer your loved ones a little variety this winter and opt for butternut squash instead of pumpkin the next time you warm up the kitchen with a homemade cake or pie!
Carrot cake anyone? This weight-loss-friendly vegetable is just what your oven, and your belly, needs this winter! Carrots are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin K1. One of the best ways to bake with this winter veggies this season is to use it in a spiced cake. If you’re looking for something a little healthier, mix up a batch of blueberry carrot muffins. No matter how you bake with carrots, they should definitely be a staple in your kitchen this winter!
3. Sweet Potato
This one is a no-brainer. Not only do sweet potatoes offer up a sweet flavor and smooth texture, but they’re also a great source of iron, calcium, and B vitamins. They also carry vitamin C! Rather than your classic candied sweet potatoes, mash up a few of these delicious winter veggies and top them with a crumb topping before baking it all in the oven. Not only is this a healthier option, but it’s a great way to switch up traditional crisp recipes this winter!
Cauliflower is super trendy right now! Not only is it great as a rice-substitute, but it’s also excellent for baking! It’s high in fiber, which helps with weight-loss and digestion. It is also considered to be a cancer-fighting food. This winter, include it in your favorite dishes. From pizza crust to tots to lemon vanilla cake, there are so many recipes that cauliflower can be used in. The earthy flavors of this winter veg pair nicely with almost anything. Just be sure to make enough to share!
This root veggie is a cross between turnips and cabbage. Since they grow best in cold weather, they are perfect for winter baking! Low in calories and high in antioxidants, rutabaga also contains tons of potassium and may also help with weight loss. This vegetable can be used in baking in a variety of ways. From rutabaga french fries to pies to basic roasted rutabaga, it makes for a great base in both sweet and savory recipes. This winter, make rutabaga your go-to veggie and use the mild flavors it offers to your advantage by pairing it with strong flavors.
Most of us associate beets with salads. While they definitely are a great addition to a green salad, beets can also be used in both savory and sweet baking. From fudgy dark chocolate beet brownies to a decadent and rich beet cake to simple oven-roasted beets, this sweet vegetable does not lack in flavor or color! Not only are they great for baking, but they’re also full of nutrients. High in vitamin C and fiber, they fit nicely into a balanced diet. Win-win!
Turnips, while subtle in flavor, are a sweet root vegetable that is incredibly nutritious. They are full of vitamins like K, A, E, C, as well as several B vitamins. They also serve up iron, calcium, and potassium. When it comes to baking, turnips are great in spiced cakes but are also great as a basic turnip bake side dish. The best part? Turnips grow best in cooler climates making them a great winter vegetable to bake with all season long!
8. White Russet Potatoes
Not only do these vegetables have no fat, sodium, or cholesterol, they have more potassium than a banana and bake into bread just as well! While baked potatoes are certainly one way to bake with them this winter, potato bread is a warm and wholesome option. With mild flavors, white potatoes work nicely in basic bread recipes, leaving room for fruity preserves and nut butters. Yum!
This one is an obvious choice when it comes to winter baking! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cake, and everything in between, pumpkins are one of the most versatile winter vegetables when it comes to baking! They are also highly nutritious and packed with vitamin A as well as antioxidants. Aside from their delicious flavor, they bring a beautiful color to anything they are baked in! Orange you glad pumpkins are on this list?
Technically a fruit, this beautiful green food has to be on the list. High in antioxidants, zucchini can improve heart health, reduce blood sugar, aid in weight loss, and is super easy to add to your diet. When raw, zucchini can be a little bitter. However, once baked, it yields a sweeter flavor such as in zucchini bread. For savory baking, bake up some sliced zucchini topped with salt and pepper for a healthier take on french fries. Or, use them as a lasagna base and top them with marinara sauce, cheese, and beef before popping them in the oven. Whether they’re a fruit or vegetable, this green food should definitely be used in your baking this winter!