Winter veg time is here! – Grech & Borg

Winter has well and truely hit and although Australia’s climate means a lot of vegetables are available year round, some do struggle through winter whereas others strive, here’s what you need to know.

Colder climates mean veges that grow underground are going to do well as they are insulated from frost and the cool temperatures that suspend growth. Those include but are not limited to beets, turnips, onions, radishes and potatoes.

Some veggies however don’t need to hide from the cold temps and they will happily grow as long as they are maintained and kept relatively dry. This includes spinaches and all the above ground onion related veggies including leeks, however excluding chives. As soon as chives see frost they will really struggle and probably be extremely scarce in the markets during and after the coldest snap of winter.

There are a family of above ground brassicas that prefer winter too. They consist of cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and broad beans. Most of these guys are happy to be in moist climates but will slow down or possibly die if there are extended periods of frost.

This is here to encourage seasonal use of vegetables because using the right veg at the right time of year can make all the difference. Although beetroot is fantastic and can still be found in summer, you will be eating a richer and more nutrient dense version of it in winter at possibly a lower rate. When it comes to vegetables in winter, it is about those Sunday roasted root veggies and seasoned soups to get you through a cold.

So what do you do when that recipe you really wanted to try calls for something that is $8 and there is one wilted in the corner of the fruit store?  Pick a new recipe and think seasonally! There are a plethora of seasonal cookbooks out there and even more available at the click of a button. You will truely be doing yourself and whom ever you cook for a favour if you shift your diet as the seasons change and we all start to complain about the cold again.