If the vegetables on your plate are only in the colors of the rainbow, make room for more neutral shades! According to the Advances in Nutrition supplement article, “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients,” color does not necessarily predict the nutrient content of a vegetable.* In fact, white and neutral-colored veggies like mushrooms, potatoes, cauliflower, onions and turnips are nutrition powerhouses that supply us with many of the essential nutrients we often fall short of such as fiber, potassium and magnesium. Additionally, these veggies may help increase overall vegetable intake among children, teens and adults to achieve the recommended daily vegetable goal of the Dietary Guidelines.
If your plate’s palette needs a splash of white, try these tips …
Chop and sauté baby portabella mushrooms (also called criminis) in a skillet with lean ground turkey or beef for family-favorite meals like lasagna, tacos, chili and meatloaf to bring a hidden serving of vegetables and nutrients to the meal. Adding mushrooms to recipes is also a simple and affordable way to stretch portions.
Use aromatic vegetables like white onions and garlic, plus colorful celery and carrots to build the flavor base for cool weather soups, stews, sauces and casseroles or homemade stock. Beyond contributing deep, rounded flavor to dishes, cooking with aromatic vegetables may also help you use less salt.
Get creative with cauliflower. Simply steam fresh or frozen cauliflower florets until tender, then mash or purée with a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt, light sour cream or Neufchâtel cheese until smooth and creamy. Add flavorful stir-ins like caramelized onions, fresh herbs, reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese or sautéed garlic and chives, like this recipe for Garlic Mashed Cauliflower.
Ready, set, roast! Roasting seasonal root vegetables like turnips and potatoes turns them crisp on the outside, yet moist and tender on the inside. It also intensifies their natural sweetness, resulting in an unbeatable flavor. Serve roasted turnips or potatoes as the side to a weeknight dinner or at your holiday feast!