For those of us not lucky enough to live in Florida or California, a winter diet may seem pretty bland. After all, you can only eat so much winter squash, right?

In reality, winter offers just as many choices as the warmer months. Some things we think of as seasonings are quite tasty as side dishes, while other winter vegetables have simply fallen out of favor as summer produce has become available year round. If you’re not eating these winter veggies, you should:

Beets  describe the image

If you’ve only had them pickled or out of a can, reserve judgment.  Beets are quite versatile, with an earthy sweet taste and beautiful color.  They’re high in potassium and vitamin C, and might even fight cancer– one of the pigments which gives them their color actually has anti-cancer properties.

Celery and celeriac describe the image

Yes, celery is good for something besides scooping up peanut butter.  Celery is high in B vitamins, vitamins K, C, and other antioxidants, and is good steamed as a side dish. Its cousin, celeriac or celery root, packs the same nutritional punch and also shows some cancer-fighting power.

Leeks  describe the image

Leeks help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of blood clots. Plus they taste great, combining the flavor of onions and garlic in one mild, buttery package.

Kale   describe the image

Kale is high in protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and folate.  It contains omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s a good choice for those avoiding fish. It’s also one of the few greens that’s in season during the cold months.

Brussels sprouts  describe the image

Brussels sprouts are a nutritional powerhouse.  They’re rich in trace minerals and provide over 140% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins K and C.  They’re high in vitamin A, and may help lower cholesterol.  They also provide a complete protein when paired with whole grains.

So stop buying flavorless tomatoes and explore the produce aisle with a sense of adventure. Winter doesn’t have to be boring.