There’s Vitamin C in here? As cold and flu season approaches, it’s good to think about how we can get our gardens growing some of that vitamin C.
Thankfully, vitamin C is found in many different places. And residents of places that are a little chillier than Florida don’t need to worry: it’s not only about the oranges and lemons.
Vegetables That Are High In Vitamin C
In the fall, many of our summer crops are still growing, and this means that we have an opportunity to save some of the summer’s bounty for the winter season. Peppers are an amazing source of vitamin C. If you can puree these, freeze them, and add them to winter foods, all the better. You can also dehydrate them. Oddly enough, those brussels sprouts that grace your Thanksgiving dinner also have a lot of the vitamin, so you can let you children know that they’ll be having brussels sprout smoothies from now on. While you’re making that fall vegetable dinner, you can add some broccoli and cabbage to the mix as well, as they too have good vitamin C levels. Cabbage also stores well in a cool place during the winter months.
Of your fall greens, mustard greens, collard greens, and various sorts of spinach both rank fairly high on the charts for vitamin C content. Depending on your climate, you may be able to grow these outdoors under a cloche for a long time, well into the winter season.
Growing Vitamin C Indoors
Are you thinking of growing some fresh vitamins this winter? If so, turn to your salad bowl for some assistance. Herbs like chives and parsley are packed full of vitamin C, and both herbs grow happily in a sunny window box. If you’re sprouting, kidney bean and radish sprouts have some of the highest levels of vitamin C in the world of sprouts.
Looking for a particularly good punch of vitamin C for your winter salad bowl? Grow microgreens that are tiny versions of some of the vitamin C rich plants above. These baby plants are often even more nutrient-dense than their larger, mature versions. Red cabbage microgreens are particularly good candidates for the vitamin-rich salad bowl.
Unconventional Foods That Contain Vitamin C
Your fall foraging can yield good quantities of vitamin C as well. Collect blackberries or rose hips for jam, and you have stored an abundance of vitamin C as well. Even better, dry them and use them for tea! In the early spring as cold season continues to go strong, many of your local plants may turn out leaves that have an abundance of vitamin C and other nutrients to beat the post-winter blahs. These include broadleaf plantain, stinging nettle, dandelion, and many of the leaves of plants in the rose family. Always check with a local herbalist or wildcrafter before harvesting these wild foods, to ensure that you’ve made a correct identification and the plants are safe to eat.