Nine Herbs and Veggies That You Should Be Growing This Winter

Brussels Sprouts on Stalk
Photo: Getty/Westend61

When the first frost of the year strikes, many amateur growers retreat indoors and call it a season. However, they're missing out on some of winter's tastiest veggies and herbs. These are the kind of vegetables that make up the most delicious of creamy soups and pack the heartiest of comfort foods with rich and nutritious goodness.

We tapped herbalist, yogi, and resident food taster, Ezza Valdez, VP-Business Programming for the Alchemist Kitchen to share nine vegetables that grow well during the colder months. Growers, don't pocket away your green thumbs just yet, the growing season isn't over.

01 of 09

Oregano

High angle of oregano plant leaves
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Oregano is native to the Mediterranean but is vastly popular and grown throughout the northern hemisphere. It's hardy during the chilly months and adds plenty of flavor to your winter dishes. For those who don't want to trek outdoors to their makeshift greenhouses, oregano can be grown right by your kitchen sink.

02 of 09

Sage

Close-up of Sage Growing in a Garden
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Sage is a soft greenish-gray perennial plant that can be grown during the winter as well. While sage comes in dry, frozen, or fresh from the plant, winter growers can cultivate their own in the comforts of their own kitchen as flurries fly outdoors.

03 of 09

Chives

Chives on a Windowsill
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Chives are robust perennials that make an herby topping for baked potatoes while also giving a fresh spin to winter soups and chilies. In the Gulf South, plant your chives in the autumn for winter picking. Elsewhere they can be grown indoors in their own containers.

04 of 09

Mint

Green Peppermint Plant
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Mint, a popular herb that can be used in a variety of cocktails, desserts, and main dishes. Like the herbs above, mint can easily be harvested indoors so you're never more a pinch away from fresh, mint-infused recipes.

05 of 09

Thyme

Thyme Leaves on Plant
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By growing fresh thyme, you can use the herb to top dishes or make your own thyme butter to baste over seasonal pork and chicken dinners as the temperatures dip. Thyme is hardy and remains green throughout the winter, but can also be dried or conserved inside oil for savory blends.

For winter plant growing, Valdez recommends investing in tools such as a pop-up plant protector or floating fabric meant to cover plants for cold nights and frosty mornings. This way, growers can assure their efforts will flourish (and not freeze).

06 of 09

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts on Stalk
Getty/Westend61

Although it may come as a surprise, Valdez shares that winter is actually an ideal time to harvest sweeter produce. "[These] plants survive winter due to a high sugar content, lowering the freezing temperature and allowing the plants to survive," she explains.

This holds true with Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are an ideal winter veggie to plant as they can be cooked in sweeter dishes or even pickled inside Mason jars.

07 of 09

Kale

Curly Kale Leaf
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Kale works well blended inside your green smoothie or used as a key ingredient inside hearty bowlfuls like our Sausage, Lentil, and Kale Soup. When growing winter crops, Valdez recommends growers become "one-with nature," urging growers to keep an eye on the forecast. "An incoming cold front means protecting your crop with ground covers like mulch or tunnel covers."

08 of 09

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard Stalks
Getty/Krit of Studio OMG

Swiss chard may look large and intimidating, but this leafy green is truly a green goddess. Known to be a winter crop, it goes well inside of omelets, baked pasta, and even lightly season and served on the side.

Valdez shares that by growing your own veggies during the winter months you'll reap the benefits of eating fresh ingredients that have maximum flavor as well as leftover crops to share with friends and family.

09 of 09

Carrots

Carrots on Kitchen Towel
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Growing up, you might have heard that carrots help you see better, but did you know they're also full of fiber, which is good for bone health as well as rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene? Lucky for us, carrots grow well in the cold months. To cook simply, Skillet-Roasted Carrots are a perfect winter side dish.

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