Crisp air, warm blankets, and rich hot drinks… The winter season has some wonderful perks, but fresh produce is usually not one of them. Colder climates can make finding and eating locally grown items more difficult. However, that is not always the case! Don’t stock up on potatoes and onions all season, because plenty of varieties of produce are in their prime during winter.
An online search or a trip to your local farmer’s market will help educate you on which fruits and vegetables to buy.
In the meantime, here are 5 of the most vitamin-rich foods to buy during the winter months.
Brussels sprouts: These delicious mini cabbages are rich in antioxidants and add a great flavor and texture to any meal. Just cut them in half, add some olive oil and seasoning, and throw them in the oven to roast until they’re crispy brown. September through February is their peak season and they’re easy to find at local farmer’s markets! Here’s a great recipe to get you started.
Squash: Almost all varieties of squash are in season during the winter! Squash is loaded with vitamin A and their versatility makes them great in casseroles, soups, pies and other dishes! Have your pick of acorn, butternut, delicata and kabocha anytime during their peak months of September through early March. This soup recipe is sure to keep you warm all season long.
Clementines: These sweet little oranges are the perfect tangy snack. They’re seedless, easy to peel and fit almost anywhere! Not to mention they have a good dose of vitamin C and other nutrients. Although clementines grow in warmer climates, local farmer’s markets will still receive shipments from farmers in those regions. Add the delicious citrus flavor to a salad or cake during their peak months of December through February. This citrus cake recipe will have you thinking it’s summer again.
Beets: The sweet earthy flavor of beets make a great addition to salads, sandwiches and risotto. They also contain potassium, folate, and antioxidants called betalains, which can help fight degenerative diseases. Beets are easy to cook and add texture and color to any meal. Buy them in their peak between September and December. Check out this flavorful and delicious beet salad recipe.
Pomegranate: This bright colored superfood is a great source of fiber and is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that help with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Extracting it’s seeds can be tricky, but for an easier approach, add a splash of it’s juice to a drink or dessert mixture. The best time to buy them is between October and January. Try this recipe for fresh pomegranate juice.
Eat more sustainably and find the most flavor and value this winter. While at your local farmer’s market, look for the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Specific crops and harvest dates will depend on your region’s climate, and many items will only be available in regions that enjoy a more temperate climate.