Not many talk about the winter time as being the best time for produce but there is some delicious fruits and veggies that thrive in the colder months. They tend to be stronger, sturdier foods that are able to handle harsh conditions and lower temperatures. We think you will be surprised with how many different kinds are in season right now and how with proper planning you can make a tasty, seasonal and healthy meal plan.
1. Cruciferous vegetables
Green and purple cabbage, napa cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts
Everyone knows broccoli but what about Brussels sprouts or cabbage? One of our favorite meal prep ideas is making a large cabbage slaw. Cabbage is resistant to wilting and only gets better with time.
2. Root vegetables
Beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas and turnips
Lettuce turnip the beet with these root vegetables! Probably the least sought out vegetables but ones that are amazing to add to dishes for texture or color. Add parsnips to stews for a sweet potato flavor and texture with fewer carbs or roast some beets and add to a salad. Also, if you have never had carrots that are just picked, you need to try one! They are the sweetest and most delicious ever. It will ruin all carrots from the store forever.
Shallots, onions and garlic
If you want to add great flavor to any dish, onions and garlic are probably your best bet! Or you can start with a shallot which is the combination of the two.
4. Super greens
Swiss chard, kale and collard greens.
Greens are of the most nutritious vegetables to add to your diet. Very low calorie but packed with nutrition. Though compared to other greens like spinach and arugula, these winter greens are hearty. They can even replace tortillas to make wraps!
Note: You will notice there are fewer fruits in season during the winter season as compared to vegetables but the ones that are in season are so tasty as compared to when they are stocked year round.
1. Millenial’s favorite fruit
Who doesn’t love avocado? This fruit is low in sugar, packed with healthy fats and we hear people love it on toast. Stock up this winter. You can even freeze them to add to smoothies.
Recipes to enjoy: Avocado Banana Green Smoothie by Minimalist Baker and Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich by Big Flavors Tiny Kitchen
2. Grab and go favorites
Apples are not just for pies. Apples and pears are best in season and are so crisp and sweet. If you live in areas near orchards, we think apple picking is also super fun.
Recipes to enjoy: Pomegranate and Pear Green Salad by Cookie and Kate and Apple Pie Protein Shake by Macrobalanced
3. Tropical fruits
If you love a good, sweaty workout, tropical fruits are for you. Bananas and kiwi are both high sources of potassium — an important electrolyte for those who are active.
Lemons, oranges and limes
Citrus foods bring so much flavor and brightness to a dish. They help balance flavors and give a nice acidity. We love adding lemon to water or sauces! Limes are also great in other dishes besides margaritas.
The Starchy Vegetables
Sweet potatoes, yams, white and golden potatoes
Potatoes with the skin on are an awesome source of carbohydrates that can replace bread or rice. The skin provides amazing fiber and potatoes are easy to digest for most people. Add them to a salad or with your favorite proteins.
2. Winter squash
Delicata, pumpkin, kabocha, spaghetti and butternut
Winter squash that is in-season is so tasty and sweet, it can almost be candy! The buttery texture is also so comforting which is why you may see it paired with pasta or subbed for vegan macaroni and cheese.
As you can see, there are some pretty great sources of veggies, fruits and starches for you to build a meal plan around. As always, we encourage you to see what is produced at the moment (and locally) to support your friendly farmers.