Winter Produce Guide
Fresh fruits and vegetables are not just for the warm weathered months! January is time to get back into our wellness routines and although we love summer produce and our fall farmers market haul, the winter months provide their own unique collection of fruits and vegetables to be enjoyed during the cold days of winter. Here are fifteen winter fruits and vegetables to enjoy this season.
#1 Brussel Sprouts
Although Brussel sprouts can be purchased individually, the best Brussel sprouts are straight off the stalk. If Brussel sprout stalks are not available to you, then look for Brussel sprouts that are bright green, compact and firm.
Carrots are a delicious root vegetable that can brighten up any winter dish like hearty soups and stews. Enjoy them on their own with your favorite dipping sauce or hummus, a top your lunchtime salad, in a savory soup or baked in a breakfast muffin.
When choosing clementines, look for fruit that is uniform in color with a shiny skin and no blemishes or wrinkles. They should feel soft to the touch. Although clementines can last 2-3 days when stored at room temperature, it’s best to place them in the refrigerator if you don’t plan on using them within that time frame.
#4 Collard Greens
Collard greens are a member of the cabbage family and grow as a loose bouquet instead of a tight head like cabbage plants. Traditionally slow cooked with proteins like pork, collard greens can be prepared just like its cabbage counterpart.
Fun Fact: In traditional ancient diets, a bowl of dates was offered at the table during each meal as a sign of hospitality from the host to his or her guests. In many cultures, this custom is still observed today. If you are feeling festive this winter season and hosting family, friends or neighbors, place a bowl of dates at your dinner table and see if guests know the history behind this sweet treat. Need a snack? Slather a spoonful of your favorite nut or seed butter on a date and enjoy a bite sized treat that is both sweet and savory.
#6 Delicata Squash
Delicata Squash have the unique ability to hold their shape while they cook making them an excellent choice for stuffings. You can also enjoy them on their own with a sprinkle of your favorite seasonings.
Grapefruits make for a filling snack or meal, so if you have a busy schedule with no time to cook breakfast, make a bowl of oatmeal with a side of fresh grapefruit before you begin your day.
Enjoy a handful of kale raw in smoothies or salads or saute it and enjoy it on its own as a side or add it to a bowl of soup. A small squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of salt add a burst of fresh flavor to this dark leafy green as well.
Fact: Did you know moringa is more nutritious than kale.
Leeks are a member of the onion family, but have a more subtle and sweet taste when compared to an onion. Leeks can be eaten raw or cooked, but the green tops are usually not eaten. This winter, cozy up with a bowl of homemade winter vegetable soup made with fresh leeks.
Pears are a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed on the go, just like clementines and oranges. When picking out the perfect pear, check the neck of the stem by gentling pressing it with your thumb. When the neck of the pear yields to the pressure of your thumb it’s ripe and ready to eat.
Persimmons can be peeled and enjoyed on their own or they can be added to cakes, cookies, puddings, salads or smoothie bowls. Originally from Asia, persimmons even have their own festival each year in India.
When picking a pomegranate, pick one that is heavy in weight as it will most likely be ripe and ready to eat right away. Although many people enjoy the seeds of the pomegranate fruit, the yellow flesh between the seeds is also edible. Add a spoonful of pomegranate seeds to your winter salad for a bright pop of color.
Red currants are commonly used for making jams, jellies and even wines. Red currants also make a great addition to sauces and fruit pies.
#14 Sweet Potatoes
Tangerines make for a great snack, but they can also be enjoyed on top of fresh salads or in cakes, frostings and puddings.
Tip: If fresh winter produce is hard to come by in your region, consider getting in more daily greens with moringa.
Enjoy all of the bounties the winter season has to offer and be sure to show us your winter winners @kulikulifoods