Has winter weather got you struggling with meal planning to fit in fruits and veggies? There is no question that the summer months produce tons of fresh produce, but the winter months also bring us plenty of seasonal delights. Unless you regularly shop at your local farmer’s market or live in Europe, it can be easy to think that all fruits and vegetables are in season all year round. For instance, it is not hard to find blueberries right now, but they are usually from far away where it is warmer. And you can taste the difference between summer blueberry and a winter blueberry. Try it! When things are in season, they just taste better!
Here is my quick guide to yummy winter produce to keep your family healthy and happy during the cold months:
- Pomegranates: I love the tart and sweet flavors of pomegranate seeds are both tart and sweet! They are loaded with antioxidants. It can be a little bit of a project to get the seeds out (although my kids love this job), so you can buy them already deseeded. They are the perfect addition in my Simple and Delicious Winter Pear and Arugula Salad. (You’ll see just how much my son loves them in the video!)
- Greens: In the summer, we tend to get a lot of delicate greens in prep for beach-ready bodies. But in the winter, heartier greens grow, like kale, collards and mustard greens. If there is one thing that I recommend adding more of into your diet, it is GREENS! You can sauté them, add them to smoothies, or use them in soups. Use this season to try new greens and flavor combinations!
- Citrus: Want a little taste of summer? Add some sunshine to your diet with citrus! Citrus fruits are their juiciest during the winter and provide Vitamin C, which we all need more of during the winter! It is good for your immunity and skin. Think beyond lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. Try Meyer lemons, pomelos or kumquats for a different citrus twist.
- Beets: Beets come in many different colors, shapes and sizes. I love to serve them roasted or boiled to add a nice natural sweetness to a dish. Add them to your favorite soup, smoothie or wrap. If you are looking for something a little lighter, check out my Liver Detox Juice.
- Fennel: I think fennel is an underappreciated vegetable. The seeds have a distinct licorice flavor, and it can take baked goods to the next level. The fennel bulb has a flavor similar to anise, which is delicious when added to soups or salads.
- Persimmons: A ripe persimmon makes the perfect dessert all on its own. The Hachiya variety, when fully ripened, is very creamy. Unripe persimmons are extremely bitter. Another variety to look for is Fuyus, which is quite crispy. This fruit make a great snack or addition to a salad, maybe ontop of those heart greens!
Don’t forget about winter squashes such as butternut and acorn and, of course, sweet potatoes! You can roast them or use to make grounding soups. Are you noticing the soup theme? Our bodies crave warmth and comfort this time of year, which is an Ayurvedic concept. Adding these whole foods into your diet will help you keep the refined carbohydrates out, which you will regret later.
Need a recipe to get started? Here’s an arugula salad recipe perfect for the winter!
The next time you are in the grocery store, take some time to note at what’s in season. Add something new seasonal to your grocery list!