A Guide To Cooking With The Best Winter Produce


You might associate the winter months with insane amounts of potatoes and onions, but there is actually a wider selection of healthy fruits and vegetables available. With a little prep, you can take advantage of the season’s freshest produce, allowing you and your family to indulge in highly nutritious and ridiculously delicious meals all winter long.

Look out for these fruits and veggies on your next grocery shopping trip:

Packed with vitamin C and healthy flavonoids, these citrus fruits will cheer you up during the dark and dreary winter days. Grapefruits, kumquats, blood oranges, lemons, limes and clementines are also available in the winter for your fruit fix. Peel away and eat along with your morning coffee, enjoy as a midday snack or try one of these healthy citrus recipes from Greatist.

This super-nutrient fruit is still in peak season at the beginning of the year, so keep sprinkling its bright seeds on salads and indulging in refreshing glasses of pomegranate juice. Avoid the bitter skin, as you’ll find the juicy, sweet flavor in the pulp and seeds. You can use them in several recipes, such as salsas and salads. Combine them with seasonal citrus in this Pomegranate-Orange Salsa from MyRecipes, which tastes delicious with whole grain tortilla chips or blackened seafood.

With a reddish-purple hue, bulbous shape and gelatin texture when cooked, this vegetable rarely wins the popularity contest. Beets are actually super delicious, and packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nitrates that can help regulate blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, improve focus and fight against chronic disease, according to Health.com. Instead of shying away from this veggie, get the family excited about its vibrant color and roast them other vegetables for a healthy side dish.

Brussels sprouts
This veggie is another one that often has kids scrunching their noses and turning away in disgust. Their peak season is from September to February, so it could be worthwhile to give the Brussels another chance when they taste their best. Try to pick the smaller heads as they’ll be sweeter in taste. Plus, you can roast them with garlic and bacon, then top with Parmesan cheese to increase the chances of your family trying—and enjoying—Brussels sprouts. For a vegetarian option, simply coat them with brown sugar and sage, then sautée or roast until brown and crispy.

This classic veggie does in fact keep your eyes healthy, and stays fresh in your fridge for several weeks. They’re perfect for making soups and purees, or enjoying as a snack with hummus. Similar in look and texture, parsnips are also a nutritional winter favorite. Roast these up with orange, purple, red and yellow carrots for a vibrant vegetable dish.

Winter squash
You’ll see seasonal squash variations in grocery stores and at farmers markets until early March. Fortunately, these tasty vegetables have the right fibers, folates, vitamins and antioxidants to also classify them as healthy. Butternut squash is likely the most popular winter strain, which you can simply roast or use a spiralizer to make a healthier alternative to traditional spaghetti. Get your gourd on with these winter squash recipes from Delish, serving up everything from soup to chili.

No need to fear: You can still enjoy fresh, crispy greens during the colder months. More specifically, cabbage, kale, collard greens and escarole shine during the winter. Throw all these greens, plus seasonal beets, pomegranates and turnips, in this Crunchy Winter Vegetable Salad from Bon Appetit, perfect for a quick dinner or for prepping midweek lunches.

Once you have all your ingredients, these recipes for winter produce from Food and Wine will inspire you to make all kinds of fulfilling, healthy meals. Double the recipes so you have leftovers for lunches at work and school during the week, and pack them in portion control containers so they’ll be ready to grab and go in the morning. When you make your way through those recipes, Cooking Light will keep you going with their collection of winter fruit and vegetable meal ideas. Enjoy!


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