You might think you’re out of luck when it comes to buying fresh fruits and vegetables this winter, especially if you frequent the farmers market during the spring and summer. But just because the weather is cooler and you’re confined to the grocery store doesn’t mean you have to give up fresh meal preparation ingredients. With these tips and tricks, you and your family can continue your healthy eating habits without sacrificing the freshness of your produce. “Plenty of fruits and veggies are in season during the fall and winter.”
Find out what’s in season
Believe it or not, plenty of fruits and veggies are in season during the fall and winter, so the healthiness and deliciousness of your meals don’t have to suffer. According to Gaiam’s Life blog, a variety of fruits and vegetables are harvested during the cooler months, like squash, apples, endive, garlic, grapes, figs, mushrooms, citrus, kale, radishes, turnips and leeks. Even sweet peas, corn, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and green beans can be found in certain areas. To check what’s in season in your region, visit LocalHarvest.org.
If you find a great assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables at your grocery store one day, you can easily stock up on the ones that can be frozen and continue to use them in your cooking for weeks to come. Separate what you’ll use immediately, then freeze the extras as soon as you get home. You might want to cook certain vegetables before you freeze them. Storing them in sealable containers can help you portion out servings and stay organized. Frozen produce is often just as fresh.
Go frozen in the first place
If you’re having trouble finding fresh, in-season produce, there’s nothing wrong with buying packaged frozen fruits and vegetables. Many frozen foods are flash frozen right after they’re harvested, which preserves their nutrients and keeps them at peak freshness. Plus, frozen produce is convenient and often less expensive than their fresh counterparts, whether it’s in season or not.