Healthy Cooking Thursday – Winter Produce Choices

By Chef Lisa
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At this time of year, with the snow piled high and the temperatures just barely starting to rise into the thirties again (balmy!), it can be hard foraging in your grocery store's produce section.  Eating seasonally becomes tricky mid-winter if you are focused on healthy eating and trying to get all your fruits and veggies in.  Luckily, there are quite a few go-to choices to keep in mind as you shop. 

Right now, the following should be nearing peak season in various parts of the world that deliver to American supermarkets:

  • asparagus
  • avocados
  • beets
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • chard
  • citrus fruits
  • collard greens
  • endive
  • fennel
  • green peas
  • guava
  • kale
  • kiwi
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuces
  • Medjool dates
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • parsnips
  • passionfruit
  • potatoes
  • radishes
  • rapini
  • rutabega
  • scallions
  • spinach
  • strawberries
  • turnips

Winter squash continues to be delicious at this point in the year, as it stores very well for a long time.  Conversely, I tend to avoid apples at this time of year, because they're often mealy from long term storage.  Also, some of the softer fruit from the southern hemisphere usually doesn't fare well in the long travel to my store (i.e. plums, nectarines).  Don't forget the other sections of your grocery store; look for dried, canned, and frozen fruits and veggies to round out your fresh offerings.  And if anything in the list above is unfamiliar to you, please feel free to ask me what the heck you can do with this produce. 

At other times of the year, you can consult this seasonality calendar to see what is at its peak.  For a more specific guideline of what is locally in season for you, check out this great resource from the National Resources Defense Council.

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