Are you tired of the cold? Ready for some warm sunshine?
Many of us are struggling with cold, ice, and snow. Winter weather can be harsh.
Let’s cheer ourselves up and pile our plates high with some winter produce!
What is in season now and brings back memories of favorite foods that we love to eat during the winter?
In Season Varieties
My favorite winter fruit — red grapefruit — tops my winter produce list, but there are many more great fruits that are at their peak in the winter.
In season winter produce includes seedless Clementine tangerines as well as other citrus, pomegranates, kiwis, kumquats, pears and persimmons.
These persimmons grow in my garden!
Vegetables also shine in the winter including cabbage, Brussel sprouts, winter squashes like acorn and butternut, turnips and rutabagas, beets, Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, cauliflower, kohlrabi and a variety of greens like spinach and kale.
Yep, this kale is from my garden too!
Don’t forget about horseradish and a variety of herbs we can use to spice up winter soups and crockpot meals.
Nutritional Benefits of Winter Goodies
Winter produce aren’t just refreshing, they are also nutritious!
Citrus fruits during the winter seem to call out to our hearts of the coming summer sunshine. It’s as if they are trying to give our winter doldrums a pick me up! They are also packed with a nutritious punch of vitamin C and A, fiber, potassium, calcium, water, and folate. I love the squirt of sweet refreshment citrus fruits bring to my day!
Fruits of winter are good sources of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium, just like their vegetable counterparts. They can be used raw as a snack, dessert, or part of the meal, as well as cooked as ingredients in other foods.
Pomegranates, whether in juice or eaten raw, give us heart healthy benefits with their antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamin C, and iron.
Dark green vegetables that are abundant during the winter such as kale, spinach, and Brussel sprouts are good sources of vitamins A and C, manganese, fiber, folate, vitamin K, and potassium. The best part is that these vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates. They lend themselves very well to many different kinds of great dishes that will keep the variety on your plate all winter long.
While it is true that most produce is available to us year-round being transported around the globe as well as packaged in our frozen food aisles or even into a can, fresh produce in season offers nutritional and financial advantages for us most of the time.
Winter in-season produce can also evoke memories of warm family meals that feature particular produce items such as squash casserole, vegetable soup, or tangerines at snack time!
Nutrition, refreshment, sunshine, and affordable when in-season – how can you resist?
Have you tried jicama? It is a great root vegetable in-season between autumn and spring, as it is one of our winter produce items.
It is very nutritious and a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. Jicama is a high fiber vegetable too. I have given you an easy recipe using jicama that you will like and guaranteed to get you eating more jicama this season.
Jicama is probably a veggie you aren’t eating but would love it when you try it! It is crunchy like an apple and easy to use.
There are many ways to add jicama to your plate, including cutting it into matchstick pieces and adding it to a tossed salad. You can also use the sticks with a dip like you would a carrot stick. You can cut it up and add it to your favorite stir fry meal.
Try making your own salsa by adding diced jicama for added freshness.
It has a thicker skin, so you will need to peel it with a knife. You can then slice it and bake into chips or pan fry into French fries as a nutritious substitute for potatoes.
My favorite way to eat jicama is in a chopped salad due to its crunch! Here’s the recipe I love.
How do you eat jicama?
- 1 jicama, peeled, julienne into matchsticks
- 1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
- Wash hands and preparation surfaces.
- Rinse all produce in cold water.
- Peel jicama and julienne. Slice all remaining vegetables.
- Mix vegetables together well in a large mixing bowl.
- Toss cut vegetables with vinaigrette until mixed well.
- Chill before serving.
- Store in an airtight container under refrigeration.
- Add other raw vegetables as desired to further enhance the nutrition.
- Recommend making your own vinaigrette using extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, ground pepper blended well.
- If prefer a creamy slaw, use an avocado aioli made with fresh avocado, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic blended together to a smooth consistency.