Winter is peak season for hearty greens, citrus fruits and more. Keeping a wide variety of fresh flavors, textures and colors in your diet all year long helps to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs while avoiding the dreaded “recipe rut.” Eating seasonally can also mean savings at the checkout counter. Follow this handy winter produce guide to keep plant-based meals on your menu in even the chilliest months.
Brimming with fiber, iron and more vitamins than you can shake a fork at, kale is a great produce staple to keep on hand in winter. Thick and hearty, it boasts a longer fridge-shelf life than many other leafy greens. Kale comes in three major varieties: Curly, the most commonly available type; Black, also known as Tuscan or Dinosaur Kale; and Red, so named for its vibrant reddish purple stems. All three are excellent served chopped in salad, sautéed with garlic, or blended into smoothies. Or gently brush leaves with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast at 275 degrees until crisp for an addictive “chip” that’s great for snacking.
Oranges, Lemons and Red Grapefruits
This trifecta of popular citrus is in peak season between January and February. Famously good for warding off winter illness, thanks to loads of Vitamin C, these colorful fruits are also rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Citrus zest and juice are a great way to add brightness and zing to marinades, sauces, and dressings. Bonus: Putting a small slice of citrus rind into your garbage disposal can help to eliminate unpleasant food odors.
Forget the boiled version your grandma might have made: Brussels Sprouts are a delicious, hearty winter veg full of flavor and nutrients. Delicious roasted, cooked in hash, or even deep fried, Brussels Sprouts are endlessly versatile. Try adding them to your breakfast routine: bacon and poached egg are both natural flavor pairings. Just be sure to trim off the bottoms and tough outer leaves to ensure tender sprouts every time.
These tasty, tiny midwinter treats are a loose-skinned cousin of the common orange. Tangerines, clementines, and satsumas are among the most common mandarin varieties. Usually sweeter and less acidic than larger oranges, mandarins are a popular choice for young palates. Perfect for lunch boxes or snacking on the go. Mandarin segments are also a refreshing, sweet accent to toss into salads.