Shopping for produce that’s in season can help you stay on-budget and ensure that you’re eating produce that’s at its peak. It’s a lot better for our bodies as well as the planet, too. I like for my family to enjoy in season produce for the health benefits, but it also helps keep my grocery bill from getting out of hand, which is a great bonus!
Cooking Light has a really neat Winter Produce Guide that shares the produce that’s at its peak for this chilly season, as well as some great recipes to incorporate said produce in. I can sometimes get stumped when it comes to meal planning, so these recipes from Cooking Light are perfect to add to your winter cooking plans. There are several recipes included with the Winter Produce Guide, but I’ve narrowed it down to my favourite for each item. Cooking Light features 13 different fruit and vegetables that are currently in season, but I’ve narrowed it down to my seven favourites.
Blood oranges are a delicious version of your favourite citrus fruit that’s available December through March. The best way to eat these are as-is, but if you like to get creative you can incorporate them in salads such as this Beet, blood orange, kumquat & quinoa salad from the Winter Produce Guide!
Beets are one of those foods that you should be incorporating into your regular diet — they are packed with fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, folate and manganese. So basically they are amazingly good for you! There are a lot of different ways to prepare beets, but this spiced beet and carrot soup from Cooking Light’s site sounds like the perfect way to warm up on a cold day. Want to know how to pick the best beets? Cooking Light’s tips for choosing the best are as follows: Choose small to medium beets with firm, smooth skin and no soft spots, with stems and leaves attached.
Pomegranates are an amazing source of antioxidants and are an extremely nutrient-dense fruit, making it a great addition to your diet! You can eat the seeds alone, or you can incorporate them in a variety of recipes like this delicious-sounding Blackened Shrimp with Pomegranate-Orange Salsa!
This little orange-like fruit may look quite a lot like traditional oranges, but they differ in several ways. They are a mixture of sweet and tartness, bordering more on tart. Like oranges, they are a huge source of vitamin C, but unlike oranges you can eat the peel! The peel is rich in essential oils, antioxidants and fiber, so you will want to include it in your recipes or if you eat it as-is. Try using kumquats in recipes like Kumquat-Cranberry Cornmeal Loaf (sounds SO good!) or Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Kumquat Marmalade.
When we make trips to the grocery store, we like to try to choose produce that we have never tried (it’s getting tricky now, unless we go shopping when the farmer’s market is open in the summer time and we have more variety) to make eating healthy more fun for Tatum. David suggested we get leeks, since he cooks with them a lot at his work, but we had never really tried them at home. All he did was sauté them in butter, and I was hooked. They are DELICIOUS. If you haven’t tried them before, I definitely recommend adding them to your winter grocery trips. You can serve them as simple as David did by sautéing them in butter, or you can try Braised Leeks with Warm Pancetta Dressing, Leeks a la Grecque or Halibut with Leeks.
Lemons are a produce must in my house. They are good for SO many things. I slice up lemons for my water, use them for baking, cleaning, sometimes in my beauty routine…the list goes on. Lemons can purify your body, is said to give your skin a glow, help relieve tooth pain, and when made in the right recipe they can taste amazingly delicious. Lucky for us, they are in season right now so they are a really great price and you can stock up. Cooking Light has a mouth-watering Meyer Lemon Chicken recipe (I can’t get enough of lemon chicken) as well as Lemon-Earl Grey Squares (how cool and tasty does that sound?!) and Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta.
If you are a regular reader of our site, you’ll know that both Stephanie and I are huge lovers of kale. There are SO many benefits to including kale in your diet, and even if you aren’t big on the taste, you can mask the strong flavours of kale to compliment whatever dish you are making (or add it to a smoothie like I normally do!). Steph and I, as well as our families, don’t ingest much dairy, if any at all, so we need to get our calcium from other sources. Kale is an amazing source of calcium (per calorie, it has more calcium than milk!), as well as vitamin K, antioxidants, iron and vitamin A to name a few. You can see how if you are on a vegan, vegetarian or very low meat-based diet, it is important to include this in your daily intake! Enjoy it in Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Poached Eggs and Toasted Breadcrumbs or Apple-Walnut Kale Salad.
Check out Cooking Light’s Winter Produce Guide for more in-season produce to include in your winter grocery shopping!