As the dead of winter approaches, it’s more important to eat healthily. That means getting those five servings of fruit and veggies in every day, even when it’s hard to find seasonal offerings. However, seasonal fruits and vegetables can be a great way to spice up your diet with some new nutrients and keep your immune system healthy. Here are a few benefits of seasonal eating, and a few bonus seasonal veggies you can pick up at your local grocery store!
Seasonal produce is a general name for a group of fruits and vegetables that are being harvested during a given time. For example, watermelon gets harvested in late spring and summer. This means that one instance of seasonal produce would be watermelon!
Why Eat Seasonal Produce?
Eating seasonal produce comes with a lot of benefits. Seasonal food, since it’s spent less time on the shelf than out-of-season produce, is tastier and has more nutritious value. Since farmers have a surplus of the product, it also tends to be a bit cheaper than other alternatives. Because it’s seasonal, farmers grow it locally, and it avoids overseas contaminants like pesticides and other forms of contamination.
What are Some Other Benefits of Seasonal Eating?
Another benefit of buying seasonal eating include helping local farmers. Seasonal eating also helps with crop rotation and healthy farming practices. It’s also cheaper than out-of-season produce.
What Are Some Examples of Seasonal Produce?
Winter vegetables are sweet potatoes, cauliflower, squash, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. Seasonal fruits include grapefruit, tangerines, mandarin oranges, oranges, kiwifruit, pear, and persimmon. These seasonal fruits are great for keeping you healthy in the winter. The Vitamin C in tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit help supplement your immune system during the cold winter months.
What Recipes Exist for Seasonal Produce?
Winter vegetables, like cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes, are perfect for soups and stews. They also go great as roasted side dishes alongside main meat dishes. Mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and crockpot dinners are all easy ways to incorporate seasonal produce into your diet. You can use pumpkin as a roasted side dish, make it a pie, or throw it into the crockpot.
Seasonal fruits are a little harder: citrus fruits are best eaten on their own, although there are some great recipes you can throw together! Curries, steak marinades, and other great savory recipes exist for including citrus fruit in your diet. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, plenty of methods exist for sweet, citrus-related cakes, bars, and cookies. They’re also great infused into water if you’re setting goals about your water intake.
Sweet potatoes are an especially healthy option to consider this winter. They are great to throw in the microwave as a healthy snack, work well in a delicious casserole, and pair well with a pork roast, straight out of the crockpot. Sweet potatoes are a versatile addition to any winter meal.
Healthy snackers, rejoice! Apples and carrots are in season during the winter. You can crunch on slices of apple, make apple pie, or throw an apple in your gym bag with you. Carrots are similar: you can eat carrot slices, roast carrots alongside a beef roast, or boil them to make an easy-to-eat snack for your kids.
Tropical fruits are also in season! Indulge in all of the kiwi and pineapple you can eat. Tropical fruit can be full of antioxidants, nutrients, and other significant health concerns.