When possible, it’s best to eat fruits and vegetables that are “in season,” i.e., produce that has been recently harvested (ideally at a local farm). Not only is seasonal produce fresher, but also it’s more flavorful and it’s better for the environment. And if you purchase the produce locally, it won’t have to travel to you via a road-trip or a cross-country flight! Eating seasonally is easy in summer, when so many delicious foods are in season (tomatoes, corn, peaches, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc.) – but what sorts of foods can you enjoy when the temperatures drop? Check out our list of winter fruits and vegetables for help.
Seasonal Produce Tips
One of the best places to find seasonal produce is at your local farmers’ market. Not only will the food taste fresh and flavorful, but also you’ll be supporting farmers in your community. So if you live in an area with a thriving farmers’ market, take advantage of it!
That said, if you plan to eat local and you live in a cooler climate, you may find that your options are relatively limited. Quite a few of the options listed below are grown in warmer climates in winter (for example, citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, thrive in states with warmer climates, like Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona). Unfortunately, this means that you likely won’t find fresh clementines at your farmers’ market if you live up north. Fortunately, in our modern world, grocery stores often carry a vast variety of produce throughout the year, which is made possible through transportation. While this isn’t ideal for the environment, it does allow consumers to dine on a smorgasbord of produce throughout the year.
Not sure which fruits and veggies are in season? Because there are greater quantities available of seasonal fruits and vegetables, you’ll often find that they’re cheaper at the supermarket. So if you aren’t sure what’s in season, check out the sales. In many cases, the fruits and vegetables available for a discount are the ones most recently harvested.
Winter Fruits and Vegetables
In the chilly winter months, keep an eye out for the following winter fruits and vegetables:
- Blood oranges
- Acorn squash
- Belgian endives
- Brussels sprouts
- Butternut squash
- Collard greens
- Delicata squash
- Kabocha squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Sweet potatoes
Eating fresh produce can be challenging in winter, but it’s still possible. And don’t worry – you won’t need to plan every meal around potatoes and onions. You could purée cooked veggies into a soup, spoon bolognese sauce over spaghetti squash, craft a salad with kale and roasted sweet potatoes, or cook chili with butternut squash. Yum!
If you’re looking for a new home where you can enjoy your golden years, check out The Shores of Lake Phalen in Maplewood, Minnesota. Located in a wooded setting near two lakes, our community offers apartment-style housing with the atmosphere and elegance of a resort. Thanks to the team of dedicated staff members, residents enjoy a carefree lifestyle without the common worries of running a household. Schedule a tour to explore our community or give us a call at 651-777-7784. We look forward to hearing from you!