Fresh fruits and vegetables are not just for the warm-weather months and seasons. Although we love summer produce and our fall farmers market haul, the winter months provide their own unique collection of fruits and vegetables to be enjoyed during the dark days of winter. Here are 15 winter fruits and vegetables to enjoy this season.
When selecting Belgian endives, look for ones that have tight leaves and a crisp solid head. Belgian endive leaves can easily be used for salads, or if you’re feeling creative, try this recipe.
Although Brussels sprouts can be purchased individually, the best Brussels sprouts are straight off the stalk. If Brussels sprout stalks are not available to you, then look for Brussels sprouts that are bright green, compact, and firm.
Delicata squash have the unique ability to hold their shape while they cook, making them an excellent choice for stuffings. You can also enjoy them on their own with a sprinkle of your favorite seasonings.
When cooking kale, remember to first remove the rib (the stalky stem part). Enjoy a handful of kale raw in smoothies or salads or sauté it and enjoy it on its own as a side, or add it to a bowl of soup. A small squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of salt adds a burst of fresh flavor to this dark leafy green as well.
Leeks are a member of the onion family, but have a more subtle and sweet taste when compared to an onion. Leeks can be eaten raw or cooked, but the green tops are usually not eaten. This winter, cozy up with a bowl of homemade winter vegetable soup made with fresh leeks.
Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed at any meal. Whether you make a sweet potato hash for breakfast or sweet potato soup for lunch or dinner, sweet potatoes are a winter staple in any kitchen pantry.
Turnips can be difficult to cut, so before you begin preparing these veggies, check out these steps on how to properly cut a turnip.
The cactus pear isn’t as crazy as it looks! It can be cut like a pineapple and can be enjoyed fresh on its own or used as a topping on cereal, yogurt or blended into a smoothie. Be sure to choose pears that are firm, free from dark spots and mold and have a bright magenta flesh.
When choosing clementines, look for fruit that is uniform in color with a shiny skin and no blemishes or wrinkles. They should feel soft to the touch. Although clementines can last 2-3 days when stored at room temperature, it’s best to place them in the refrigerator if you don’t plan on using them within that time frame. Transform your clementine collection to make this wonderfully whimsical winter cocktail.
Fun Fact: In traditional ancient diets, a bowl of dates was offered at the table at each meal as a sign of hospitality from the host to his or her guests. In many cultures this custom is still observed today. If you are feeling festive this holiday season and hosting family, friends, or neighbors, place a bowl of dates at your dinner table and see if guests know the history behind this sweet treat. Need a snack? Slather a spoonful of almond butter on a date and enjoy a bite sized treat that is both sweet and savory.
Grapefruits make for a filling snack or meal, so if you have a busy schedule with no time to cook breakfast, make a bowl of oatmeal with a side of fresh grapefruit before you begin your day.
Persimmons can be peeled and enjoyed on their own or they can be added to salads, cookies, cakes or puddings. Originally from Asia, persimmons even have their own festival each year in India!
When picking a pomegranate, pick one that is heavy in weight, as it will most likely be ripe and ready to eat right away. Although many people enjoy the seeds of the pomegranate fruit, the yellow flesh between the seeds is also edible. Add a spoonful of pomegranate seeds to your winter salad for a bright pop of color.
Red currants are commonly used to for making jams, jellies and even wines. Red currants also make a great addition to sauces and fruit pies.
Tangerines make for a great snack, but they can also be enjoyed on top of fresh salads or in cakes, frostings and puddings.