Did you know that there are some amazing, fresh fruits and veggies that we only have access to for part of the year? The winter season welcomes some very unique produce that is great tasting as well as highly nutritional. Take your meals to the next level this season by incorporating these healthy fruits and veggies while adding color, nutrients, and pizzazz to your dishes!
- In Season: October-May
- Nutritional Value: This root vegetable is high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium. It also contains antioxidants that have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. The majority of vitamins and minerals found in parsnips are located very close to the skin. In order to maximize the nutritional value, it should be finely peeled or cooked whole.
- Fun Fact: Parsnips are 100% edible; however, their shoots and leaves contain toxic sap that can cause a chemical burn or intense allergic reaction upon contact with skin!
- In Season: December-April
- Nutritional Value: This fruit is a great source of vitamin C, fiber pectin, and the antioxidant lycopene. Consuming grapefruit can help lower cholesterol and burn fat.
- Fun Fact: Grapefruit is eaten as a sweet candy in areas like Costa Rica. The fruit is cooked to remove sourness and then filled with dulce de leche.
- In Season: September-December/ March-June
- Nutritional Value: Artichokes are high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium. They also have one of the highest antioxidant levels compared to other vegetables. This funny flower can help with digestion, liver function, and blood cholesterol levels.
- Fun Fact: The artichoke that we purchase at the store to consume is actually just the head of the flower. The stem that supports it can grow to be over 6 feet tall!
- In Season: September-December
- Nutritional Value: This fruit is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber. It possesses antioxidant and antibacterial properties within the juice of the seeds. These properties have potential health benefits of reducing risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and fighting dental plaque.
- Fun Fact: A single pomegranate can contain anywhere from 200 to 1,400 seeds. Each seed has a pulp and the white area that holds the seeds is called the membrane. In ancient Egypt, pomegranates were a symbol of prosperity and ambition and were used to treat many infections, including tapeworm.
- In Season: September-December (in market January-March)
- Nutritional Value: This root vegetable contains complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and beta-carotene. While it is starchy, it is actually ranked highest in nutritional value compared to rice, wheat, potatoes, and corn.
- Fun Fact: Sweet potato consumption has become increasingly popular in the US. It is often served as French fries or baked potatoes and paired with fun condiments like blue cheese.
Whether you are cooking in large quantities for the family or preparing small meals for yourself, incorporating these seasonal fruits and veggies will surely be satisfying. Get inspired by seasonal cooking and take a look at other fruits and veggies that are only available at this time of the year. Your body will thank you—and so will your taste buds!
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If you’d like to read more about foods that the whole family will enjoy try these other articles from Together Counts!