Insider’s Viewpoint: A Festive Cornucopia of Winter Produce
All too often we let summer have all the fruit and vegetable fun. Sure, there are a lot of delicious fruits and vegetables available in the warmer months, but there’s also a cornucopia of exciting options in the produce department come fall and winter.
Festive Ideas for 4 Nutritious & Versatile Winter Veggies
- Winter Squash & Root Vegetables
These vegetables bring color, flavor and nutritious comfort to your favorite dishes. Try mashing them with low-fat milk, low-sodium broth or some plain Greek yogurt, or just sprinkle with fresh pepper and olive oil. Root vegetables can also be puréed into soup or baked into a sweet treat for the holidays.
- Cruciferous Vegetables
These vitamin-rich veggies are just as perfect when roasted to bring out their natural sweetness as they are grated and mixed with an olive oil vinaigrette for a refreshing coleslaw-type salad.
Cabbage (later in the season)
*Not really cruciferous, but prepared similarly.
- Leafy Greens
In-season, colder-weather greens are perfect for hearty salads mixed with roasted squash, citrus fruit and whole grains like barley or wheat berries. Or, try them in steamy stews paired with white beans and frozen vegetables.
- Festive Fruit
Use fruits to add pops of color and natural sweetness to your fall and winter meals. They add zest to your morning bowl of oatmeal, brighten up a salad, and can create a beautiful contrast to an otherwise savory meal like a chicken and wild rice pilaf — not to mention how delicious they are on their own, poached or lightly roasted for a snack or after-dinner treat!
And remember, fall and winter are great times to stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables too. They’re just as nutritious as fresh and can add great variety to your meals. For the most nutrition, choose unsalted and unseasoned vegetables, and fruits without any added juices, syrups, or sweetener. These may not have the best texture when thawed for straight snacking, but they make excellent additions to all kinds of recipes from smoothies to soups to simple steamed sides.
Natalie Menza, MS, RD
Manager of Health and Wellness
Wakefern Food Corporation