Healthy, delicious foods are always in season. Recipes that feature winter squashes and sweet potatoes this time of the year are plentiful, but we feel compelled to put the spotlight on some of the other gorgeous foods available right now for your culinary enjoyment.
The winter months provide a colorful, dynamic variety of comfort foods to incorporate into recipes that are good for your body (particularly your heart), and cozy when it’s cold outside. Here are a few of our favorites:
Winter Leafy Greens-
A surprising diversity of hardy greens packed with tons of nutrition and flavor are available in the winter months. Collard greens, chard, bok choy, mustard greens, arugula, beets (yes, the greens are delicious too!), spinach, radish (like beets, the greens are great also), and romaine are all ready and available for your snuggly winter recipes. Winter greens have the same powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that other leafies have- including vitamins C and A, iron, potassium, and calcium.
Tangerines, Meyer lemons, tangelos, oranges, kumquats, grapefruit- the list of citrus fruits available in the winter months is lengthy. Explore your local health food store, farmers market, or food co-op for citrus you may have never even heard of! (Ugli fruit?? Buddha’s hand??) You know citrus contains vitamin C- but it’s also a great source of B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.
Our old friend broccoli is still there for us during the winter months, providing folate, Vitamins C and K, potassium, and fiber. Broccoli rabe plants a little variety in your broccoli routine by adding a dash of bitter, it’s a mustard/broccoli hybrid.
Pears are high in antioxidants, fiber, and anti-inflammatory properties. This beautiful fruit is especially useful to keep around this time of the year for healthy dessert dishes.
Studies have shown pomegranates are great for regulating blood pressure, cholesterol, hyperglycemia, and oxidative stress. It’s also been shown to be a great anti-inflammatory. Pomegranates are a surprisingly diverse ingredient for cooking, cocktails, and snacks. Plus, they’re beautiful and festive as an addition to a centerpiece for your holiday table!
Take some time to explore some of these wonderful cold-weather ingredients for dishes included in your holiday gatherings. You’ll impress your guests, please your palate, and help your heart.