Winter season is here which means cozy drinks, hearty soups and lots of holiday treats! Incorporate the best flavors of the season into your cooking for optimal flavor and nutrition, plus it might even give your wallet a little break.
I’ve rounded up my favorite seasonal produce below with recipes to inspire you in the kitchen!
Related post: What’s in season? Fall Produce Guide
In-Season Winter Produce Guide (December, January, February)
Brussel sprouts are part of the cruciferous family, which means they are high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and incredibly powerful in the nutrition department. They are a fantastic source of vitamin K, C and fiber to boost bone health, your immune system and promote optimal gut health.
One of my favorite ways to make brussel sprouts is to roast them in the oven with a little drizzle of maple syrup, avocado oil and sprinkle of salt. Yum! You can also saute them as in this recipe for orange balsamic glazed brussel sprouts or add them to a yummy power bowl!
Related post: Sheet Pan Roasted Veggies
Every December, I remember my mom hitting up the local citrus stand on a regular basis. It was always so juicy and delicious! Wintertime is an ideal time for citrus to be in season, since it is loaded with vitamin C to help fight off any sniffles.
One of my favorite ways to eat grapefruit is to broil it in the oven with a little bit of raw honey for a caramelized, sweet crust. My mom loves to cut citrus fruit up into segments and store in a large mason jar with the juices for a healthy fruit salad.
Here are a few additional ways to use citrus fruit:
- My Favorite Hot Lemon Ginger Detox Tonic (great for a natural detox and to minimize bloating!)
- Add it to a power bowl for an unexpected fruity flavor
- Feeling up for a smoothie? Try out this Glow Baby Glow Smoothie made with carrots and orange!
- For a festive side dish, make this Naturally Sweetened Orange Cranberry Chutney (it gets better with age!)
The New Year tradition of black eyed peas and collard greens is actually a healthy one! Incorporating dark, leafy greens into your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. They are full of antioxidants which helps to reduce inflammation, fiber to promote optimal digestion and naturally detoxes the body by aiding in liver functioning.
I LOVE dates. Especially medjool dates which tastes like nature’s candy. Dates are naturally sweet, but are full of fiber to help balance blood sugar levels. I have included several recipes with dates in them in my book, SIMPLY SWAPPED Everyday because they are such a fantastic swap for sugar in the kitchen!
Here are some of my favorite recipes with dates:
- Raw Caramel Sauce (the perfect dip for fruit!)
- Rawnola (a fantastic yogurt topping)
- Carrot Cake Energy Bites
- Homemade Raw Fig Newton Bars
- Zesty Lemon Energy Bites
In my opinion, kale is the king of nutritious produce. It has similar health benefits to the collard greens, but is more versatile. You can eat it raw (just make sure you give it a good massage to break down the fibers! The kale Caesar salad in my book is TO DIE FOR), sautéed, roasted (there’s a yummy kale chip recipe in my book!) or wilted.
Enjoy some of these delicious kale recipes:
- Creamy Polenta with Garlicky Kale and Crispy Chickpeas
- Super Simple Kale Walnut Pesto (mix it with some lentil pasta and you’ve got a super simple weeknight dinner!)
- Kale & Mushroom Enchiladas 3 Ways
- Sweet Potato and Kale Hash for Brunner
I feel like leeks are a lesser-known produce, but deserve a shoutout. They are part of the garlic and onion family and give a mild onion flavor to the dish. Leeks contain powerful antioxidants to help prevent and fight diseases in the body.
To prepare leeks, I recommend trimming the root off the bottom and the dark, leafy part (this is pretty tough). Thinly slice the leeks, then add to a colander and rinse because they tend to hold a lot of dirt in them. Pat them dry and they are ready for use!
Leeks are one of the star ingredients in this Tuscan Veggie Detox Soup – the perfect recipe for post-holiday indulgences!
I feel like pears tend to fall in apples shadows. I often forget about them, but they are equally as delicious and one of the best sources of fiber among fruit. I like to eat pears cold for a refreshing treat, or roasted in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dollop of coconut whipped cream!
Pomegranate is the classic holiday fruit with its ruby red color. This delicious fruit is like a burst of flavor when you bite into the little seeds. The easiest way to remove the edible seeds from the fruit is to cut it in half and hold one half cut side down over a large mixing bowl. Smack the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon until the seeds start to fall out!
Here are some delicious ways to enjoy seasonal pomegranate:
- Simply Roasted Pomegranate Carrots
- Holiday Pomegranate Guacamole (the perfect holiday appetizer!)
- Orange Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts
Ahhh, I saved the best for last! Winter squashes include: acorn squash, butternut squash, delicata squash, kabocha squash, pumpkin and spaghetti squash. The vivid orange flesh is due to a high concentration of beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body.
Here are some delicious ways to enjoy seasonal winter squash:
- Butternut Squash and Quinoa Mason Jar Salad
- Hearty Butternut Squash Veggie Chili
- Detoxifying Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup
- Warm Citrusy Delicata Kale & Farro Salad
Cozy up to the delicious flavors of Winter!