Here in the northern hemisphere, we are deep in the heart of Winter, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of yummy seasonal produce! On a recent podcast episode, we reviewed some of the benefits of eating seasonally and gave you a breakdown of what produce is currently available. We didn’t know much about this topic before our research, but we are so glad we did because we’ve learned a lot about seasonal eating.
Eating seasonally means eating the fruits and vegetables that naturally grow in abundance during specific times or seasons of the year. Here’s a list of Winter seasonal produce in the northern hemisphere, along with some of the vitamins and minerals they provide:
Winter seasonal foods in the northern hemisphere:
- Apples – antioxidants
- Beets – folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C
- Carrots – vitamin A and beta-carotene, calcium, and vitamin K
- Cabbage – Vitamin K, C, B6, Folate, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium
- Citrus – vitamin C, flavonoids, and fiber
- Collard and Mustard Greens – calcium and vitamins A, C, K, and B9
- Kale – vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese
- Swiss Chard – vitamins A, Kn and C, magnesium and antioxidants
- Mushrooms – antioxidants
- Parsnips – vitamin C and potassium
- Sweet Potatoes – beta-carotene and vitamin A
- Turnips – fiber, vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, B2, B9, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and copper
- Winter squash (butternut, acorn, delicata, pumpkin, spaghetti squash) – alpha-carotene and beta-carotene
Benefits of Seasonal Eating:
Vitamins and minerals
Winter produce provides, Vitamin D & C, B Vitamins, and Iron, which are all nutrients we need during this time of year. These nutrients keep our skin nourished to prevent dry skin, our moods high, and our bodies from getting sick. Consuming these nutrients can help strengthen your immune system and even fight symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Additionally, some of these foods, like sweet potatoes and squash, need more energy to be digested, which raises our core body temp and can keep us warmer in winter months!
Seasonal foods are often priced lower or are on sale at the grocery store. Since this produce is more plentiful when it’s in season, it drives the prices down.
You could get some seasonal produce from local farms and CSAs, if you have that available in your area! In the Winter, farms may not offer the same weekly pickup options they have in the Summer and Fall, however they may have small quantities of seasonal produce available to purchase. Your city may also have an indoor Winter farmers market where you can find seasonal offerings.
Buying local produce requires less shipping and packaging waste, and you’re giving a boost to your local economy!
We all get stuck planning and cooking the same meals over and over, but if you focus on seasonal eating, you naturally change your meal plan every few months. Not only will you have more recipe variety, but you might learn to cook something new!
We recommend using Tags to categorize your recipes by season and then be able to quickly find and plan these recipes based on the time of year. If you already have a decent number of seasonal recipes in your account, use the bulk editing feature to tag them all at once!
You can also create Menus with seasonal recipes included. Sort your recipe book by your seasonal tags and then create four unique Menus to pull out during different times of the year to take advantage of what’s available.