We can all lower our carbon footprint simply by choosing to eat locally grown fruits and vegetables in season. Benefits include better flavor, higher nutritional values, and supporting regional and statewide growers. Look for these winter gems at your neighborhood farmers’ market, in a CSA box, or at a grocery retailer that buys direct from local farms.
Here's a list of what we get to eat during the winter months.
Asparagus ∙ Avocados ∙ Beets ∙ Broccoli ∙ Brussels sprouts ∙ Cabbage ∙ Carrots ∙ Cauliflower ∙ Celery ∙ Chard ∙ Cherimoya ∙ Citrus ∙ Collards ∙ Green peas ∙ Kale ∙ Kohlrabi ∙ Medjool dates ∙ Mushrooms ∙ Mustard ∙ Passion fruit ∙ Scallions ∙ Spinach ∙ Star fruit ∙ Strawberries ∙ Turnips
Freshly harvested asparagus is tender, sweet, and ready to eat in under five minutes. A fistful of asparagus spears will satisfy many nutritional needs and support healthy blood sugar levels. Try raw and thinly sliced asparagus with chunks of feta, a squeeze of lemon or blood orange juice, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil with salt and pepper to taste.
Chard is as shiny as it is leafy and green. A powerhouse source of vitamin K and fiber, chard tastes best when served raw. Remove the stalks, chop the leaves, and lightly dress and massage with a little extra-virgin olive oil and salt to enhance flavors and soften for a salad.
The green-skinned cherimoya is rich in vitamins B6 and C and offers a healthy dose of magnesium with tropical flavors reminiscent of coconut, pineapple, and banana. Select ripe cherimoyas that are slightly soft under the skin, similar to a ripe avocado. Use a sharp knife to split it open, scoop out the white flesh, and avoid
Scallions (or green onions) carry a more refined flavor than their onion relatives. Look for delicate and slim green shoots with sturdy white bases. Slice the green part thinly to impart more flavor and add a handful to a tuna or bean salad sandwich mix to make lunchtime more interesting. Bonus: One cup of scallions offers twice the daily recommended adult dose of vitamin K.
Dark green spinach leaves will give your skin, nails, and hair a glowing boost. This low-calorie superfood originated in Persia, and makes for a delicious salad raw or a hearty addition to soups and stews.