A basket of apples

How to Eat Seasonally This Fall and Winter

We strive to eat more fruits and veggies, but it can be a difficult endeavor if you don’t know which healthy foods are in season. By eating seasonally you can get fruits and vegetables when they are at their tastiest and can get a jumpstart on nutritious meal planning for Thanksgiving or the holidays.

Fruits…reach for snacks packed with vitamin C

Want to know what fruits are in season this fall? The answer is at your local orchard.

Apples and pears are fibrous and contain many vitamins and minerals that will keep you going this autumn. Cranberries are a “superfood” in season, and they’re a great source of antioxidants to help you fight off fall illnesses and strengthen your heart health.

Fall fruit shortlist:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Cranberries

Winter brings bitter winds, but winter fruits bring sweet and tart flavors to your plate.

Many citrus fruits like oranges and clementines are in season at this time of year because they’re grown in warmer climates. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits helps your white blood cells stave off infection. Other seasonal sources of this vital vitamin are kiwis and pomegranates, making winter a great time to expand your palate for different kinds of fruits.

Winter fruit shortlist:

  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Kiwis (hothouse)
  • Pomegranates

Vegetables…think hearty soups and salads

The end of fall means the end of the season for many vegetables, so eat up while the eating is good! Stews made with carrots, celery and onion are hearty and healthy, and adding beets to any salad packs a punch of vitamins. Broccoli and cauliflower are both plentiful during fall and are great staples for nutritious meals.

Fall veggie shortlist:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

When the weather turns chilly, look to the ground for nutrition. Winter is a great time of year to focus on tubers and root vegetables like turnips, rutabagas and parsnips. Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, and can be served as a side dish or as the main meal. Just don’t go overboard on butter or brown sugar.

Winter veggie shortlist:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Parsnips

Squash…the fruit we treat like a veggie

While they’re scientifically a fruit, squashes are treated as a vegetable in the culinary world. No matter how you refer to them, they’re great sources of vitamin A, potassium and other vital nutrients. Vitamin A helps bolster your immune system during flu season, and potassium balances your blood pressure in addition to other functions.

In season both fall and winter, getting familiar with how to prepare squashes can make meal planning a snap. Perhaps the simplest way to eat them is to roast them and eat them right from their own skin. You can mix things up by steaming them until their flesh is tender, then blending them together with other ingredients to make a hearty soup. Experiment with different squashes and types of preparation and you’ll discover a versatile staple to add to your fall and winter diet.

 

Focusing on fruits and veggies is a great way to improve your nutrition. Learn how to eat more real food with help from our nutrition team.