Here we go again. A new season is upon us, and new fruits and veggies are ripe for the picking. Like I said in my fall produce list, it’s not only healthier and more delicious to eat seasonally, it’s also cheaper.  Once again, I need to stress the value of shopping at your local farmers markets. There, you can find the best produce for the best prices, bar none. So that being said, here we go…

DownloadedFile1) Blood Oranges
Look for fruits that are firm to the touch and feel heavy. Heavier orange = more juicy orange! 
I know it seems odd to buy citrus in the winter, but the beginning of the season for this deep red beauty is in December and goes until May. Blood oranges are great when juiced, eaten raw, or segmented atop salads.

 

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2) Parsnips
When selecting, shoot for maxing out at a medium size for maximum flavor.
This cousin to the carrot continues its fall run into winter, it just loves cold weather. Parsnips are awesome potato substitutes when you mash them up as a side, or on top of a shepherds pie. Even just sliced, tossed in some spices and roasted, they make a great quick side dish.

images-33) Kale
You want very very deep green leaves, with no wilting or browning.
Spinach has a bitter older brother. Kale is packed to the brim with nutrients and it’s much more hefty than spinach, so it holds up really well when cooked. Need an alternative to potato chips on movie night? Make some kale chips in the comfort of your own home!

DownloadedFile-24) Leeks
You want to look for blemish free, crisp-leaved stalks.
Leeks look like over grown scallions, and provide a similar, mild-onion flavor. They can be eaten raw, but can be a little bit fibrous, so it’s best to use them cooked. A quick note – when cooking, you need to clean them out as they can sometimes have sand or dirt trapped in the layers. Simply cut them in half, lengthwise, and rinse under cool water (or slosh around in a bowl of it). Cut off most of the green stem, and use the white stalk for cooking.

 

DownloadedFile-15) Pomegranates
Again, go for fruit that’s heavy and very brightly colored.
We all know about the antioxidant BOOM that came and the huge popularity of the pomegranate that followed. For a while it seemed that any juice with this red-jeweled wonder in it was considered healthy. They can be a bit of a pain to deconstruct, but once you get all those lovely little juicy seeds, it is so worth the work. I love eating them raw, but they make great toppers for salads and unique additions to sauces or salsas!

There you have it. Five winter produce items to go out and start eating today. It’ll be spring before you know it and I’ll have a whole new great big list of goodies for you to play with.