Seasonal Produce: Winter Fruits and Vegetables
It may be cold, but many crops survive the chilly nights to produce some of my favorite fruits and vegetables out of the year. From delicious butternut squash and sweet clementines to crunchy kale, these seasonal fruits and vegetables offer a myriad of nutritional benefits.
Kale may be the healthy hipster foodie’s leafy green of choice, but the hype is well deserved. A great source of vitamin A, which supports eye health, kale also contains calcium, iron, and magnesium. One cup of kale also contains nearly 3 grams of protein.
A variety of mandarin oranges, clementines are easier to peel than oranges, making a perfect on-the-go option. While many people use clementines and tangerines interchangeably, they’re actually different fruits—but both are part of the mandarin family. And like oranges and other citrus fruits, clementines are a great source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant.
A member of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts are small but mighty. One cup has only 38 calories. It also contains 3.3 g of fiber and 3 g of protein, along with vitamins A, C, and B6, which supports immune health.
Winter squash, includes butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti, acorn, and more. They are normally harvested in the fall, but they are sold through the cooler months. Different varieties contain different nutrients; butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C, and acorn squash is good source of vitamin B6.
Considered a "superfood" (though that’s really a marketing term with no regulated definition), pomegranates originated in modern Iran and India. The arils, which include the seeds and juice, are a good source of fiber, with 3.5 g per half-cup.
A beta-Carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) powerhouse, a cup of sweet potatoes contains more than 377 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, which supports eye health. It also contains 4 g of protein, iron, and some calcium.
So the next time you try to figure out what to eat for dinner on a cool, winter night, you know you have a bunch of fruits and vegetables from which to pick.