Word around the Farmer’s Market says that eating seasonally is the chic thing to do. Not only does it make it easier to eat locally grown produce, but it also makes it easier to choose produce that is fresh and delicious, as opposed to flown from overseas and processed with all sorts of chemicals. Some people go out of their way to try to find a sweet and juicy watermelon in the dead of winter, and get frustrated when their melon is mealy and tasteless, when in reality, they could be eating delicious fruit that is in season around this time of year. I’m sure you’re wondering what could possibly be in season in the cold winter months, but there are actually some great options.
On the fruit front, there are plenty of sweet treats that will get you through the winter season without feeling deprived of your summer favorites. Peaches, pears, nectarines, and plums may be gone for now, but why not opt for a grapefruit or tangerine instead? These guys are chocked full of vitamin C, and if you opt for red or pink grapefruits, you will also reap the benefits of lycopene which helps fight oxygen free radicals that damage cells. If you’re not a fan of citrus, try papaya. While papaya is at its peak in the summer and fall, papaya trees produce fruit year round. Papaya is also rich in vitamin C, as well as B vitamins, folate, and other antioxidant nutrients. All of these can be found at your local supermarket.
The veggie department is chocked full of flavorful picks around this time of year as well. Wondering what greens are in season around this time of year? One of my favorites, kale, is at its peak in January. Kale can be used to make a salad, sauteed/cooked on the stovetop, or even roasted slowly to make kale chips. Kale is a great, low calorie source of fiber, and packs an impressive dose of iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and even vitamin K. If you’re not a greens lover, try cauliflower. Cauliflower has a mild flavor, but all the crunch you need to satisfy a crunchy craving, and is also a great source of vitamins C and K. Cruciferous veggies, for the most part, are at their peak right now, so if you’re not cauli-crazy, I won’t judge you for choosing broccoli, brussels sprouts, or cabbage instead. On the other hand, if you’re a cauli-lover like me, you should definitely try the recipe below.
Roasted Cauliflower “Popcorn”
1 large head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Toss cauliflower florets in a bowl with olive oil until each piece is evenly coated. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread florets in a single, even layer across the sheet. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until the cauliflower is a nice, golden brown color, and the oil has caramelized a bit. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a bowl or plate, and crunch away.