One of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet is to eat with the seasons. Simply put, it’s choosing the foods Mother Nature intended i.e. why we crave watermelon in the summer and roasted root veggies in the winter. Not only is eating this way delicious, it’s also better for the environment and can be better on your wallet – especially when you find produce that’s grown locally at its peak freshness.
Here are some of our favorite winter produce items to incorporate into your diet this season!
Why We Love it: This cruciferous vegetable is low in calories and packed with vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin C, K, and B6. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, which has a number of health benefits.
Why We Love it: This green veggie has all the health benefits of its cousin, cauliflower. On top of that, research also shows that broccoli contains anticancer and antioxidant properties– making it a superfood in our book!
Try it Yourself: Dip raw broccoli in hummus, or enjoy lightly steamed with garlic, lemon and a pinch of sea salt. You can also impress your kiddos with these Cheesy Broccoli Bites. (Skip the cheese for a vegan alternative!)
3. Sweet Potatoes
Why We Love it: This bright orange root vegetable is packed with antioxidants, rich in both Vitamin C and B vitamins. Buy your sweet potatoes by the bag at the supermarket or farmer’s market for a budget-friendly option!
Try it Yourself: Mix sweet potatoes into your salads, soups and casseroles for a colorful, in-season twist. Try Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes or vegan Sweet Potato Lasagna for a healthy comfort food.
4. Winter Squash
Why We Love it: Winter squash – like butternut, spaghetti and acorn – is a great way to add some color (and nutrients) to your plate! Just like sweet potatoes, they’re a good source of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and fiber. Naturally sweet, they may help curb those pesky sugar cravings too!
Try it Yourself: Roast your winter squash with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for an easy side dish. We’re also drooling over this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette.
5. Collard Greens
Why We Love it: We love loading up on leafy greens, and even though summer is far behind us, luckily collard greens are totally in season. Actually part of the cruciferous vegetable family, collards are low in calories but jam-packed with nutrients like Vitamin K.
A recent study also found consumption of green leafy vegetables, including cruciferous veggies, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. So pile on those greens this winter!
Why We Love it: Bring on the citrus fruits! Grapefruits are readily available during the winter month, and provide a delicious sweet and somewhat tart taste.
Packed with Vitamins A and C, they can be a great addition to a gut-healthy diet. One study even found that consumption of grapefruit was associated with a number of health benefits in women, including lower body weight and BMI, as well as higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
Try it Yourself: Pair with your breakfast, top a salad or try this Pan-Roasted Salmon with Grapefruit-Cabbage Slaw.
Why We Love it: Their deep red color make Pomegranates an antioxidant powerhouse, with potent health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties that may prevent certain types of disease. It’s no wonder you’ll find this superstar in our Green Vibrance powder!
Try it Yourself: With a deliciously sweet taste, they’re a great addition to your holiday festivities. Incorporate into your holiday cocktails or mocktails, top your salad, or try this Winter Greens Salad with Pomegranate and Kumquats.
8. Brussels Sprouts
Why We Love it: Bring on the Brussels! Next time you’re at the farmer’s market, be sure to stock up on these in-season veggies. A member of the cruciferous family, brussels sprouts are a great source of folate, Vitamin C and K, and fiber.
Try it Yourself: Try these Lemon Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts for a zesty addition to your diner! Leftovers will taste great on top of a salad for lunch the next day.
Happy cooking! Note: These suggestions are meant to act as a guide. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider when implementing any drastic changes to your diet or healthcare routine.