Eating “seasonally” is defined as including foods within your diet that are grown at the same time of the year you are eating them. When you buy what’s in season, you buy food that’s at the peak of its supply. Seasonal foods, are picked at their peak and in your hands quicker. Some studies have shown that crops grown in season can be up to three times more nutritious.
Take advantage of these 5 nutrient dense winter fruits.
Include blood oranges and other tangy citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruit, or pummelo, into winter salads, desserts, and drinks. Just like other varieties of oranges, they are rich in vitamin C and fiber. Their deep red color is due to anthocyanin, an antioxidant that is found in red fruits and veggies. These antioxidants have been studied showing positive results improving cardiovascular health with their anti-inflammatory properties.
How to select: Choose blood oranges heavy for their size without soft spots.
How to store: Store blood oranges at room temperature for up to one week, or refrigerate up to three weeks.
Cactus pears, also known as prickly pears, are edible cactus plants that often grow in arid and semi-arid regions. The pears grow off of the cactus pads. This fruit is delicious eaten as is, sliced, or chopped. Try adding cactus pears in a variety of recipes such as sorbets, jams, or smoothies.
How to select: Choose pears that are firm and free of dark spots or mold. Choose fruit with a bright magenta flesh.
How to store: Refrigerate unwashed for up to 1 week.
These tiny olive-sided citrus fruits are packed with a healthy dose of potassium and vitamins A and C, that are contained in their sweet edible skin. Slice kumquats in a salad, diced with avocado, onion, and tomato for a salsa, or pop them in your mouth to enjoy as is.
How to select: Choose kumquats that are firm, not soft.
How to store: Store kumquats at room temperature for a few days or up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Persimmons contain phenolic compounds that may prevent atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Their flavor and texture has been compared to plums or apricots, with a slightly spicy undertone. Persimmons can be used in savory or sweet applications, like stir-fries, salsas, salads, or breads, cakes, and puddings.
How to select: Choose persimmons that are smooth, brightly colored, plump, glossy, and well rounded with their leaves still attached. Avoid cracks and bruises. Yellow patches indicate unripe fruit.
How to store: Store unripe persimmons at room temperature until they are soft. Once ripe, refrigerate for up to three days.
The juice of pomegranates, contain antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant known to combat unstable molecules that can cause damage to your cells and DNA over time. These harmful molecules are called free radicals. Add pomegranates arils on top of yogurt, in a salad, or enjoy as it. Use pomegranate juice for marinades, beverages, and sauces.
How to select: Select pomegranates that are plump, round and heavy for their size.
How to store: Whole pomegranates can be stored in a cool dry area for about a month or up to two months in the refrigerator.