Winter may be the season of staying indoors, but it’s still rife with delicious fruits and vegetables. Check out this quick guide to winter produce, complete with recipes to get you started.
Why eat seasonally?
Eating seasonally provides quite a few benefits. For one, since the season is optimal for these fruits and vegetables, they’ll likely have better flavor than when out of season. Better quality produce means better flavor, making them even easier to enjoy.
If you have a local farmers market, look for the winter produce listed here. Purchasing locally grown seasonal produce is more eco-friendly. Why? Out of season produce found in supermarkets is often shipped in from other countries, meaning more emissions. Locally grown means it travelled much less, and you’re likely to get more ripe, fresher produce as well.
Winter season runs from December 21 – March 20.
What’s fruits are in season for Winter?
Citrus may be the most popular winter fruit. They’re able to endure the chilling frost of winter better than other fruits. Pineapple may be the most surprising winter fruit. It’s season begins at the tail end of winter (in March) and continues throughout the spring and summer months. Pears are a winter favorite, though their peak season is short. Get them while you can!
Avocado – January to March
Banana – Year-round
Grapefruit – January to August
Kiwifruit – November to January
Meyer Lemons – November to March
Orange – Fall to Spring
Pears – August to December
Pineapple – March to July
What vegetables are in season for Winter?
Root vegetables and hearty leafy greens are the most popular winter vegetables. Parsnips, turnips, and rutabagas may not be everyone’s first choice, but with the right recipe they transform to delectable side dishes, luscious soups, or even tasty seasoned fries. Winter squash are heartier than summer squash, with thicker skins and firmer flesh, able to endure the winter frost. Look for Kabocha, Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut or Delicata squash at your local farmer’s market.
Cabbage – Fall to Spring
Celery – April to December
Swiss Chard – December to March
Collard Greens – December to March
Kale – November to March
Onion – September to March
Parsnip – September to June
New Potatoes – Late Winter; Russet Potatoes – Year-Round
Rutabaga – October to March
Turnip – October to March
Winter Squash – Butternut, Acorn, Kabocha, Delicata
Winter Produce Recipes
Here’s five recipes using winter produce to get started.
Kale Chickpea Pasta by Edible Ink
Harness the power of kale and chickpeas in this 30 minute pasta recipe. Great for a nutrient-packed, quick weeknight dinner. This is kale done right; sautéed in a cast iron skillet with garlic and spices.
Cinnamon Maple Roasted Kabocha Squash by Eating Bird Food
Kabocha squash (also called Japanese pumpkin) may be my personal favorite squash. It’s easily roasted, with a great firm texture and only mild sweetness. It can be easily transformed into a soup, curry, or roasted with cinnamon and maple, like in this recipe!
The right combination of spices can turn any vegetable into a tasty masterpiece. Which is exactly what happens in this Parsnip Chips recipe by Chef Aarti Sequeira.
Ultimate Banana Bread by Edible Ink
Banana bread is a tried and true classic. This twist on classic banana bread results in a light cake-like loaf, perfect for a comforting dessert or sweet breakfast.
Orange Espresso Cupcakes
Marbled cupcakes are always sure to impress! This recipe uses winter oranges and a dash of espresso for a fun and refreshing cupcake.