The Best Winter Fruits & Vegetables (You Should Be Eating)

Roasting pan with carrots, beets and winter squash.

 
Seasonal eating. We’re sure you’ve heard the term over and over again, along with a bunch of other bumper-sticker-on-a-VW-bus type slogans like ‘shop local’, ‘buy fresh’, and ‘eat clean live green’. At this point, all of those suggestions may make you feel about as inspired as that ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ mantle decor at your mother-in-law’s house does. (No Rebecca, I don’t think I will be doing any of those things, thank you very much!)

But we’re here to bring you back onto the seasonal eating wagon, because it’s one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to maintain proper health and nutrition. Here’s a few reasons why: 

Benefits of Eating in Season

Better Flavor: In-season fruits and veggies are harvested when they reach their peak ripeness, which means the fullest flavor.

More Nutrients: When produce has been allowed to mature naturally, they develop the maximum amount of nutrients.

Less Chemicals: Items out of season usually need to be picked early and shipped to another part of the world, which usually means being sprayed with nasty chemicals and preservatives.

Supporting Your Community: We at Studio SWEAT onDemand are all about community. And when you buy local and in-season fruits and vegetables, you’re supporting the local little guys around your neck of the woods. 

Expanded Palates: Keep food exciting! When you change up your diet based on the season, you’re ensuring that you always try new and fun things. 

Save Money: Contrary to popular belief, when you buy fruits and veggies in season — and in abundance — stores don’t have to mark up the prices. 

Got all that? We should hope so. With that in mind, let’s get cooking with our favorite winter fruits and vegetables that you should be munching on as we speak!

Beets

Multicolored bunch of beet vegetables.

These underground gems are just waiting to be enjoyed. Simply roast them up with some salt and pepper, or boil them and add to a goat-cheese, walnut and spinach salad. The most popular beet varieties are a deep red or light golden color, and are an excellent source for potassium (for regulated blood pressure), manganese (for healthy skin and joints), and B vitamins (for energy).

Broccoli

Image of bunches of broccoli over a black slate plate.

These charming, cruciferous, and crunchy crowns are great sauteed, raw as an accompaniment to a chopped salad, or roasted and charred to a nice and pleasant crisp. You can also steam them up with a little salt for optimum health. Nutritionally, these green gems deliver fiber, vitamin K (for bone health), and actually have been proven to lower mineral deposits of calcium in the arteries. 

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts elegant positioned in a bowl. 

We get it – one year everyone hates these lil sprouts, and the next, they’re on every hipster menu. But don’t let the up-and-down cloud the fact that these mini treasures pack a real punch of antioxidant goodness, which lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Roast them up, sprinkle a little salt, balsamic, or honey on top, and you’re good to go.

Hard Squash

Images of hard winter squash.

Ok, we’re not sure why hard winter squash and soft summer squash are given the same name, either. They’re not really all that alike. But the hard stuff — we’re talking acorn, butternut, spaghetti, pumpkin — all deliver amazing amounts of vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, beta-carotenes, and polysaccharides that help you regulate blood sugar levels. Simply cut the squash in half (any variety), roast it face down on a cookie sheet, and get ready for some seriously scrumptious eats.

Cabbage

Cut and diced cabbage head on a wooden board.

Can you even handle the crunchiness of some yummy cabbage? Chop it up for a hearty salad, or create a sweet slaw with some apples thrown in for good measure. The beauty of cabbage is that it’s chock-full of fiber, which is great for regulating blood sugar and managing your weight. 

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Carrots

Long-stemmed carrots in a row on a wooden background. 

The orange jewels are filled with beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in our bodies, supporting our bone health and immunity. As one of the most flexible veggies around, carrots make a perfect addition to breakfast (as muffins), for lunch (chopped in a salad), rounding out dinner (roasted with a little tzatziki on top), and of course, delicious dessert (carrot cake!).

Cranberries

Red, full, ripe cranberries in a wooden bowl.

Tart and terrific, cranberries deliver key nutrients like vitamin C and fiber, plus studies have shown these little berries improve cardiovascular health. Cook and reduce your cranberries with some spices and maple syrup, and then add it to your oatmeal, pancakes, and morning yogurt. 

Grapefruit

Multiple grapefruit halves shot close up.

You don’t need to wait until summer to get that citrusy goodness. You’ve got all the sour splendidness in spades in the form of grapefruit. This superfood is filled with vitamin C, and has lower calories than most other fruits. Just peel them and they’re good to go!

Kohlrabi

Sliced in half Kohlrabi on a wooden cutting board.

Does this strange root scare you? It shouldn’t! Kohlrabi has the same taste and texture as broccoli or cabbage, and gives you generous amounts of potassium and Vitamin C. Slice it up for a crunchy slaw, or bake it up to make some healthier chips. 

Parsnips

5 parsnips lined up back to back on a board.

By far the most underrated veggie, an unsung hero of the underground, parsnips should be a part of everybody’s winter menu. Imagine a carrot, but longer, thinner, and way sweeter. They’re also filled with good nutrients like vitamin C, folate, potassium, and magnesium. Roast these up with salt and pepper, or throw them in a hearty winter soup for some serious cold-weather deliciousness.

Pears

Three multi-colored winter pears lined up, red, green and yellow.

A cold-weather favorite, pears really burst out the flavorful varieties during winter. Bosc and D’Anjou are available year-round (though less tasty when out of season), but Asian pears, Comice, and Red Anjou really kick things up a notch. And the best part – in recent studies, pears have been shown to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate fruit in a wooden box.

This ancient middle-eastern prize should be on your plate this time of year. Pomegranates have tons of antioxidants in them, meaning serious anti-inflammatory benefits to help you prevent disease. We recommend sprinkling these power-packed seeds on your yogurt, oatmeal, guacamole (weird we know, but muy muy bueno), or just grab a handful on their own. 

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