Eat Seasonally – Even in Winter!

Even in the coldest, snowiest months of the year, seasonal eating promises surprising and delightful tastes, with a smaller environmental impact.

root vegetables
Photo: Sue Wilson / Getty Images

By Dan Shapley

Seasonal eating is easy in summer, when produce at the local farmers' markets is abundant. But in winter, across wide swaths of the U.S., the options tend to dwindle after the fall harvest. But with a little creativity, you can create wonders with those familiar seasonal ingredients – root vegetables, winter squashes, kale and other winter greens, along with preserved foods and maybe some sustainably raised meat.

Conveniently, many winter vegetables are natural health foods – rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and beta carotene that promise an immunity boost at a time when the common cold and the flu are circulating.

And, thanks to a proliferation of CSAs and local farmers' markets (16% growth in the U.S. in 2010 alone), locally grown winter produce is increasingly easy to find. Trend-setters have embraced the movement, as celebrity chefs develop winter recipes to inform and inspire us.

After decades during which society generally demanded the widest variety of foods, no matter what the season, where or how they were grown and how many miles they where shipped, the tide is turning. (See which foods are least fresh and travel farthest to reach U.S. supermarkets in winter.) Don't let winter be a barrier to seasonal eating. Try a new winter ingredient, warm up with a soup, try a new winter recipe and embrace the surprising abundance of even the coldest season!


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