Thursday, January 8, 2015

While typically imagine spring and summer as the ideal time to stop by our local farmer's market and pick up some fresh produce, the chill of winter offers an amazing seasonal selection! Even when there's a blanket of snow on the ground and you find yourself bundling up in a cozy scarf or sweater, produce like lemons, turnips, fennel, and parsnips are ripening. Our handy winter produce guide is perfect for planning a seasonal meal or adding a couple new fruits and veggies to your grocery list. Warm up by blending any of these favorites in a hearty soup, savory stir-fry, or even a tasty dessert! winter-produce

Blood Oranges: The sweet-yet-tart taste of a blood orange is irresistible! The deep-hued fruit is a wonderful addition to both sweet and savory recipes, and is delightful in salads, sangria, and baked into pastries and cakes. When you're picking out the perfect blood orange, choose one that is firm, but dense for its size. 

Turnips: While turnips are technically available almost year round, the flourish in winter. The brisk weather causes turnips to become sweeter! Delicious when roasted, boiled, or mashed, turnips are an excellent touch to a winter stew. 

Lemons: We normally think of lemonade as a staple of summertime, but lemons are a winter essential! With the ability to be prepared in both hearty dishes like pasta and light desserts like cream pie, we love the versatility of a lemon! In addition to the juice, you can also use the zest to add a touch of citrus to any dish. Like blood oranges, choose a perfect lemon by making sure the skin is smooth and it feels dense for its size. 

Grapefruit: Grapefruit is a delight on its own - especially when delicately sprinkled with sugar - but it is also a treat when broiled or added to a salad. Add a little sunshine to your winter days with citrus! winter-citrus

Leeks: Did you know that the leek is actually a member of the onion family? Unlike the onion, it has a crisp, sweet flavor that perfectly pairs with other winter produce like winter squash. To prepare, cut off the leafy green top and chop away! The leek can be eaten raw or cooked and are an excellent source of vitamin A.

Fennel: Both crunchy and sweet, fennel has a unique flavor that can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. To choose the perfect stalk of fennel, choose bulbs that are in between a shade of white and pale green and with green leaves. We like serving fennel with seafood like salmon and scallops, or sauteing with other vegetables like onions! fennel

Winter Squash: Despite its name, winter squash is ideally harvested in late fall. The rich and light sweetness of the winter squash make it ideal for pasta recipes, risotto, or warming soups. Along with their gorgeous hues, the winter squash is also high in beta carotene and vitamin C. 

Parsnips: Parsnips are one of the more resilient vegetables - they actually need a winter frost for their flavors to fully develop! This root vegetable is heavenly when roasted, steamed, or sauted on its own, or when paired with other veggies for a tasty side dish. When selecting your perfect parsnip, look for a meidum size and light tan hue, and make sure your parsnip is free from blemishes! winter-squashImages via Canelle et Vanille

We don't know about you, but we're grabbing out tote bags and heading to our farmer's market to find our perfect winter produce to accompany our recipes. See more food and drink posts here


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