In Season Natural Foods for the Winter Months
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In Season Natural Foods for the Winter Months

Posted on Friday, December 28th, 2012 at 8:00 am
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As we all head inside to keep warm and avoid the cold weather, many of us are headed to the kitchen to cook up some comfort foods to warm us up. Winter favorites like soups, stews, chili, and delicious baked goods warm our stomachs and remind us of all the delicious flavors winter brings.

There are several fruits and vegetables in season this winter that would make great additions to your culinary creation. Since shopping for produce when it’s in season is one way to save money, it’s a good idea to stock up on your favorite! Here’s a handy guide highlighting some of the nutritional benefits of some winter produce:

Winter Squash – Winter squash is available in several different varieties. They come into season in early fall, but last through the winter months. You can slice up some squash and add it to stew or chili. It’s also great in salads or as a snack. Winter squash is rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene.

Fennel – Fennel comes into season in the fall and lasts through the spring. However, in the winter months, fennel gets a naturally bitter flavor. Try out a winter variety for a different taste! Every part of this versatile herb can be used in salads, stews, as a side dish or to snack on. The stalk can be used as a vegetable or eaten uncooked and you can add the raw leaves to salads. Fennel is packed with nutrients like vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin B3 and more!

Belgian Endive – While you can typically find Belgian endive in the produce section year round, it’s traditional season is late fall and winter. This is the time to pick up some organic Belgian endives. This chicory root can be served cooked in dishes like stir fry, or eaten raw in salads or as a snack. Belgian Endives are high in vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin E and dietary fiber.

Persimmons – Persimmons are only available for a short time beginning in the fall and ending in early winter. They can be used in cookies, cakes and puddings. You can also make delicious persimmon bread or enjoy it whole as a snack. Persimmons are high in dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, folic acid and other B-complex vitamins.

Clementines – These sweet little oranges are delicious. Grab one or two for a snack or add some pieces to your salad. They’re also great for little kids since they’re small and easy to peel. Clementines are packed with vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and fiber. To top it off, they’re only 35 calories each!

Other fruits and vegetables in season this winter include broccoli, mandarin oranges, leeks, kale, radicchio, pommelos, large radishes, kiwis, kumquats, horseradish, chicories, cauliflower, cardoons and more!

No matter how you decide to enjoy any of your natural winter favorites, you family, dinner guests, and taste buds will love savoring in the flavors of the winter!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.