5 Foods That Are In Season All Winter Long

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For those interested in even more ways to act sustainably this winter, it’s time to think about what you eat. 

We all have our favorite winter dishes, and those recipes for warming soups, stews, and more tend to come up as temperatures go down, but what’s in these favorite meals? The ingredients may be fresh, but are they in season?

Eating produce that’s in season can help cut down the environmental impact our food has. When something is in season, it’s often grown locally (or much closer than those items out of season) meaning it travels a shorter distance to get to your store. Less travel means less carbon dioxide released into the air by delivery trucks.

Eating seasonally also makes it easier to diversify your diet, and keep meals interesting. So, what are some of the tastiest winter foods that will stay in season all season? Here are five versatile favorites.

1. Apples

Beginning to ripen in fall, but hanging in there all winter, apples are a tasty treat when it’s cold out. You can bake them into a pie, make muffins, or even get organic pressed cider and drink your daily serving of fruit. Apples have antioxidant effects and can help with your heart, bone health, and immune system. Even better, they come in so many different varieties, you can get tart and sweet options in the same trip to the grocery store.

2. Brussels Sprouts

Actually little mini cabbages, Brussels sprouts, are making quite a comeback. They’re delicious air fried or sautéed with crispy bacon. They make a great side dish to just about any main and are super-easy to prepare. Brussels sprouts are most abundant from September through February, right in those cold winter months when your old-standby sides start to get a little boring.

3. Swiss chard

Going back to those favorite soup recipes, think about adding in or substituting with Swiss chard. It’s a seasonal favorite when it comes to soups, stews, casseroles, and more. Although it grows year-round, its tolerance to cold makes it a perfect winter crop. You can steam it or sauté it, and even eat it raw in salads. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, K, and C, which may be harder to come by when you’re stuck inside during the cold winter months. 

4. Beets

They look great in a hearty winter salad and taste even better. Beets hit their peak between September and December. They’re easy to cook and contain a variety of minerals and antioxidants. Rich in folate, eating beets can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Other ways to enjoy beets include sautéing them with some squash or sweet potatoes, tossing them into your favorite smoothie, or adding them to grain bowls for some color and sweetness.

5. Oranges

Though you might associate oranges with summer, thanks to all those sunshine-filled OJ commercials, this tangy fruit is all about the winter. Different varieties hit their peak at different times, but in general, oranges start coming into season in October and stay in season all the way through April. Full of vitamin C, oranges are also good for you because of the amount of fiber they contain. An orange can help keep blood sugar levels in a safe range and reduce high cholesterol. They’re a great snack on their own, especially if you grab an easy-peel variety.

Getting to the grocery store

Is your shopping list starting to take shape? How are you modifying your winter dishes to include seasonal produce? Shopping locally, in-season fruits and vegetables is one way to reduce carbon emissions from making it into the atmosphere, but you can do more.

When you’re venturing out to the grocery store, the gas you use in your car to get there can also have a positive impact on the environment. Filling up your tank at a Twice Daily station allows you to participate in the Twice Daily Thrive program. For every gallon of gas you purchase, Twice Daily offsets up to 30 percent of your car’s vehicle emissions. You get to make a difference by buying fuel that’s environmentally responsible as well as shopping for produce that uses less fuel to get to your store. It’s a double win this winter season that’s both tasty and good for the air we breathe.