Winter is the coldest season of the year. In many parts of the country, snow blankets the ground and very little grows. It is not as easy to purchase seasonal vegetables and fruits as it is in the summer and fall, when gardens blossom. But there are still many seasonal foods that are inexpensive and nutritious. And, of course, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry products give ready access to many seasonal foods year round
Some foods aren't affected by the seasons. The foundation of the Food Guide Pyramid—the Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group—is available year round. So are the Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group and the Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
Even in fruits, and in vegetables, there are many seasonal bargains. Citrus fruits, grown in southern parts of the country, are in peak season in the winter. These include grapefruit, navel oranges, and lemons. They are very good sources of Vitamin C. For an unusual taste treat, try our Oranges in Tangerine Juice (coming December 16). Apples harvested in the autumn, are still available at a good price, as are winter pears.
Winter vegetables are as hardy as the season. Nutritious potatoes are firm and well-priced. So are sweet potatoes and carrots. Cabbage-family vegetables, which include all kinds of cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower, are in peak season. These are also very nutritious. So are winter squash—that orange or red color is the color of beta-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A.
When we take advantage of the fruits and vegetables that are in peak season in the winter, we can eat according to the Food Guide Pyramid, with delicious foods that are within our budget.
Robert Del Grande, Susan Spicer, Alice Waters, Alan Tangren, Marion Cunningham, Niloufer Ishaporia, Catherine Brandel, Rick Bayless, and Deanne Bayless
Walnuts; all dairy, meat and poultry products, most fish and shellfish
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This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1995 and 1999.
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