Freshly fallen snow, cozy blankets next to the fire, and spending time on the slopes all prove that wintertime in and around the ‘burgh has a lot going for it. But what about our eating habits?
Eating fresh produce isn’t always on that “fun” list because enjoying local fruits and vegetables can be a challenge during the cold months. It can be difficult to plan and find creativity in new and exciting foods this time of year. However, with a little planning, it’s possible to eat these flavorful, nutrient-dense foods all winter long.
Here are three foods, along with storage and preparation tips, that peak during the cold season:
- Cabbage – Not only is cabbage a budget-friendly vegetable, but it is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber. Cabbage also contains phytonutrients which are plant-based compounds that may help to lower inflammation and reduce the risk of developing cancer. In its raw form, cabbage can be added to fresh salads and stir-fry dishes. When storing, be sure to tightly wrap the individual head of cabbage in plastic and keep in your fridge for up to one week.
- Parsnips – Cousins to the carrot, parsnips are a root vegetable with a white flesh. One-half cup of cooked parsnips contains 3 grams of fiber, and contains more than 10% of the daily values of vitamin C and folate. Pureed parsnips can be a great addition to your favorite winter soup, or try adding them to a stew. Store parsnips in a bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
- Fennel – Fennel is available in the grocery stores through early spring. You’ll be sure not to miss it – it has feathery leaves on top, an onion-shaped bulb, and has a taste similar to licorice. Fennel contains compounds that are said to help aid in digestion and suppress inflammation. Just like cabbage, adding fennel to a fresh salad adds a healthy crunch. Store fennel by wrapping the bulb in a paper bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Fresh Fennel Salad Recipe
This fresh, fennel salad adds crunch to any meal.
- 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs
- 6 celery stalks
- 3-4 T olive oil
- 2 T lemon juice
- Finely slice the fennel bulbs lengthwise.
- Cut the celery stalks, and slice into thin sticks.
- Scatter the fennel and celery on a large plate, drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on top.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.