With a new year comes new resolutions, and Dewey and I both have “eating clean and healthy meals” at the top of our list. But, where do you begin? Well, a good place to start is with the freshest produce and ingredients. So, with produce being seasonal and sometimes confusing and hard to shop for I asked Zach to fill us in on what to be looking for and how to prepare it for a fresh and clean (and new year’s resolution approved) meal.
Winter isn’t exactly known for an abundance of fresh produce, but that doesn’t really do the season justice. There’s plenty of great produce that can be found this time of year. You just need to know what to look for and what to do with it. Here are some of the fruits and veggies that I’m always looking for this time of year, and how I like to cook them.
This is probably the most obvious one. Winter is when we see a huge variety of squash at every grocery store. Not only is squash amazingly delicious, but it’s a great source of nutrition. Here are some of my favorite types.
This might be the least known type of squash, but lately I’ve been seeing it more and more. It’s my favorite because it’s packed with flavor and get’s super crispy if you cook it right. Just slice down the middle, clean our the insides (the seeds and stringy stuff) and then slice it thin. Spread it out over a parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil. Then roast at 425 for 20-40 minutes (depending on how thin you sliced it). Then eat it skin and all! It goes great with a piece of seared salmon or tossed in a salad with some other winter favorites.
Another type of squash that’s pretty easy to prep and cook. Stuffed acorn squash is one of my go-to make ahead meals. Cut it in half, clean our the middle, drizzle with olive oil, and place open side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for about 35-40 minutes, until insides are soft and skin darkens slightly. Then flip over and fill with a mix of whatever you want! Bake for another 15 minutes.
When it really gets cold outside I start to crave a warm, cozy bowl of soup. Butternut squash soup is thick, savory, and really filling (for a bowl of soup). You can buy the already peeled and diced squash to make your life a little easier. Then roast at 425 until browned. Simmer with broth of choice, onion, and some fresh herbs like sage or rosemary. Once everything has softened blend it all and enjoy!
Make this squash tart that combines delicata and butternut squash with some other great winter flavors!
They look a lot like white carrots, but they’re actually in a different family. Parsnips have a little more of a spicy, nutty, wintery flavor. They’re fantastic paired with a sweeter squash in a soup or roasted to bring out a little more of their sweetness.
These hold up well in a winter climate meaning you can get them year round. Shave them and toss them raw in a salad, or slice and roast them until they’re brown and crispy. They pair really well with a steak for a hearty meal!
There are a few fruits that do well in winter (apples, pears, citrus). One of my favorites for something sweet in the winter is pomegranates. They add a fantastic bite of sweet-tart to a salad or make some pomegranate juice for an antioxidant packed drink.
Beets thrive in temperate climates, keeping them in season all winter long. I love some fresh beets tossed in a salad with goat cheese, greens, and pistachios. You can also make a big pot of borscht or make these beet cured deviled eggs for your next potluck!