We all know how eating locally grown produce is generally healthier, due to higher nutrient value (it’s great for your local economy too). By reducing the amount of time it takes to transport the food to your local grocer or market, it allows the produce to be ripened in its natural state for longer; increasing not only the amount of nutrients but the flavour too. With the reduced travel time, there is less nutrient deterioration and your produce ends up being far fresher.
All of that being said, it is quite difficult to eat locally when you live further up north. The cold doesn’t allow for a plethora of food to grow so your choices are far more limited than they are in the spring and summer. Thankfully, winter vegetables are not only delicious, if prepared the right way, they are incredibly nutritious as well. Your geographic location will dictate different local produce during this season, but here are some general winter vegetables to take note of.
"Eating heathy during winter months can be a challenge. Know the best local crops for winter, for best results." (Image by Whit Andrews.)
Fruits: Apples, cranberries, lingonberries, pears
Root vegetables: Burdock, daikon, potatoes, rutabaga, turnip, winter squash
Leafy vegetables: Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, swiss chard, mustard greens, kale, mizuna, spinach, watercress
Herbs: Bay leaves, rosemary, sage, thyme
Others: Leeks, garlic
Here are some recipes and tips to make the most of your winter vegetables.
How to make a better kale salad Jamie Oliver’s perfect roast potatoes Smoked paprika and rutabaga bisque Vegan butternut squash and black bean chili Pickled burdock root