When the winters arrive, we lose more than just a few hours of sunlight most of the green vegetables appear less in the market, If you’re mourning the loss of your favorite summer-rich foods, we feel your pain. But we do have some good news the cold season is also full of winter-rich foods.
All winter food essentials pack a serious nutritional punch and are just waiting to be worked into your favorite cold-weather recipes.
What is winter-rich food?
Did you know what qualifies as a “winter rich food”? Is there an official definition?
Nope, not really at least not in any scientific sense. The term is a marketing buzzword used to get consumers to buy more of the types of foods they should be eating. Ever thought of cooking with kale? You might once it’s been called a “Winter rich food” instead of a plain ol’ leafy green vegetable.
That doesn’t mean that superfoods don’t deliver on their nutritional promises, though.
“Generally, a portion of food is promoted to rich food star status when it delivers ample amounts of vitamins and minerals with antioxidant power, is linked to the prevention of a disease, or is thought to offer several health benefits.
Why you should eat more winter-rich foods.
If you assume that winter-rich foods must be expensive, or hard to find in stores that’s simply not the case.
Your local grocery store or a local farmers market and you’ll find what we consider rich foods non-processed, whole, plant-based foods [that can] supply us with important nutrients like fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
And if you want to maximize the power of superfoods, it’s as simple as buying in-season ones. Buying seasonal superfoods even the winter superfoods means they will be:
- cheaper, because they are in abundance;
- fresher, because they are often harvested at the peak of ripeness;
- more environment-friendly, because they’re harvested from local sources (which decreases the amount of fuel used to transport your food to the store).
- and more nutrition than their out-of-season counterparts.
Healthiest winter-rich foods you should buy!
Now that you know what superfoods are, and why you should buy them! you can go shopping.
Apples are a great source of vitamin C, getting adequate vitamin C is key for immune support and apples also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels. Apple season arrives toward the end of summer but often continues well into late fall or early winter, depending on where you live.
“We recommend eating the peel of apples because a large percentage of the fiber and phytonutrients are found within the peel,”
Sweet potatoes are one of her favorite cool weather foods and are also a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that fights free radical damage and inflammation. Their peak season happens from October to December.
Add diced sweet potatoes to soups and chilis whenever you’re bored of baking them or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at sweet potato toast for breakfast.
“Brussels sprouts are one of the best winter staples taste and nutrient density,” These mini veggies are high in vitamins K and C, and also contain folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Typically harvested in late fall into winter, we recommend tossing halved Brussels sprouts in avocado oil, sea salt, and pepper, then roasting them in the oven whenever you want a delish but healthy side at dinner.
Looking for a natural way to fight off or recover from one of the many nasty viruses that circulate during the winter? Your search ends with ginger, to improve digestion, soothe upset stomachs, and boost your immune system. It’s often available year-round, but the freshest roots are likely to be those harvested in the winter months.
Ginger is pretty potent when it comes to flavor, so a little goes a long way but a little also goes great in Asian-inspired dishes like stir fry, or steeped in hot water as a fresh ginger tea.
Yes, harvesting the seeds of a pomegranate is kind of a commitment, but it’s one that’s totally worth making.
“Pomegranate is high in polyphenols,” known to improve heart health, fight infection, and improve memory.”
Easy to find from September to February, pomegranates are delicious in recipes. Try them sprinkled on a salad or tossed into yogurt, smoothies, and chia seed pudding.
Just like apples, broccoli is a surprising source of vitamin C—one cup contains more than 100% of your daily needs “Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain compounds which may be protective against cancer…more studies need to be done to determine the relationship between cruciferous vegetables and cancer, but the research that exists is very promising.”
Broccoli is easily steamed as a last-minute side dish, but you can also puree it into a cheesy, creamy soup
These dark red root veggies are high in folate, potassium, and beta carotene, nutrients making them a unique but nutritious addition to your table from summer to late fall.
They’re not the easiest vegetable to cook with—you can’t exactly roast them on a sheet pan—but they are a winter salad staple. You can also turn them into a classic Russian-style soup.
You might associate avocados with summertime tacos and margaritas, but Shapiro says this “near-perfect food” is actually in season in winter (depending on the variety, avocados are the ripest between August and December). The long list of avocado benefits includes a healthy fat content of omega-3’s, B vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and B6, and also magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and K.
If you’re strolling right past heads of cabbage at your local market because it’s not St. Patrick’s Day, you’re missing out on an economical and nutrient-dense winter offering. In season from late fall to early spring, cabbage is a wonder food thanks to high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and calcium, along with the fact that it’s 92% water.
It’s easy to incorporate cabbage into meals, too. Stuff it with ground meat and tomato sauce, shred it for homemade egg rolls, or pair it with kielbasa and potatoes for a warm, filling soup.