Winter Produce Guide:
Vegetables & Fruits in Season November to April
Bookmark RFD-TV’s Winter Produce Guide list to have on hand whenever you hit your local grocery store, farmers market, or CSA to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables all season long!
Buying seasonal produce during the winter can be a delightful and rewarding experience. While it’s true that the winter months can present challenges for finding fresh, locally sourced fruits and vegetables, there are still plenty of delicious options available that can brighten up your meals and keep you connected to the changing seasons.
Buying seasonal produce during the winter is a sustainable, economical, and flavorful choice. It connects you to the local food community, reduces your environmental impact, and encourages you to explore the culinary possibilities that each season brings. So, while the winter may seem barren at first, there is still a cornucopia of delicious and nutritious options waiting to be discovered in your local market or through community-supported agriculture programs.
Here are a few reasons why buying seasonal produce in the winter is a great idea:
Flavor and Nutrient Richness
Seasonal produce tends to be at its peak in terms of flavor and nutritional content. When you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, you’re more likely to enjoy their full, natural taste. In the winter, items like citrus fruits, root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, and winter squashes are rich in flavor and essential nutrients. These fresh options can provide a burst of vitamins and antioxidants to help you stay healthy during the cold season.
Cost Savings & Reduced Environmental Impact
Seasonal produce is often more affordable during its peak season because of the abundance of supply. This can be a cost-effective way to eat healthily and deliciously during the winter months. Opting for seasonal produce in the winter can also have a positive impact on the environment. Choosing locally grown items that are in season reduces the need for long-distance transportation and refrigeration, which in turn reduces the carbon footprint associated with your food choices. It’s a sustainable way to support local agriculture and reduce the energy required for food transportation.
Support for Local Farmers
Despite a bountiful selection of fresh fruits and vegetables all year long, consumers tend to associate the practice of purchasing them with warmer times of year. That is only part of why winter can be a challenging time for farmers who depend on seasonal crops. By purchasing their produce during the winter, you help provide essential support to local agricultural communities. This not only helps sustain small-scale farmers but also contributes to the diversity of your local food system.
Embracing seasonal produce in the winter can also inspire culinary creativity. You may discover new recipes and cooking techniques to make the most of the available winter ingredients. From hearty stews and soups to roasted root vegetables and citrus-infused salads, winter produce can lead to a diverse and flavorful menu.
Winter Fruits in Season Right Now
During the winter months, several fruits come into season, adding a burst of freshness and vibrant flavors to our plates. Citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes, are among the most prominent winter stars. Their juicy, tangy goodness is not only a delightful taste sensation but also a rich source of vitamin C to help boost our immune systems during the cold season. Pomegranates are another winter jewel, with their ruby-red arils offering a sweet-tart explosion of flavor and a wealth of antioxidants. Additionally, apples, particularly late varieties like Granny Smith and Fuji, are at their prime during the winter, making for excellent snacking or baking options. Winter is also the season for enjoying persimmons, a sweet and honeyed fruit that can be eaten fresh or incorporated into various dishes. These winter fruits not only brighten up our meals but also provide a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients to support our well-being during the chilly months.
Fruits in-season during the winter:
- Apples (late varieties may be available until early winter)
- Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes & tangerines)
- Grapes (late varieties may be available in early winter)
- Guavas (available year-round in tropical regions)
- Passion fruit (available year-round in some regions)
- Pears (late varieties may be available until early winter)
- Stone fruits (apricots, persimmons & plums)
Winter Vegetables in Season Now
Winter brings a distinct variety of vegetables to your local markets, and many of these thrive in colder temperatures. These winter vegetables are not only flavorful and nutritious but also versatile for creating hearty and comforting dishes during the colder months. From the earthy richness of Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes to the vibrant colors of beets and kale, winter vegetables provide a diverse array of tastes and textures. It is an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, exploring hearty stews, roasted root vegetables, and warming soups, all while nourishing your body with the vitamins and nutrients necessary to thrive during the colder months. So, embracing winter vegetables isn’t just a seasonal choice; it’s a flavorful and eco-conscious commitment to the changing bounty of each time of year.
Vegetables in-season during the winter:
- Alliums (Garlic, Leeks, Onions & Shallots)
- Beets & beetroot
- Brussel sprouts
- Cabbage (red & green)
- Pumpkins & Squash (Acorn, Butternut, Kabocha, etc.)
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter Greens (Collard Greens, Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Turnip Greens)
The availability of these vegetables may vary by region, so it’s a good idea to check with your local farmers markets or grocery stores to see what’s in season in your area.
Make sure you bookmark this article to have it as your ultimate guide on the go -- whether you purchase them from your local grocery store, farmers market, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, or a website or app that sells local or hard-to-find seasonal fruits and vegetables (like Hot Poppy, in the Nashville-area, or Misfits Market), want to learn to grow them yourself, or even hope to forage for wild fruits and veggies! There are so many wonderful fresh foods to enjoy in the winter!