Eating in Season for Winter

Try these high protein dishes and winter meal ideas for tasty, healthy seasonal meals.

| November/December 2016

Eating in Season

With storage savvy and a little kitchen know-how, you can successfully eat in season year-round.

Photo by iStock

Winter is the most challenging season for those of us who seek to eat fresh, locally grown food. Most of what we find in the grocery store produce department in December has been shipped from miles away, and although some crops grow well in a variety of climates year-round, our gardens are typically not producing an abundance during these shortest days of the year.

However, eating in season doesn’t have to stop just because it’s cold outside. Eating in season in winter requires more planning—creating preserved foods that can last in the freezer or on our pantry shelves is one crucial element. We can also stockpile a wide variety of late-season foods for several months by storing them properly. 

Finally, in winter we’re wise to welcome a period of simplicity and rest, including a simplified diet of hearty veggie stews and casseroles. The more we can depend on root vegetables, pickles, preserved garden goods and whole grains, the more we can eat well all year—without need for foods shipped halfway around the world. Read on for recipes and tips for a winter-friendly diet that’s chock-full of nutrition and flavor. 

Winter Recipes

The early weeks of winter often feel like one long celebration of food as I taste my way through a seemingly never-ending series of holiday parties. Aromatic roasted nuts, sugary winter squashes, savory wild rices, exotic mushrooms and decadent sweets tempt me at every turn and prove that all food tastes best when shared with friends and family. 

By January, I am completely content with winter’s simple menu of warming soups and stews, casseroles, roasted roots and sautéed greens. Soups and sauces simmer all day in my kitchen and fill my home with wonderful aromas. The freezer and pantry overflow with frozen and canned foods—the summer’s pesto, berries from the picking patch, and pickled beets and beans—all ready to add just enough spice to winter’s comforting menu. Everything about winter, from its short, cold days to its simple and sweet tastes, allows my mind and body to rest.

elderberry, echinacea, bee hive


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