Winter Fruit and Vegetables: Recipes and Tips
Give your cold-weather menus a kick with interesting winter fruits and veggies.
It may seem like slim pickings in the produce section in the wintertime. But
if you look a little closer, you'll find a cornucopia of winter fruit and
vegetable choices. We all know the winter holiday season is prime time for
produce like cranberries and yams. But have you considered persimmons, kiwi,
oranges, pears, or rutabagas? And here's the kicker: All these winter choices
have notable nutritional attributes, including scores of healthful
Here are 15 fruits and vegetables that tend to be available during
the winter season, including some year-round favorites. Keep in mind that no
matter which fruit you're buying, choose fruit that feels heavy for its size
and has no sign of molding, deterioration, or bruising.
Asian Pear (September-December for the Yali type, October-March for
Asian pear contains 4 grams of fiber (a combination of soluble and insoluble
fiber), and almost 10% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
Storage Tip: These fruits are picked when they are almost ripe, so
handle them gently. Use quickly after purchase or refrigerate for one to two
Prep Tip: Use them raw in salads, as a snack with cheese, or as a
dipper for fondue. Use them cooked in crisps and other desserts, muffins, and
Cooking Tip: The thin-skinned Korean pears don't have to be peeled
before cooking. They can be cut into round slices or wedges, chopped, or even
grated. The center core can be removed with an apple corer. Asian pears usually
require longer cooking times than regular pears because of their crunchy
Nutrition Tip: One half cup of uncooked cranberries contains 2 grams
of fiber (mostly insoluble fiber), and 9% of the recommended daily amount of
Storage Tip: Pick out any soft or moldy berries, then refrigerate the
rest in a plastic bag for up to seven days. They can be frozen in bags if you
won't be using them right away.
Prep Tip: Cranberries can be used whole. Just rinse them briefly in
cold water. Use them as an accent fruit in pies and crisps, pudding, and jams,
and as a featured ingredient in muffins, breads, cakes, and sauces.
Recipes with cranberries usually involve added
sweetener to balance the tartness of the berries.
Green Beans (Available all year)
Nutrition Tip: One cup of raw snap green beans contains 4 grams of
fiber (a combination of soluble and insoluble); 11% of the recommended daily
amount of folic
acid, vitamin A and vitamin B2; and 24% of the recommended daily amount of
Storage Tip: Refrigerate green beans, unwashed, in a plastic bag for
up to four days.
Prep Tip: Snap or cut off the ends, cut longer beans crosswise into
the length desired, and rinse before cooking.