Q:I know that it's best to eat seasonally with regards to fruits & veggies (they're cheaper in season and they taste better). With fall just starting, what are the best choices for this season? While we're at it, what about winter?
Fall and Winter are both a great time to embrace Winter squash. Butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash are the most common and can be varied a TON of different ways. There are some great, quick recipes on the website, and the Hungry Girl does a lot with them as well. Keep in mind that these are higher starch/carbohydrate vegetables, so it is best to eat them in place of a starch instead of adding bread, pasta or potato to a meal. Carrots and other root vegetables are great during the Winter as well.
Frozen vegetables often have a higher nutrient value than fresh. Every day that vegetables and fruits spend separated from the vine, they decrease rapidly in nutritional value. Even if you spend the money to purchase fruits and vegetables out of season, they are often from far distances and do not offer you as many nutrients as you might think. In the winter, I focus on usage of fresh lettuce and spinach (cut in bags is fine) and frozen vegetables. There are so many wonderful things you can do with frozen veggies. Here are a few suggestions.
- Mashed Cauliflower makes a wonderful potato substitute. There is a recipe on the website.
- Butternut squash can be fresh or frozen. If you use it frozen, puree is the best dish to make and is really simple.
- Frozen green beans can be flavored to suit any palate.
- Frozen, pre chopped onions are really easy to add to dishes and cut your prep time and crying.
- Bags of frozen, mixed vegetables can be varied a great deal by adding things like soy sauce or Parmesan cheese. Frozen vegetables can also be added to rice and pasta dishes to decrease the amount of starch you are eating and make you to feel full on less calories.
- Add frozen spinach to EVERYTHING. Frozen spinach mixes well with most flavors, so you can put it in chicken dishes, stuffing, omelets, etc.