Getting your fruits and veggies – even in the winter months!

Discover what options you have during winter months to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies.

It’s easy to think about fruits and vegetables during summer months, when farm market stands and grocery stores are teeming with locally grown fruits and vegetables. In the winter, when market stands are covered with snow, it’s more difficult to eat your daily dose of fruits and vegetables. But in the grocery stores, there is still an abundance of inexpensive fruits and vegetables you can enjoy that are also good for you.

Purchasing seasonal produce is usually a way to get the best quality and lower prices. Check your local grocery store’s advertisements so you can take advantage of sales or specials. Michigan State University Extension says that some winter fruits and vegetables include: Pears, oranges, kiwi, grapefruit and tangerines, root vegetables like parsnips, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, as well as broccoli, squash, cauliflower and carrots.

We all know how important it is to eat fruits and vegetables! Fruits and veggies provide you with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are a naturally low-fat and low-calorie foods. The fiber present in fruits and vegetables make you feel fuller while providing a rich source of vitamins A, C and E. Those vitamins will help you to stay healthy during the winter months.

One of the barriers in eating enough vegetables is not knowing how to cook unfamiliar ones. Roasting root vegetables in the oven is tasty and easy. Pick your favorite root vegetables – carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes or turnips. Wash, peel and cut into one-inch pieces. Toss vegetables with a small amount of olive oil and herbs like rosemary or thyme. Bake in a roasting pan in the oven for one hour or until tender, tossing occasionally.

Other cost saving options in the winter is to purchase canned or frozen fruits and vegetables. These options can be just as healthy as the fresh, as long as you avoid added salt or sugar. Select canned vegetables that read “no-salt added” or “reduced salt.” Avoid fruit canned in syrup to reduce your sugar intake. Select canned fruits that are packed in their own juices.

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of our diet all year round. Take advantage of the produce selection available during the winter. Don’t let the cold months stop you from becoming full on your fill of fruits and vegetables!

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