Winter Produce Guide

pomegranate

Healthy Winter Produce

As each year ends, a new season arrives. And with it a supply of fresh ingredients that offer you comfort from the cold. From hardy root vegetables to bright, sweet citrus, winter produce delivers a surprising range of flavors for you to enjoy with family and friends.

Blood Oranges

Blood oranges are best eaten fresh—out-of-hand, or in salads, salsas, or marmalades. The two most popular varieties are the dark-fleshed Moro, which is available from December through March, and the delicately flavored Tarocco, which you can find from January through May. To select, pick those that are firm to the touch and heavy for their size. Avoid any fruits with mold or spongy spots.

Beets

Fresh beets are now commonplace on fine-restaurant menus. With hues ranging from yellow to purple, they lend themselves to dramatic presentations.
To select, choose small to medium beets with firm, smooth skin and no soft spots, with stems and leaves attached.

Pomegranates

Although the membranes of pomegranates are bitter and inedible, the pulp and seeds contribute a juicy, sweet-tart flavor to  many winter recipes. To select, choose pomegranates that feel heavy, are bright in color, and are free of blemishes.

Kumquats

Fresh kumquats are in season as early as October and as late as June, but they’re most plentiful from December through April. To select, test with a gentle squeeze, and buy only firm fruit.

Turnips

Often called winter greens, turnip greens are actually available almost year-round. But in deep winter, they become sweeter.  The greens aren’t the only good product of this vegetable, however. The roots can be boiled and mashed or roasted and pureed; they can also be cubed and tossed with butter or used raw in salads.

Leeks

Although leeks resemble large green onions, they’re milder and sweeter. Leeks are usually cooked since they’re very fibrous when raw.

Parsnips

This hardy root vegetable enjoys cool climates—it requires frost to convert its starches to sugars and to develop its sweet, nutty flavor. To select, look for small to medium-sized parsnips with beige skin. They should be blemish-free and firm.

Kale

Consider using kale as a stand-in for spinach in other dishes. Its sturdy leaves are excellent sautéed and added to casseroles. To select, look for a deep blue-green color and choose small bunches devoid of any signs of wilting or discoloration.

Cranberries

Unlike any other fruits, cranberries need to be cooked to release their full flavor and to absorb that of other ingredients—one  of which is sugar. To select, you probably won’t be able to choose them individually, so check the see-through plastic to make sure you get bright, intensely colored berries.

Lemons

Whether you use the juice, the zest (rind), or the slices, the acidity of lemon adds to the balance of flavor in all types of food. To select, look for smooth, brightly-colored skin (green means under-ripe), and lemons that feel heavy for their size.

Oranges

Whether sectioned, sliced, juiced, or zested, these juicy fruits are a kitchen staple. To select, choose firm oranges that have smooth skins and are not moldy. Don’t worry about brown patches on the skin; this does not indicate poor quality.

 

Lemon-Grarlic Chicken

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs malasses
2 tps Worcestershire sauce
4 garlic cloves chopped
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 tps salt
1/4 tps black pepper
lemon wedges
parsley spring

Directions:
In a glass dish combine the lemon juice, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, garlic cloves, and chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the dish reserving the marinade. Arrange in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Pour the reserved marinade over the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, basting occasionally with marinade. Bake without basting for 20 minutes more or until chicken is done.

Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with parsley if desired.

Per serving:
Calories 153
Total Fat 4
Protein 21 g
Carbohydrate 8 g
Cholesterol 86 mg
Sodium 219 mg

#chicken