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.

 

Winterize Yourself!

  • Adjust Bathing Habits: To prevent baths and showers from making dry skin worse, be sure to limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes, use a lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda to relieve itchy skin, and blot your skin gently dry with a towel.
  • Limit Face Washing: Wash your face once in the morning and once at night, as well as after sweating heavily. Try a mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are “deeply hydrating.”
  • Moisturize More: Ointments, creams and lotions work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer within a few minutes of drying off after a shower or bath and washing your face or hands.
  • Don’t Forget Sunscreen: Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun—combined with snow glare—can still damage your skin. Try using a moisturizer that contains SPF.
  • Wear Lip Balm: Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips and has an SPF of at least 15. If your lips sting or tingle after you apply the lip balm, switch to one that does not cause this reaction.

Skin Care Through Changing Seasons

Keep your skin looking and feeling great
With the change in season, many people will begin to notice a difference in the way their skin looks and feels. Many people find that as we move closer to winter, their skin becomes more dried out and flaky. The good news is there are things you can do to keep your skin looking good as the seasons change.
“Winter approaching doesn’t mean your skin has to look dull and dry,” says Katherine Goldman, celebrity esthetician/waxologist and owner of the Stript Wax Bar. “It also doesn’t mean you have to turn to chemicals in an effort to maintain some of your tan throughout the fall and winter. There are much better options available to everyone who wants to take advantage of them.”
Here are some tips that can help keep skin looking and feeling great as the seasons change:
– Dull skin can be countered by having regular facials. Facials remove dead and flaky skin and help restore a natural glow. They give skin an overall healthier appearance.
– When winter approaches, it is important to moisturize the skin so it doesn’t become dried out. After cleansing, follow with an anti-aging serum and apply a good quality moisturizer.
– Bypass the chemical tans that come in take-home spray bottles and lotions. They usually contain chemicals you should avoid putting on the skin and will most likely not provide the natural tan look most people seek. Tanning booths also have risks, so opt for an organic spray tan instead
– Go to a waxologist for hair removal, so skin irritation and problems can be avoided. Having hair professionally waxed will keep the skin smooth and unblemished.
– Drink plenty of water to maintain youthful cells. If the skin doesn’t get enough water, it will look aged and dehydrated.
– Eat foods like strawberries, tomatoes, salmon, edamame, tea, carrots, broccoli, and avocado, which have nutrients that help protect the skin and keep it looking great.

Cracked Winter Hands?

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp raw honey
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Stir together the honey and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Than In another small bowl, blend the salt, sugar and lemon juice until it becomes crumbly. Next, pour the salt mixture over the honey mixture and stir until smooth. Store in a small glass storage container up to two weeks.

Gently massage a marble-sized amount of homemade hand scrub into your hands for 30-60 seconds. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. The coconut oil provides enough moisture so you probably won’t need to follow up with anything else. If your hands are extra dry, you might want to apply some homemade whipped coconut oil. Repeat 1-2 times per week.

 

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