December marks the time for chilly mornings, snow on the ground (in some states), and warm bowls for meals filled with soups and stews, roasted winter vegetables and baked sweet treats. There is nothing like some good comfort food during the winter! The growing season has come to an end in the Northern states but there are still plenty of options, both satisfyingly tasty and affordable for those on a budget. A simple and easy way to save on your produce bill is to buy what is in season.
While there are more delicious and nutritious fruits and veggies to be added to this list, the following is a list of the cheapest seasonal vegetables you can use to fill your bowls, plates and cups this winter.
Beets. These guys are typically sweet (if you opt for the golden variety) and have a dense and earthy taste. You can mix them in smoothies, roast them, or toss them with salads.
Broccoli. No longer the vegetable your mother made you eat, broccoli if done up, can be a delicious vegetable paired with an entrée or eaten as a snack. Add broccoli to a slaw or salad, toss it with a stir-fry, or roast in with garlic and avocado oil for a simple side dish.
Oranges. During the dark and cold mornings, citrus is not only going to help awaken you but it will likely help keep colds at bay. The bright color and powerful taste can be used in dressings, topped over yogurt, and mixed in with smoothies. Or hey, just peel and orange and be on your way. Don’t forget about the peel – orange zest can be the perfect topper.
Sweet potatoes. Try these versatile root vegetables if you haven’t yet. Hold the marshmallows and brown sugar and simply roast with a sprinkle of salt. They are especially popular as fries paired with burgers (and dipped in avocado oil mayo), mashed with an entrée, or shredded with eggs for a breakfast hash. Don’t be afraid to try these in waffles or pancakes either.
Winter Squash. This variety is likely all around you. From butternut squash to pumpkin (and all of the oddly shaped squashes in between), these distinctly shaped vegetables pack a lot of punch for a small price. Once diced, shredded or cubed, you can add flavor and fullness to any meal. Most can be substituted for potatoes, or used as a simple side dish. Noodles and rounds can even be tried to reduce calories for lunches and dinners.
Brussels sprouts. You likely hated them as a kid and hopefully learned to love them as an adult! Learn how to roast these little baby cabbages in the recipe below – no more boiling them like your parents may have done. You can also shred them and add to salads or douse them with cheese in a gratin.
Pick up two of our favorites, Brussels sprouts and butternut squash along with some Chosen Foods Chosen Blend Oil to whip up one of our favorite winter recipes:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash with Dijon Dressing
(Prep time: 10 mins cooking time: 20 mins Yields: 4)
1lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks (or buy pre-cut and packaged)
1lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
2 tbsp. avocado oil or chosen blend
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey* optional
Dash of sage, thyme, salt and pepper
4 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 tbsp. Chosen Blend Oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Place the butternut squash chunks and Brussels on a baking sheet; coat with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping over half way through the cooking time.
Optional: While veggies are roasting, heat a nonstick skillet to medium and pan fry ground turkey, crumbling as it cooks. Add seasoning to your liking. I used sage, thyme and some salt and pepper.
During the last few minutes, sprinkle in the cranberries to warm.
Prepare dressing by whisking vinegar, Dijon, oil and s&p during final minutes of roasting time.
Layer a deep bowl with warm veggies and top with ground turkey. Drizzle dressing over top. You may omit the turkey and just serve as a veggie side dish.