If you’re trying to eat seasonally, it’s important to know about some of the best foods for the colder months. Eating seasonally doesn’t mean you need to neglect winter! There are plenty of fruits, veggies, and other foods for the colder months that taste great and are good for you. Try any (or all) of these foods next time you hit your local grocery store.
1. Sweet Potatoes and Other Root Veggies
Root veggies are one of the best foods for the colder months. They’re rich, hearty, and a great source of fiber-rich complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots are particularly rich sources of vitamin A and fiber. Instead of loading up on refined carbohydrates like pasta, bread, or rice, a creamy sweet potato might be just what you need.
In the fall and winter, sometimes the last thing you want to eat for breakfast is a soggy bowl of cereal. Often fraught with refined sugars, most cereals can actually create a spike in blood sugar, leaving you tired and hungrier than before. Oatmeal is a great alternative for cold days. This whole grain is full of fiber and will help maintain even blood sugar levels all morning long. The best thing about oatmeal is you can dress it up in a bunch of different ways. Add your favorite nuts, dried fruit, jams, jellies, and anything else that suits your liking.
3. Chicken Drumsticks
During winter, I love eating dark cuts of beef and chicken. Chicken drumsticks make particularly good choices in the winter, making an affordable and hearty lunch or dinner. Tougher cuts of meat like drumsticks also taste better when they’re cooked for an extended period of time. A winter braise is the perfect way to prepare drumsticks. Add your favorite veggies and herbs and you’ll have a fantastic winter meal that will warm you to the bone.
4. Whole Grain Toast with Nut Butter and Fruit Jam
Do you find yourself craving more carbs in the winter? Don’t worry, it’s totally normal. It’s okay to eat carbs during the colder season; just make sure you’re eating carbs that are full of fiber and are organic if possible. One of my favorite snacks to eat on a fall afternoon is whole grain toast with organic nut butter and a fruit-based spread. This snack is the perfect combination of sweet and salty to satisfy the most intense carb cravings. Whole grain bread offers a great source of fiber while nut butters like almond butter or peanut butter provide a source of healthy monounsaturated fat.
What would fall and winter be without cranberries? Don’t think you can only eat cranberries during Thanksgiving. Cranberries are in season almost all winter long, and you can use them in about a million different ways. Simmer them slowly into a sweet cranberry sauce, or try using them in a variety of baking recipes and desserts. They’re surprising blend of sweet and tart flavors will please almost everyone!
If you’re cautious of eating too much beef or red meat, stop it right now. Done the right way, red meat can definitely be part of a healthy diet. It’s a great source of iron, vitamin B12, and protein. Unless you’re under specific dietary restrictions to avoid red meat, having red meat one or two times per week can actually benefit your health. Instead of boring cuts of beef, try something more adventurous like lamb. Lamb is a fantastic choice, as game meats tend to be more nutritious than beef.
What would fall and winter be without soup? Soup makes a fantastic appetizer or even main dish, especially on super cold nights. Soup is also a fantastic dish to use leftover meat and veggies before they’ve spoiled. Depending on your preferences, you can make soup from all sorts of cultures and cuisines, eating Thai one night and Ethiopian the next.
Don’t get stuck in the food rut this winter! There are plenty of great foods you can eat that are delicious and healthy. What are some of your favorite foods for the colder months?