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Winter Food: 100 Healthy Winter Recipes Featuring In Season Produce

In this Guide to Winter Food, we’re showcasing 10 of the most popular seasonal ingredients for winter: winter squash, leafy greens, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, beets, broccoli + broccoli rabe, pears, pomegranates, cabbage and brussels sprouts. You’ll learn about the health benefits of in season produce AND we’ve rounded up 100 delicious Winter recipes that will inspire you to cook and stay warm in your kitchen during these chilly months!

UPDATE: This post was originally published in December 2017.

Winter–which officially started December 21st and ends on March 20th –doesn’t exactly scream seasonal produce the way Spring and Summer do, but there are still a surprising amount of fresh vegetables and fruits that peak in the Winter.

We’re lucky that some of Fall’s bountiful produce like sweet potatoes, winter squash and beets store well and keep for months. Citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruit and tangerines peak in the winter, and nutritious leafy greens like arugula, collard greens and spinach thankfully grow year round.

RELATED:  100 Healthy Fall Recipes Featuring In Season Autumn Produce

There’s nothing like getting fresh fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market or CSA to inspire clean, healthy eating. Read on to discover some recipes that are bound to become some of your favorites this winter! 

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD +  100 COMFORTING WINTER RECIPES

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Winter Squash - Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe with Butternut Squash

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Winter Squash

Winter squash comes in all types of varieties including butternut, delicata, spaghetti, acorn and kabocha. Delicious roasted, in soups, sauces or used in place of pasta noodles, it’s hard to get tired of squash when there’s such a variety of ways to eat it!

These anti-inflammatory gourds are also super good for you, filled with fiber (helps eliminate toxins), beta-carotene (great for your skin) and folate (which is especially important if you’re planning to get pregnant).

WINTER RECIPES: WINTER SQUASH RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Leafy Greens - Thai Coconut Milk Sauteed Greens

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are tremendously healthy and totally delicious! Add to stir-fries or soups, sauté for a simple side dish, blend into smoothies or use as a base for salads.

Dark, leafy greens are a powerhouse food that support optimal heart health, brain cognition and microbiome gut health, to name a few!

WINTER RECIPES: LEAFY GREENS RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Citrus Fruits - Citrus Kale Salad

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits show up every year when the days get shorter and we’re in desperate need of some bright flavors and colors. Grapefruits, lemons, oranges and tangerines are all wonderful ways to add vibrancy to our plates and palates.

Known for their high Vitamin C content, citrus fruits provide a much needed boost when winter colds kick in. They’re also hydrating and help your body absorb other nutrients, so it’s smart to pair them with superfoods like leafy greens for maximum health benefits.

WINTER RECIPES: CITRUS RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Sweet Potatoes - Twice Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Sweet Potatoes

Inexpensive, long-lasting and downright delicious, sweet potatoes have come a long way from just getting paired with marshmallows at Thanksgiving and are now showcased in a variety of recipes, from soups to tacos, casseroles to even desserts!

Filled with magnesium and potassium, these spuds are also a great way to satisfy a sweets craving with their naturally sweet taste. Their sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, providing a balanced source of energy – no blood sugar spikes or fatigue here!

WINTER RECIPES: SWEET POTATO RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Beets - Beet Hummus

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Beets

Beets have become much more popular over recent years with their deep, earthy flavor and wide variety of applications since they can be eaten fresh, cooked or roasted. Cooked beets are pretty sweet and juicy, meaning that beets have even been showing up in dessert recipes like chocolate cake or red velvet cupcakes!

Beets have been linked with lowering blood pressure, increasing stamina and fighting inflammation, making them a healthy and detoxifying addition to your diet.

WINTER RECIPES: BEET RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Broccoli + Broccoli Rabe - Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Smoky Chickpeas

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Broccoli + Broccoli Rabe

What can broccoli NOT do? A cornerstone of most American tables, broccoli is perfect steamed, roasted and sauteed, as well as in soups, casseroles and raw with dips. Its sophisticated cousins–broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, broccoletti and broccoli raab—is like a hybrid of broccoli and mustard greens with a slightly bitter flavor.

A true powerhouse, broccoli contains many health-promoting nutrients. A couple standouts include folate– which has been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer and protect against colon, stomach, pancreatic, and cervical cancers–and Vitamin K for bone health (just one cup of chopped broccoli provides 92 micrograms of vitamin K, well over 100 percent of your daily need!). (source)

WINTER RECIPES: BROCCOLI RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Pears - Arugula Pear Salad with Tahini Dressing

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Pears

Sweet and juicy, pears are simply delicious raw. If you want to get fancy, trying roasting, poaching or baking pears in a tart or crisp. Pears also make a fabulous addition to salads, especially when paired with crunchy nuts like walnuts or pecans, crisp frisee lettuce or pungent blue cheese.

Pears are filled with immune and health benefits: they help fight chronic diseases by supplying high levels of antioxidants; they support the lowering of cholesterol thanks to their high fiber content; they contain special phytonutrients, including anti-inflammatory flavonoids, anticancer polyphenols and anti-aging flavonoids; and studies have linked the fruit’s consumption with lower levels of constipation, kidney stones, high cholesterol and even diabetes. (source)

WINTER RECIPES: PEAR RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Pomegranates  - Rice Cakes with almond butter, pomegranates and butternut squash

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Pomegranates 

Did you know each piece of pomegranate can hold up to 600 of those juicy, ruby-like seeds? The unique and tart crunchy jewels are common in classic Middle Eastern dishes, but also work great in salads, desserts, and cocktails.

Research shows that pomegranates can help prevent or treat various disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, inflammation and even anticarcinogenic effects. Plus, they’re one of the top 10 aphrodisiac foods, in case you need a little boost. 😉 (source)

WINTER RECIPES: POMEGRANATE RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Cabbage - Baja Fish Tacos (gluten free)

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Cabbage

Cabbage can be highly underestimated, but it’s hugely versatile, showing up in all kinds of possible forms from stir-fries to stuffed leaves to braised, raw in coleslaws and salads, and fermented like in sauerkraut and kimchi. It also has many varieties including Dutch cabbage (the most common kind in North America) with smooth green or purple heads,  savoy cabbage with crinkled leaves and a sweeter flavor, and Napa (also known as Chinese or celery cabbage) with an oblong shape and ridged leaves.

The insoluble fiber from red cabbage (also called purple) is known to prevent constipation, lower the risk of developing diverticular disease and may help relieve symptoms of some gastrointestinal conditions, such as IBS symptoms. (source) Fermented preparations are well known for their probiotic benefits, which support gut health.

WINTER RECIPES: CABBAGE RECIPES

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SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Brussels Sprouts - Roasted with lemon and garlic

SEASONAL WINTER FOOD: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have been making a comeback in recent years; once infamous for being a boiled, overcooked icky mess, brussels are now famed for their uber crispiness when fried or roasted, their tenderness when sauteed and their crunchy cruciferousness when shredded raw for salads.

It’s now been shown that consuming high amounts of cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts is associated with a lower risk of cancer–particularly esophageal, prostate and pancreatic cancer, as well as melanoma–likely due to their sulfur-containing compounds. (source)

WINTER RECIPES: BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPES

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What are some of your favorite ways to prepare these winter foods? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

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21 comments on “Winter Food: 100 Healthy Winter Recipes Featuring In Season Produce”

  1. I am all about eating in season produce and this round up has some amazing recipes included. Thank you for doing this!

  2. What an awesome resource! Thanks so much for rounding all of this up. Many great ideas for the next few months.

  3. What great seasonal ideas! Love this. Such creative ways to get allll the winter veggies in!

  4. These look amazing. My New Years resolution is to eat more beets, this will definitely help. Unfortunately we’re just going into Summer down this end of the world, but I’m definitely bookmarking this post for when the colder weather rolls around because it all looks great.

  5. Such a great list. I’ve had my fair share of butternut and acorn squash this season already!

  6. What a delicious and mouthwatering selection of winter recipes there to keep us all busy during the holidays! Thank you for sharing x

  7. Beautiful roundup! Proves you can eat the rainbow any time of the year. Now I’m craving beets. 🙂

  8. What a wonderful roundup of gorgeous recipes! I think I might start with some of the cooler ones like smoothies and salads because we’re currently experiencing a very hot summer in Australia! ????

  9. So excited for this post! I love eating in season and now have so many delicious recipes to choose from!