Seasonal Produce in Indiana

Despite February may not be associated with sunshine and lush vegetation, there is plenty of seasonal produce in Indiana during this time of the year.

Seasonal Produce in Indiana

February in Indiana may not be associated with sunshine and lush vegetation, but don’t let the brown and barren outlook keep you from eating fruits and vegetables. There are plenty of seasonal options during this time of year. Eating produce in season translates to higher quality nutrition and flavor as well as lower costs. So, let’s take a look at several options you’ll find at local retail and farmer’s markets.

Citrus fruits

There are plenty of citrus fruits in season this time of year, including grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges and clementines. Knowing that this category is high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and immune booster, Mother Nature knew we would need more of this vitamin during cold and flu season.

Add citrus fruits daily to your diet by adding mandarin oranges to your salad, squeezing fresh lemon juice over baked fish or chicken, or ending your day with vanilla yogurt layered with grapefruit segments, honey and granola.

Delicata Squash

This yellow, green-striped squash may not be as familiar as the butternut or acorn variety, but it is every bit delicious. For starters, delicata can be stored up to three months in a cool, dry place. The peel is edible so make sure you rinse the exterior thoroughly before slicing. Cut off the ends, slice it in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into thin slices, toss with olive oil and roast in a 425-degree oven until edges and flesh turn a golden brown.

Personally, I like to sprinkle my squash with ground pepper and kosher salt after roasting, but you can add salt and pepper to the olive oil prior to roasting.  Nutritionally, squash is a great source of vitamins A and C, both of which play a role in boosting our immune system.

Brussels Sprouts

Talk about a powerhouse vegetable. This one has it all-high in vitamin C, folate, fiber and is low calorie. The fiber helps keep us full until the next meal and being low in calories means you can eat a large portion while still staying within your caloric needs. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables that includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale.

Cruciferous vegetables have generated a lot of interest in the health world due to their cancer fighting compounds. Brussels sprouts can be baked and roasted to be eaten as a side dish or thinly shaved and eaten raw on top of salads.

Dates

When was the last time you ate a date? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never tried one. So now is as good a time as any to experience the natural goodness of dates. Medjool and Deglet Noor are the most commonly consumed varieties and they are typically sold dried which means they are higher in calories than most fresh fruit.

No worries, just consume in moderation. These sweet fruits are packed with plenty of nutrients including vitamins and minerals, fiber and antioxidants. You can snack on them as is. But I love combining the sweetness of dates with something salty, crunchy or both. Try splitting your date in half and stuffing it with a small teaspoon of soft goat cheese. Top it with a walnut. Amazing!

Eating seasonal produce in season takes advantage of peak flavor, better nutrition and an abundant supply which means a cost savings to you.

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