January’s Bounty: 5 Must-Have Seasonal Produce Items

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s that time of year when it seems like just about everyone is on some new health kick. So, if you can’t beat ‘em, might as well join ‘em, right?

Embodying health can be as easy as filling up your shopping cart with fresh, nutritious, inexpensive, and certainly tasty seasonal produce, and planning your meals around it. Choose January’s best to get the most for your money because, when you shop smart, quality and quantity do go hand-in-hand! Whoever said, “You can’t have your cake, and eat it, too” clearly wasn’t a savvy, seasonal shopper.

  1. Blood Oranges: Get your dose of vitamin C with this brilliantly beautiful citrus fruit! Don’t worry; it doesn’t really resemble actual blood because, if it did, I’d faint every time. Overall, they taste like ordinary oranges, but with the flavor turned up a notch. You’ll just have to try them for yourself! Eat them as is, in salads, or juice them. I’ve grown up drinking and loving Italian blood orange soda. Just add some sparkling water to the juice to mimic the sweet treat!
  2. Celery: Zippy, crunchy celery stalks are notorious for being a diet food, but they don’t have to be! Truthfully, I never was an ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins) kind of kid. However, I’ve learned to love celery that’s basically cooked to death. I pre-chop celery, and keep it in the freezer, for homemade “cream” of celery soup, marinara, and stuffing.
  3. Kiwifruits: If you’ve ever eaten one of these furry fruits, I’m sure you don’t need an excuse to buy them. They’re so yummy all on their own, yet underutilized! Kiwis (no, not the birds) have soft, delicately sweet flesh that’s unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. By the way, apparently, the not so appealing skin is edible, but, for me, just don’t.
  4. Parsnips: I’m sure you’ve walked right past them in the produce department. A parsnip, a root veggie packing quite the punch of potassium, looks like a carrot’s much paler cousin. I bought them once to make a stew, and fell in love with their texture. I hear they’re fabulous roasted, too!
  5. Shallots: When you’re feelin’ fancy, pick up some shallots, before they go out of season! Shallots taste like a milder, sweeter onion and garlic combo that are often used in place of onions. Use raw, minced shallots in vinaigrettes, rather than potent onions, for a milder flavor. However, if you’ll only eat cooked oniony foods, like me, take shallots to a whole new level by caramelizing them!