Finding the best winter fruits and veggies
Fresh Market in Guilford, where I have had the pleasure of enjoying conversations with folks regarding everything from ginger root, turnips and bok choy to the value of almond milk and fair trade coffee. One thing that has perplexed me is how does one stay healthy during winter months when fruits and vegetables are no longer plentiful? Obviously, said f&vs are shipped in from around the country or from offshore, but what are the standouts? Other high-end "organic" stores in Connecticut offer what Fresh Market does: Whole Foods offers a tropical fruit mix and Trader Joe's (like F.M.) boasts Envy Apples (delicious). This is just a snapshot. Beautiful rows of tasty, healthful fruits and veggies entice the senses on a stroll through the aisles of all three stores. Further, families can offer their child a free banana or clementine at participating stores including Fresh Market and Stop 'n Shop. But the problem remains: during the height of flu and cold season (not to mention the ongoing threat of COVID-19), how can one stay as healthy as possible when our vitamin intake has been compromised by Ol' Man Winter and this gloomy grey weather? The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK advises: "Winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, swede [called rutabaga here in the States] and turnips can be roasted, mashed or made into soup for a comforting winter meal for the whole family. Explore varieties of fruit and veg that you may not normally eat." Indeed, in my unofficial querying of customers at Fresh Market it does seem that a lot of smart people make healthful soups and stews this time of year. The NHS also advises one take in five fruits/vegetables daily. This means: - 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables [which] counts as 1 portion of your 5 A Day. Opt for tinned or canned fruit and vegetables in natural juice or water, with no added sugar or salt. - 30g of dried fruit (this is equivalent to around 80g of fresh fruit) [which] counts as 1 portion of your 5 A Day. Dried fruit should be eaten at mealtimes, not as a between-meal snack, to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
PHOTO: By Jeremy Keith from Brighton & Hove, United Kingdom - CarrotsUploaded by Fæ, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23076164