Although the winter is characterized by snow covered grounds and below zero temperatures, you might be surprised at the number of winter local foods available. Whether you are heading to a winter market, or just looking to purchase more locally at your store, we have a list of our top 5 choices for winter local foods.
In Canada, we don’t have much for winter local fruit, but we do have apples! There are over 100 different varieties of apples, with some of them including the popular McIntosh, Red Delicious, Empire and Cortland. Apples are a good source of fibre and vitamin C. They can be grilled, baked, stewed or eaten raw. They are versatile in a number of recipes, which is why apples are a staple in our houses all year round.
The term winter squash encompasses several different squash varieties with different flavours, textures and uses in recipes. We have a Winter Squash guide that can be helpful if you’re new to the world of squash. Winter squash are a great source of beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C. They are picked in the fall and can be stored to eat all winter long. They can be difficult to cut and prepare, so if you’re looking for an easier option to get the benefits of squash in your diet, try our Butternut Squash Soup.
Carrots are best known for their beta carotene health benefits which is evident in their bright orange colour. Carrots are another local winter vegetable that can be stored and eaten all year round. The carrots we use in our Roast Carrot Soup are from Carron Farms in the Holland Marsh, Ontario. The Holland Marsh is known as Ontario’s “vegetable patch” because of the fertile agricultural land. We like to enjoy our Roast Carrot Soup as is, but if you want a little punch of sweetness, try our Roast Carrot & Apple Soup recipe that comes together in minutes.
Known for their vibrant red colour, beets are a great source of folate. We like to use the beautiful colour of local beets in our Spiced Beet & Tomato Soup recipe. Beets can be eaten raw, roasted or even juiced. We have some of our favourite beet recipes on our Pinterest page.
To be sweet or not sweet. Our last favourite winter local food are potatoes. Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are available all year round in Ontario! Potatoes are native to North America and are rich in potassium and vitamin C. We like to combine our potatoes into a soup with another local winter vegetable, leeks.
What’s your favourite winter fruit or veggie? We’d love to hear from you! Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also find us on Pinterest where we share our favourite local, sustainable recipes.