What’s in Season: Winter Edition December 14, 2016

by Eat

Come summer, it’s all about the berries. And fall? Apples. But what’s in season now? Continue reading to discover three unique winter fruits and veggies we love.  what's in season-winter-HelloFresh

When winter arrives, we’re used to seeing apples, pears, and citrus pop up in grocery stores and farmer’s markets. However, many of us pass right by some of the more unusual seasonal winter produce without giving them a second thought. Not any more. We’re here to demystify three of our favorite cold weather beauties once and for all so you can add a little more flair to your plate, especially during the holiday season.

1. Blood oranges

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Appearance: While the name may sound intimidating, this citrus fruit is actual quite delightful! Blood oranges usually have a slightly more red-hued skin, and the flesh inside is a vibrant scarlet color thanks to a special antioxidant called anthocyanins which is only produced when the fruit is exposed to colder temperatures. In fact, it’s the same thing that makes blueberries blue and cherries red.

Flavor: Blood oranges are slightly more intense in flavor than a regular orange – sweet, less acidic but still tart, and raspberry like.

Nutrition: Like all citrus fruits, blood oranges are a great source of Vitamin C and folic acid. They’re also anti-inflammatory and help protect our blood vessels. The antioxidants in this fruit have even been shown to help fight against cancer.

How to use: The skin can be zested to add extra flavor to vinaigrettes and sauces, and the flesh can be eaten raw (and is delicious when paired with fennel) or cooked into a jam.

Recipe: Spiced Salmon with Blood Orange Arugula Salad

2. Persimmons

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Appearance and flavor: There are two common varieties of persimmons: hachiya and fuyu. Hachiya is considered an “astringent” persimmon, and when unripe produces tannins that make it inedible. This variety is acorn shaped with a pointy bottom and a red-orange color. On the other hand, fuyu are considered “non-astringent” and can be eaten when still firm. They are more squat shaped and orange in color. Typically, this fruit doesn’t reach its peak until the first frost. When ripe, persimmons have an incredibly sweet taste with honey overtones.

Nutrition: They are an excellent source of Vitamin C (80% of our daily recommended intake) and a good source of iron (19% of our daily recommended intake).

How to use: Hachiya persimmons are often used to make puddings, breads, and cookies while Fuyu are delicious sliced up and served raw in salads or in a fruit tart. 

My favorite way to enjoy these fruits is thinly sliced and resting on a large bed of spinach with some crunchy walnuts tossed in for good measure!

3. Pomegranates

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Appearance and flavor: Did you know that the average pomegranate can have anywhere from 200 to 1400 seeds? This may explain why, although pretty on the outside, pomegranates are even more gorgeous on the inside.

Flavor: Sweet and slightly tart

Nutrition: Pomegranates are packed with compounds called phytochemicals that stimulate the serotonin (our happy hormone) receptors in the body, which help to boost mood and may reduce symptoms of depression.

Additionally, the antioxidants present in this delicious fruit are heart healthy. They improve blood circulation and help clear out the bad cholesterol that blocks our arteries.

How to use: Pomegranates are most often juiced or used as a garnish to top both dessert and salads. Plus, they taste amazing when combined with caramelized Brussels sprouts.

If these unusual seasonal winter produce peaked your interest, you’re bound to love these five other unique vegetables.

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