Updated: June 23, 2023
What’s in Season: January’s top healthy options.
Post-holidays it’s time to reset and eat better. But what do we buy at the supermarket that’s fresh, healthy, and in season when all you can think about is mince pies and chocolate?
From citrus to root vegetables, we’re rounding up the best of January with tips on how to buy and cook with it all.
Thanks to growers in the Southwestern and Southeastern United States, citrus like oranges, blood oranges, and grapefruits, is fresh and ripe now until early spring. A peak grapefruit is very juicy, with enough sweetness to balance its inherent tartness (but not as much sweetness as an orange or tangerine.) Most citrus grown in the US comes from Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona.
BUY IT: Look for firm, heavy fruit with smooth, thin skin.
STORE IT: You can keep it at room temperature for a week, or up to three in the refrigerator.
COOK IT: Grapefruit Brûlée
Hardy kale plants can stand up to winter’s cold temperatures, and many growers leave them in the ground after the first freeze. The plants will not continue to produce new growth, but the leaves, while more fibrous and chewier than summer and fall kale, are entirely edible. Winter kale is best cooked.
BUY IT: Look for kale that’s dark green with pert, crisp leaves. Limp leaves are an indication that the bunch is on its way out.
STORE IT: Store in the chilliest part of the refrigerator, unwashed, for up to 3 days. Wash with cold water just before using.
COOK IT: BLT Kale Salad
Beets store incredibly well and are a staple of many seasonal eaters’ root cellars. The winter varieties are not as tender as smaller spring beets and should be cooked.
BUY IT: The larger the beet, the longer it will last. Look for fat, firm beets with roots intact. The green tops will have been removed already. Both golden and red beets keep well throughout the cold months.
STORE IT: Store them loose and unwashed in a cool, dark place, with room to breathe. Do not seal them in plastic bags.
COOK IT: Big Batch of Oven-Steamed Beets
Many growers plant enough carrots to last throughout the winter in a root cellar. They keep beautifully and make excellent soup.
BUY IT: Winter storage carrots tend to be thicker and fatter than summer and fall carrots. They will also be “topped” (greens removed). Look for smooth skin without cracks.
STORE IT: Carrots keep better when stored unwashed; if you can buy them with a little residual dirt, it’s best to wash them just prior to using. Store in a root cellar, or else in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
COOK IT: Roasted Carrots
No matter what your “live well’ journey is this new year, try to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into your diet. Experimenting with flavors and other ingredients in a dish is a fun way for the whole family to enjoy seasonal produce in meals throughout the week!