Are you in a dinner rut? Do you always purchase the same types of fruits and vegetables from your local grocer whether they are in season or not?
Living in Ventura, we’re fortunate because our community is located in the hub of agriculture. In fact, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California!
If you haven’t taken advantage of your local certified farmer’s market, where great tasting, fresh produce, a more health conscious choice for you and your family, is abundant and doesn’t have to be processed or frozen to travel miles to get to your table, make a plan to visit a venue near you! Find a market near you: vccfarmersmarkets.com
Here’s a list of yummy fruits and veggies to help you get acquainted with what’s in season. If you’re still hesitant about what some of this produce tastes like, and/or how to prepare them in a recipe, ask the farmer at the stand who sells them to you for a sample, as well as their tips on recipe preparation — try them, you’ll like them!
Roast, grill, steam, or boil these delectable winter veggies — individually, or a mix of several. Add them into salads and/or serve them with a meat or fish entrée. To mix up the flavor, sauté them with a little extra virgin olive oil, garlic and onions, and experiment with fresh herbs and spices!
Winter fruits are the perfect, healthy snack. Also, enjoy them in a fruit salad or for dessert (in a galette, pie or muffin recipe, or even grilled). Frozen persimmons make a delicious treat that you can enjoy just like you would a sorbet. Just freeze them, and partially thaw when you’re ready to enjoy.
Persimmons (pictured above: Hitachi or Fuyu)
–Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV