The best winter fruits and vegetables!

Grilled vegetables in a wok
In winter, your body needs more vitamins than ever to stay healthy as well as to fight off all the viruses that are going around. Bar none, eating lots of fruits and vegetables is the best way to get the vitamins you need. Although the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables is less bountiful than in summer, many root vegetables are available at the supermarket, as well as some imported fruits, such as citrus. Discover all the benefits of adding fruits and vegetables to your plate on a daily basis for iron-clad health!

Which fruits and vegetables to choose
Root vegetables are popular in winter. Think carrots, cabbage, Jerusalem artichokes, beets, onions, parsnips, sweet potatoes, squash and leeks, just to name a few. Often linked to a reconnection with the earth, these vegetables add a touch of comfort and warmth to cold winter days. Usually cooked in nourishing and spicy stews, root vegetables offer great nutritional value and are rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Eating root vegetables is a great way to top up your energy stores to combat the harsh winter temperatures.

To boost your supply of vitamins A and C and antioxidants, turn to beets. Opt for sweet potatoes to make dishes rich in carbohydrates, magnesium and potassium. For its part, cabbage is low in calories and contains vitamins K and U, which are rarely found in other foods. For healthy skin, add parsnip to your meals and benefit from the virtues of vitamins B, C and E.

As far as fruit is concerned, apart from apples and pears, few local varieties are available. However, citrus and other exotic fruits are at their peak. Clementines, oranges, grapefruits, papayas, pineapples, bananas, lemons and pomegranates are sure to add colour to your plate and your day.

Not only are citrus fruits low in calories, they're also a good source of fibre and an excellent source of vitamin C. Citrus fruits also have anti-inflammatory properties and help promote skin firmness. Lemons help detoxify the liver, while oranges reduce cold symptoms. Consider eating grapefruit to lower your cholesterol level. Apples, for their part, are rich in antioxidants and ease intestinal transit thanks to their high fibre content. Also very rich in fibre, pears are a good source of energy and help clear away bad cholesterol.

How to prepare them
To top up on your daily dose of vitamins and antioxidants, turn your root vegetables into a hearty or creamy soup. Add warming spices such as turmeric, cumin and curry and let their fragrance perfume your kitchen. As a side dish for your meat or fish dishes, bake your vegetables au gratin with a sharp cheese, such as aged cheddar or Parmesan. You can even incorporate puréed vegetables such as squash, beets and parsnips into your favourite muffin, bread or pancake recipes, which is a great way to eat more vegetables or to disguise them for the picky eaters!

Take advantage of the abundance of citrus fruits to prepare an exotic fruit salad that also features grapes, kiwis or other fruits. All citrus fruits are also the perfect snack when you’re on the go. You can also add them to your favourite smoothies or yogurt. As for apples and pears, they can easily be made into applesauce or a spread for your morning toast. To make healthy desserts, cook them up in a crispy crumble or eat them as is with a bowl of yogurt sprinkled with homemade granola.

Let yourself be inspired by the many websites that offer chock-full of recipes and mouth-watering photos. Don't hesitate to try new combinations for your pleasure and that of your family. At Artisans des Saveurs, we want to promote healthy lifestyle habits and encourage you to cook winter fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. 

Happy cooking!