Many popular fruits and vegetables out of season this time of year so it may seem like fresh ingredients are more expensive during the winter months. Fortunately, that is simply not the case. The trick is to buy ingredients that ARE in-season and you may be surprised to find out there are plenty. Here is a list of eight, in-season ingredients that cost less than $2.00/per pound– including their organic varieties.
Cabbage: a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, red and green cabbage as well as bok choy are inexpensive and terrific cancer fighters. Most varieties come in at less than $1.50/per pound making them a great winter vegetable staple. Perfect for slaws, soups and salads, a head of cabbage tends to feed an army which means even more bang for your buck!
Carrots: rich in immune boosting beta-carotene, carrots are an affordable and approachable vegetable. Enjoy them raw, roasted, pureed, and sauted or incorporate them into your favorite soup or stew.
Fennel: though a bit more obscure, this crunchy, slightly sweet vegetable with it’s mild, anise-like flavor, is worth a try. RIch in vitamin C and fiber as well as anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, fennel can be enjoyed raw as part of a slaw or salad as well as roasted or sauteed. It pairs wonderfully with the natural sweetness of citrus–another seasonal sensation.
Onions: the base of many recipes, research has shown that consuming several servings of onions a week can reduce your cancer risk. While onions are rarely served alone, they can be incorporated into most recipes including sauces, marinade, salads, soups and stews.
Parnsips: a member of the carrot family, this white vegetable should not be judged by it’s color as it is rich in a number of nutrients including folate, fiber and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. Parsnips are usually enjoyed cooked though they can be eaten raw by shredding them into salads and slaws.
Oranges: rich in fiber and vitamin C, citrus truly shines during the winter months. Depending on the variety, prices may vary though snacking varieties like clementines and mandarins can often be purchased for as low as $.50/per pound. Don’t limit yourself to snacking on oranges–incorporate them into grains, salads and savory dishes.
Potatoes: another white vegetable not to be ignored, potatoes contain a variety of antioxidants depending on the color of the skin. Speaking of the skin, avoid peeling your spuds as ½ the fiber and a significant amount of potassium is housed there. Avoid artisanal potato types that can cost more money and simply stick to staples like russets, red, yellow and white varieties.
Sweet Potatoes: this inexpensive tuber packs a nutritional punch with one, 3.5 ounce serving providing over 200% of the Daily Value for Vitamin A, a powerful, disease fighting antioxidant. Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed many ways including roasted, mashed, steamed and baked into “fries”.
Other notable fruits and vegetables available for less than $2.00/per pound:
By: Katie Cavuto, MS, RD