In the Midwest, during winter and early spring, when the climate is cold and there is snow on the ground, we are still able to have a stocked Produce Department since we order fruits and veggies from around the world.
One exception for locally grown produce during the winter months are those items that are grown in indoor farms such as Revolution Farms salad greens. Revolution Farms is an aquaponic farm located in Michigan where the greens are grown in the water where fish create natural fertilizer for the greens. This method of farming reduces water use and is cleaner and much more controlled compared to traditional field production. Since the fish and greens are kept within a greenhouse, Revolution Farms greens can be grown year-round and found in our produce department no matter how cold it may be outside.
Here are some of the best produce items to enjoy this winter and spring:• Jicama • Artichoke • Pineapple • Bananas
Check out this recipe using jicama which is imported from warmer climates. This Jicama Lime Salsa is perfect during the long winter months when we long for warm weather. Pair this salsa with multigrain tortilla chips, top fish, or add to a green salad for more flavor and nutrition. Jicama is similar in texture to an apple and eaten raw. Jicama is a source of fiber which promotes heart health and gut health. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C which supports healthy skin and your immune system.
Another produce item not commonly grown in the Midwest is an artichoke! Artichokes can be purchased fresh or canned and are also a good source of fiber as well as a good source of magnesium which supports normal nerve and muscle function. Try this Artichoke Chicken for a quick weeknight meal and pair with roasted potatoes and/or brown rice.
Pineapples are brought to the Midwest from other regions since our climate is not warm enough to grow pineapples. Pineapple is a sweet fruit that is great in dessert recipes. Fresh pineapple may look intimidating, but with a sharp knife and careful cutting, you can enjoy pineapple any time of the year. This recipe for Pineapple Cheesecake Tartlets is perfectly portioned and just the treat you are looking for.
Bananas are also not grown in the United States. Checkout this healthy banana bread recipe. Bananas are a source of potassium which helps support healthy blood pressure and vitamin B6 which supports metabolism and the creation of neurotransmitters. This banana bread is made with whole grain flour, so it is more nutrient dense compared to traditional recipes. Pair a slice of this banana bread with peanut butter for a healthy breakfast or snack.
In addition to fresh produce, do not forget about canned and frozen options which can be just as nutritious as fresh! Shop Family Fare for a great selection of Our Family brand No Added Salt and No Added Sugar canned and frozen fruits and veggies. Canned and frozen options are not only nutritious but can also be more affordable when fresh items are out of season and often have higher prices.