Seasonal Foods to Eat For a Smooth Transition Into The Northeastern Winter + Vegan Recipes!

With colder weather creeping in, local farms are producing less, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the nourishing deliciousness that our fertile region provides us! There are still some local favorites that you can snag to sustain yourself and your family during the upcoming transition into winter… so whip out your grocery list and take notes! Plus, I’ve included some decadent recipes for each so that you can experiment with these foods and find a snuggly place in your heart for them. Enjoy!

Parsnips

Parsnips are often overlooked in American culture, but they boast a complex, delicious taste. They’re similar to a carrot but are sweeter, starchier, earthier, and nuttier. They’re also a bit bitter, like turnips. Intriguing, right? Try them out for yourself and see how you like them! You never know, parsnips might be a new favorite.

Recipes:

Mushroom Bourguignon

Carrot and Parsnip Latkes

Vegan Parmesan Parsnip Fries

Beets

Beets are such a beautiful vegetable and one that I’ve loved since I was a kid. Look at them! They come in so many colors and it’s so fun to cut them open to see what pattern each one has. To me, nothing beats boiled beets with vegan butter and salt, but there are so many ways to use these colorful nuggets of earthy goodness! Beets are known for improving blood health and brain health, among countless other benefits.

Recipes:

Roasted Beet Salad with Horseradish Aioli and Caramelized Walnuts

Golden Beet Reuben Style Sandwich

Beet Brownies

Leeks

I personally have trouble finding ways to use leeks, but they’re a really nice addition to creamy soups, casseroles, and stuffings. They have a mild onion-y taste and pair well with root vegetables, other alliums such as garlic, and grains! Leeks are a great source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and flavor.

Recipes:

Creamy Leek Gratin

Potato Leek Carrot Soup

Wild Mushroom & Leek Stuffed Sweet Potato

Winter Squash

Winter squash is an umbrella term that is used to describe the varieties of squash that are harvested in autumn months and can be stored and eaten throughout the winter. These varieties are sure to include some of your favorites, like butternut, buttercup, acorn, delicata, hubbard, kabocha (my personal favorite!), spaghetti, pumpkin, and sweet dumplings, among others. Squash is high in fiber, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene (which the body converts into Vitamin A, aka our skin’s best friend). They’re low in sugar and calories, but very filling and nutrient-dense, making it the perfect food for getting you through winter. But seriously, if you haven’t tried a kabocha squash… you NEED to. They’ve transformed me into a squash lover!

Recipes:

Stuffed Acorn Squash & Red Wine Cranberry Sauce

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo (Instant Pot Friendly)

Thai Kabocha Squash Curry

Cranberries

Cranberries should be savored much more than they are, in my opinion. Fun fact: They’re not actually a berry… though they’re incredible nonetheless! These fruits are high in nutrients and antioxidants, making them a fantastic immune booster, and studies show they can even improve the gut bacteria of those who eat an animal-based diet. The more plants the better, I always say!

Recipes:

Hasselback Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberry Pecan Balsamic Glaze

Vegan Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Orange Crumble Bars

The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

There you have it! Five delicious ingredients and 16 recipes that you can utilize this winter. Let me know your favorite ways to use these foods and which recipes you’re excited to try. I’m drooling over the Golden Beet Reuben Sandwiches so…. beets are definitely on my list this week!

Happy eating!

Kayla

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