As the temperature transitions from warm to cool to cold, our taste palates transition in the opposite direction from cold to cool to warm.  The heartier vegetables become more popular during these cool climate months and offer versatility in recipes such as soups, stews and baked dishes. Although some may think that the variety in fresh produce during the fall/winter season dwindles compared to the summer time, there are still plenty of delicious and nutrient packed fruits and veggies to load up on in all your holiday dishes. Use our list below to help you shop at the farmer’s market or grocery store to help your family continue to “eat the rainbow” during the colder months ahead!

Red – Beefsteak Tomatoes, Apples, Cranberries, Pomegranate 

*Beefsteak tomatoes offer lycopene which may help fight heart disease and lower cholesterol, and Apples, Cranberries, and Pomegranate offer Vitamin C and are a great source of fiber

Red/Purple – Beets 

*The color pigment, anthocyanin, offers a great source of disease-fighting antioxidants

Orange – Oranges, Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin

*Delivers carotenoid which may help lower high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease as well as offering Vitamin C  from citrus fruits

Orange/Yellow – Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Rutabagas, Turnips, Yellow Squash

*Delivers carotenoids which offers overall good health

Yellow/Green – Cauliflower

*Provides good sources of phytochemicals, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can prevent eye diseases including cataracts and macular degeneration

Green – Broccolli, Zucchini, Brussel Sprouts, Parsley, Pears, Chard, Kale

*Contains the micronutrients, potassium, folate, and vitamins C, A, and E, which are important for overall good health

Green/White – Leeks, Parsnips

* Provides flavonoids which are a strong class of antioxidants

Eating the rainbow (especially an organic one) offers a variety of essential vitamins and minerals and also limits pesticide exposure. Choosing to consume fresh, seasonal produce is not only beneficial to our diets, but also to the environment and our wallets! Seasonal produce can be found locally, instead of needing to be transported from other countries and because it is in abundance, it’s typically cheaper than out of season produce that needs to be imported from other regions. Lastly, eating a seasonal rainbow is hands down delicious and makes time in the kitchen more exciting, creative, and educational for the whole family!