In-Season Foods that Stay Fresh Longer

The most expensive food is the food you throw away. And organic items gets really expensive, especially if you’re throwing them out! Are you someone who never buys fresh produce because it goes bad before you can use it and you end up tossing it? If you answered yes, winter months are stellar months for you, specifically. This time of year offers long-lasting, fresh produce that are happy to sit in the cold for up to two weeks before they begin to turn. These specific produce items are in season now, but I’ve added a few others and the beauty of the modern market is they are accessible year-round. If you need food that stays fresher, longer, be sure to pile these 10 items into your cart the next time you go grocery shopping:

1. Cabbage
Cabbage is bright and crisp when raw and softens and sweetens the longer it's cooked. With so many color and consistency varieties, this is an easy produce item to utilize in all kinds of recipes.

2. Carrots
Carrots are harvested year-round in temperate areas, locally during cooler months and are so popular, they can be found at almost any store that sells produce.

3. Beets
Beets are the most colorful of the root vegetables, and maybe one of the most misunderstood. Like all root veggies, they store better than apples!

4. Broccoli
Broccoli can be grown and purchased year-round in temperate climates, so we've forgotten it even has a season. It is sweeter and less bitter when harvested in the cooler temperatures (late fall and early winter in most climates) although you’d hardly notice a difference. This stay-fresh veggies can save you money too as it does not need to be purchased organic.

5. Eggs!
Thank heavens for a protein option that sits well for awhile. There's no reason not to have eggs in your fridge at all times because they keep fresh for about a month, and they're magic. As I always say, “If you liked it then you should’ve put an egg on it.”

6. Celery
Celery is an easy grab if you’ve already grabbed a bag of carrots. They are neighbors in the produce section and all you need to start an aromatic base of any soup, stew, or braise. Celery also adds an excellent ‘crunch’ to salads, or, my personal favorite, ants on a log.

7. Apples
Storing apples in the fridge will help them stay nice and crisp. It is likely they’ll stay fresh for two to three weeks, making it easy to grab for an on-the-go snack or to be baked into pies or crisps if you have a tendency for a sweet tooth.

8. Cauliflower
Cauliflower has a cult following these days. Get on board. This guy is obviously a stud as it can be grown, harvested, and sold year-round.

9. Hard Cheese
Okay, Okay… I’m not saying you should substitute cheese for a leafy veggie, but it is nice to have options. Parmesan, Pecorino, Manchego, Gruyere, and other hard cheeses won't spoil within a couple weeks, and are great for snacking on and shaving over eggs and salads.

10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes love to sit alone in the dark and as such are excellent vegetables to store. Keep them until they start growing babies. Most varieties are harvested in the fall but are available from local growers from storage through December (and later).  

Lauren Rae Dallas Fitness and Nutrition Coach

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