I live in Canada,
Winterpeg Winnipeg to be exact, and it gets cold here.
It gets so cold that the rivers freeze over, and we go skating on them for. fun.
It gets so cold here that I get perma-flakey cheeks for 5 months out of the year because I choose to walk a half hour to work (over that frozen river) even though it’s sooo cold here. Ok, that sounds like my problem more than yours.
My point is, when Winnipeg gets winter, it gets cold, and our produce subsequently gets crappy. It gets shipped here from all over the world (and costs a fortune) and never looks or tastes as good as summer produce.
I’m a huge fan of eating things that are in season, but I don’t think much could survive out there in our -30C (-22F) winter. This is why I’ve come up with a few sneaky ways to deal with winter’s less than fantastic produce.
Freeze, can, & preserve that fantastic spring/summer/fall produce so you can have a taste of summer all year long.
Go for store bought frozen
These items are often picked at their prime, and likely haven’t been forced ripened therefore still contain a whack load of nutrients. My favourites include frozen berries and peas – things that cost a fortune if you try and buy them fresh in the winter.
Choose hardier produce.
Think potatoes, squash, carrots – many which could still be locally grown but have been in storage to preserve life. You can easily check the packaging to see if they come from Canada/US.
Buy in season
Yes this still exists in the winter! Think pomegranates and oranges (and other citrus fruits!) which seem to come out full force in the early winter months, usually from California. Please promise me you’ll avoid the force ripened strawberries that cost a fortune and taste like water anyway (frozen is a much better tasting option)!
Local hot house.
My Farmers Market here in Winnipeg has recently gotten some indoor-grown goodies during the winter and are selling them as part of their food delivery program. If you search, you may also find options like this in your city! You can also find local-ish (i.e. US or Canada) grown hot house items at the grocery store if you check the label. This minimizes distance travelled and supports more local agriculture!
Let’s chat! – How do you cope with sad winter produce? How can I make my flakey cheeks feel better!?
PS southern friends, care to send me some fresh produce?