Welcome to the January Produce Guide of our series on seasonal fruits and vegetables!
When I first started cooking I didn’t understand what was even meant by “seasonal” when it came to food. It wasn’t until I started gardening and shopping at our local farmers markets that it hit home.
Every vegetable and fruit has its season—a season when it is ripe and plentiful, when it tastes the best, and costs the least.
Some say our bodies are designed to eat the foods that are in season around us. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that in middle of winter I crave a big pot of stew with plenty of root vegetables. And in the middle of summer, I rejoice in eating juicy berries and fresh ripe tomatoes.
We in Northern California are blessed to be surrounded by some of the best weather and soil for growing fruits and vegetables. In fact, we grow much of the nation’s produce. So, if it’s in season here, it is likely available at markets across the country.
What’s in season in January?
- Lemons, oranges, grapefruit: When it comes to fruit, January is the season for citrus! Meyer lemons, regular lemons, limes, mandarin oranges, navel oranges, and Texas ruby red grapefruit are all abundant. Also look for blood oranges with their deep red interiors (their taste has hints of raspberry), cara cara navel oranges (pink inside), and super-sized pomelos (pre-cursor of grapefruit, sweeter with thicker peels).
- Beets, turnips, celery root: You can find root vegetables like beets, turnips, and celery root still in season in January. Younger, smaller turnips will be sweeter and less bitter than more mature turnips. This is also a good time for digging up horseradish roots.
- Cabbage, kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower: Look to the brassicas for your winter green veggies–cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli and cauliflower. Collards are especially sturdy and are good luck for the new year! Cauliflower comes in all sorts of festive colors now — purple, orange, light green. The color is all natural; the purple comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin and the orange from extra beta-carotene. The taste is the same as white cauliflower, but with more nutritional benefits.
- Butternut Squash, acorn squash: Finally, there’s sturdy winter squash! You can still find plenty of butternut squash and acorn squash. While harvested in the fall these squash can keep for months.
Keep scrolling for some terrific recipes for using the best of January produce. Enjoy!
Updated Jan 9, 2019