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As winter comes closer, chilly weather has been hanging around lately. This means that many people will need to rely on frozen or canned food for meals. But there are still plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available in stores, so you can stock up now and enjoy them throughout the year.
Fruits and vegetables are available year-round, but the cost of fresh produce varies throughout the year, depending on where you live and when you buy it. Some fruits and veggies may be more expensive during the winter months, but there are ways to save some money on buying produce.
Why Are Fruits and Vegetables More Expensive During Winter Months?
In general, fruits and vegetables are more expensive during winter because of the following:
- Produce needs to be transported from longer distances, which means higher transportation costs.
- Higher labor costs which include the costs of working the land, planting, harvesting, packaging, and distribution.
- The increased cost of weed killer, fertilizer, and water.
- Supply problems due to harsh weather conditions.
In addition, winter crops need to be stored longer than other produce. They also require more input and effort to grow. This means that farmers must invest more money into growing them.
Tips For Buying Produce During The Winter Season
The cold weather signals this is the time to start thinking about what fruits and vegetables you should be eating during the winter months. When doing grocery for ingredients, buy in-season fruits and vegetables whenever possible. They tend to be cheaper than those grown in other seasons because there is less competition for consumers.
Also, try to find a grocery store such as Fresh Farms where you can buy organic produce. Organic produce has been shown to contain higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants than non-organic produce.
If you are not sure what seasonal produce to look for, here are some fruits and vegetables that are harvested during the winter months:
- Blueberries. If you’re looking for an inexpensive fruit to add to your diet, blueberries are a good choice. They have low-calorie content and are high in fiber, making them a healthy snack option. You can find them at grocery stores year-round, but they’re especially plentiful in the wintertime.
Storage recommendation: To keep berries fresh, leave them in the plastic they come in or transfer them to a bowl without covering them, then refrigerate them right away.
- Cabbage. Some varieties of cabbage are available all year round and can be one of the cheapest vegetables to buy during the winter. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, folate, potassium, and dietary fiber. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, so it has cancer-fighting properties.
Storage recommendation: Cabbage can stay fresh when kept properly for up to a week. To store cabbages, individually wrap each head of cabbage in plastic and stash them in the fridge.
- Carrots. It is true what they say– eating carrots can make your eyes healthier. Carrots are good sources of beta-carotene, a natural antioxidant that converts to vitamin A, which is beneficial for the eyes.
Storage recommendation: To keep carrots fresh for several weeks, it is best to store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
- Apples. Apples are easy to find at any grocery store and are delicious when eaten raw or cooked. Apples contain high levels of Vitamin C and other essential nutrients that can help boost your resistance to various diseases.
Storage recommendation: Store at room temperature for the first 7 days, then place them in separate plastic bags and store each group in different drawers in the refrigerator.
- Bananas. A banana provides more than 400 mg of potassium per serving.
Potassium helps maintain fluid balance in our bodies and is essential for muscle contraction and nerve function.
Storage recommendation: Store at a dark place at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, to avoid ripening too fast.
- Broccoli. These foods provide nutrients that help keep bones strong and healthy. They also contain vitamins B6, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin C, and zinc.
Storage recommendation: Loosely cover the broccoli with a plastic bag and keep in your fridge crisper drawer away from other produce
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