How to Cook with Local Produce During the Winter

Using locally grown produce is not only a great way to support your community’, but also a great way to support a healthy diet. But as the cold weather and snow star to settle in, it can more difficult to find fruits and vegetables to incorporate into your meals. That’s why we’re going to give you some pointers on how to choose the best local produce during winter.

Know What LOCAL Produce is in Season

This seasonal produce chart from Snap-Ed, a program run by the United States Department of Agriculture,  lists the four seasons and which fruits and vegetables are at their peak during each season. In the winter column you’ll find root vegetables like beets, leeks, parsnips and potatoes. Don’t forget about stone fruits like apples, avocados and pears.

Root Veggies Local Produce

These foods flourish in colder climates. Therefore, when you’re at your grocery store in the winter, consider leaning towards these items, since they likely came from around the area.

Get Creative with Recipes

Don’t let the fact that only certain fruits and veggies are at their peak in the winter discourage you from eating locally. There are ways to get creative with the options you’re given. Cooking Light, for example, has a page dedicated to different recipes you can make with winter produce.

Butternut Squash Risotto Local produce

One recipe that we particularly like is the Winter Squash Risotto with Radicchio from

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 blue hubbard squash
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of vegetable broth
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 ½ cups sliced radicchio
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 ½ tsp butter (non-vegan), shortening (vegan)
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp half-and-half or whole milk
  • ½ cup (2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

For the full recipe, click here.


We also found these tasty-looking vegan root vegetable pot pies from Veganosity.  These look hearty and will definitely warm you up on a cold winter day.


For this recipe you’ll need:

  • Pie crust
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 cups of white whole grain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of bone chard free sugar
  • 1/3 of a cup of chilled vegetable shortening
  • 1 stick of chilled vegan butter cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup of ice water
  • Filling
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 1 large red onion – diced
  • 3 cups of diced purple potatoes
  • 2 large carrots – Peeled and sliced
  • 1 large celery root – diced
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of diced butternut squash
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup of red wine
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of water plus 1 tablespoon of corn starch mixed together well
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of almond or soy milk

Don’t let the fact that this is a vegan recipe dissuade you from trying it! (You can also always make this non-vegan.) For the full recipe, click here.

Cooking with local produce doesn’t mean you have to stick to a boring routine. There are tons of recipes out there that are catered specifically to local, seasonal ingredients. Look for recipes that include fruits and veggies that match your climate to help you shop locally. Bon appetite!


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