Harvest close to home for the holidays

Close to home harvestThis holiday season, why not focus your meals around fresh produce – produced close to home? From tasty turkeys to delectable desserts, local agriculture has just what you need to fill your table. You might discover you actually like Brussels sprouts with a delicious recipe. And dietitian Claire Cody lets us know what’s in season right now. 

The benefits of shopping at farmers markets or community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) spread far beyond your table. In addition to putting money back into your own community, locally raised products don’t travel as far, which reduces energy consumption. Most local growers rely more on techniques like crop rotation and biological controls than synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which contribute to long-term sustainability. 

You can usually chat face-to-face with the people who grew your food at farmers markets, finding out how it was planted and how it was harvested. 

“The people who actually grow your food are also very knowledgeable about ways to prepare it,” said Cody. “With more ideas, you might add different fruits and vegetables or try more unusual selections. A wider variety of food leads to a more nutritious diet.” 

Fresh fruits and veggies in November and December

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Greens
  • Green peas
  • Horseradish
  • Hot peppers
  • Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Winter squash

Delicious Brussels Sprouts

Serves 2

1 cup fresh Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped for garnish

Wash the Brussels sprouts and cut them in quarters. Heat them in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Stir the sprouts occasionally. Cook until they begin to brown on the edges. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard and garlic powder. Pour the mixture over the Brussels sprouts and stir to combine. Cook one minute more.

Pour into a serving bowl. Garnish with parsley.

Per serving: 42.25 calories, 7.5 g carbohydrates, .5 grams fat, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams protein.