'Hello Winter, Goodbye Fruits and Vegetables?' By Kirstin Massmann

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It is mildly true that tasty, ripe, flavorful fruits and vegetables are harder to come by in the winter.  I think we have all started thinking about this issue and yesterday being December 1st and the first snowfall in Chicago I felt it fitting to mention all of the great produce that IS grown in the winter.  Here we go:
Belgian Endive, Brussels Sprouts, Cherimoya, Chestnuts, Clementines, Collar Greens, Dates, Grapefruit, Kale, Kiwifruit, Leeks, Orange, Passion Fruit, Pear, Persimmons, Pummelo, Red Currants, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, Turnips, and Winter Squash (hence the name). 
That being said, a few of these are ‘out-of-the-box’ fruits and vegetables you may not normally consider cooking with.  It takes a little bit more time to look up what a cherimoya or pummelo is and how to use it, but why not?  Isn’t that part of the fun of cooking anyway?  The rest of the vegetables (endive, Brussels sprouts, kale, sweet potatoes, collard greens, leeks, turnips and squash) can easily be grilled, roasted, sautéed, tossed into a salad, or even made into a warm soup!  The different fruits (kiwi, oranges, pears, red currants, tangerines, grapefruit) can be eaten alone, used for salads, dressings or desserts. 
Seasonal fruits and vegetables not only will taste better but should also be less expensive than other out of season produce.  So start getting creative, we have a long winter ahead of us!

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