Top 5 Winter Fruits To Try Today!
As you’re reading this, I hope you’re bundled up in a warm sweater with a hot drink or bowl of soup. Outside my window, the rain has finally let up after coming down all morning, and the cars are splashing their way through the rivers/streets. Yep, winter is officially upon us, and you might’ve already experienced your first snow of the season. While you may have to say goodbye to fresh strawberries and mango for a few months, there’s no reason to mope – the cold weather brings its own delicious bounty of winter fruit for us to enjoy!
The first time I saw this fruit, I thought it was an off-colored tomato. I was introduced to it by my (then) 2-year-old nephew, which just goes to show that you should listen to kids because you can actually learn a lot from them (such as what fruits taste good, and that a persimmon is entirely different to a tomato). I tasted it and was in love instantly.
If you aren’t a tomato fan, don’t be scared off. Although they do look alike, persimmons are incredibly sweet, without the acidic tang that makes us think of tomatoes as veggies rather than fruits. Persimmons have a sweet, honey-like flavor, and unlike their lookalikes, many people enjoy them just as they are with no preparation – simply bite into them as you would bite into an apple, and enjoy the soft goodness.
There are two kinds of persimmons: Hachiya and Fuyu. Fuyu persimmons are sweet no matter what stage they’re at, whereas you only want to be eating Hachiya persimmons when they’re completely ripe – ‘cuz those tannins can be really tart when your fruit isn’t ready to eat yet.
These delicious fruits are loaded with fiber, Vitamins A, E, C, and B6, as well as copper, manganese, potassium and magnesium. Their antioxidant compounds and other nutrients make them helpful at fighting cancer, lowering blood pressure, and generally boosting your immune system.
If lychee nuts aren’t a staple in your home, they should be! Though native to China, these small, individually-wrapped fruits can be found in many countries across the world. They have a red, bumpy skin that’s easy to peel, revealing the soft, white-clear flesh that tastes amazingly sweet (watch out for the large seed though).
Lychees are a great grab-and-go snack, since there is virtually no prep required, and their easy peel makes them absolutely kid-friendly. They’re loaded with Vitamin C (essential for healthy teeth, bones, and hair, to name a few, and it also has anti-aging benefits), rutin (which strengthens your blood vessels), and quercetin (an anti-inflammatory). They can help against diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, you should still take care not to go too overboard with these winter fruit. They contain fructose, a sugar which can cause harm if you eat too much of it. But, if you’re keeping it in moderation, lychees are a great way to spruce up your morning pancakes or add an exotic twist to your midday salad.
If you’ve read our article on Green Tea, then you’ll know just how strong its anti-oxidant benefits are. But I’ll bet you didn’t know that pomegranate juice is three times as powerful in its antioxidant function as green tea is! Not to mention, it’s delicious.
These strong antioxidants in pomegranates are called Punicalagins, and they are only found in pomegranate peel and juice. Pomegranates also contain punicic acid, which fights against insulin resistance (when the body can’t regulate blood glucose levels after ingesting carbohydrates). Plus, they’re also a source of fiber, potassium, folate, protein, and Vitamins C and K.
Pomegranate seeds work beautifully in salads, or in a sweet sauce for meat or poultry. To properly seed a pomegranate, I find it easiest to cut it in half or into quarters. Then, submerge your pomegranate halves or quarters into a bowl of clean, cold water, and gently ease out the seeds.
You were totally waiting for this one. If any fruit reminds me of winter, it’s oranges (or their mini variety, mandarin oranges). One of my fondest childhood food memories is of the frozen oranges we used to get. They actually taste even better that way.
I don’t have to tell you about the Vitamin C content in oranges; you’ve heard about it since you were in grade school. And while Vitamin C might be the famous (and super important) nutrient in oranges, they’re also packed with potassium, which keeps your heart rhythm regular, lowers your blood pressure and is needed for healthy bones, as well as Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which is needed for your immune and reproductive systems, and can’t be produced by your body.
If you have a juicer, try making your own orange juice. Trust me when I say that you can’t compare the taste! Orange juice isn’t only for the summer; a fresh glass of cold orange juice makes for the perfect contrast to a warm, winter’s meal.
If it looks like an apple, and tastes like an apple, then it is an – oh wait, it doesn’t taste like an apple. That’s because it’s not. An apple, that is. It’s not a pear, either. I’m talking about the quince, another piece of fruit associated with winter.
Don’t try to bite into a raw quince. It will not taste good. The most probable reason that we don’t eat more quince is that it’s a bit of a pain to have a fruit that is inedible unless it’s cooked. But you know what? The quince might just be worth it.
Quinces contain a host of nutrients, including Vitamin C, zinc, copper, potassium, and fiber. They’re low in calories, making them a diet-friendly choice. They help keep your metabolism going, and also keep your skin healthy and youthful, among other things.
You can choose to poach your quince with water, cinnamon, and cloves to make a sweet syrup; bake them in a tart, or make a delicious winter jelly. Whatever you choose, you will wonder where this fruit has been all your life. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So yes, your supermarket selection is different than it’s been until now. But that’s okay. Because now, you get to enjoy all kinds of new fruits – that you’re bound to miss when the weather heats up!