Winter in Indiana just screams fresh fruit and veggies, right?

clementines By Michelle Plummer

Well, wait a minute—there are some really great fruits and veggies just ripe for the picking!  Let’s explore value, flavor and the process!

As some of you may know by now, I am not a big fruit eater. Sometimes it does taste great. Other times, it has great-looking packaging but inside not a lot of flavor. For this reason, I swear by canned fruit.  As I read my Mandarin Orange label here at my desk….a big can(15 ounces) of mandarin oranges: rich in Vitamin C (35%  in each serving) , 6%  Vitamin A and a bit of calcium and Iron (but I said big can).  Three servings for $1.19 and at 90 calories a serving, this is great! I can get all of my vitamin C, it is fruit, it has fiber, it tastes good and I have a great value.  Canned fruit is a great option when fresh is not in season.

OK  if you are not sold on canned, Cuties™,those fun peeling ‘little oranges’,  are in season,   Honey Bells® are the other orange that is luscious.  Bananas, pineapple and some apples are very flavorful and good on the budget. So right there you have your five servings of fruit.

Veggies-  this is so much easier!  Potatoes- all colors are in vogue and season!  They are rich in potassium, Vitamin C (you may note folks in the office have colds), Iron and are lower in calories but big in flavor!  Carrots, celery, and leafy greens are all great value and contain many vitamins, especially folic acid.  According to  Baby Center,  in 2010 more babies were born in September.  This is one great reason to  eat your dark green leafy veggies in January!

But do not forget the frozen food aisle either.  This is where 12- ounce bags of perfectly clean, cut and sweet vegetables in over 15 varieties (and fruit) can be found.  All these options make it hard to say you can’t get your 5 servings of fruit and veggies daily.  As for me, I love the frozen broccoli and you already know what I have in my desk drawer!

Oh! One more great buy this time of year are beans!  Canned or dry,  the vitamins, protein, and fiber that beans provide are tops!  And talk about buying local for the Superbowl- NK Hurst has been in business since 1938!  You just won’t believe their Sloppy Joe recipe!  You really can enjoy fruits and vegetables in the winter and get good quality at a good price!

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