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Buying Winter Vegetables on a Budget

Posted: January 7, 2017

Buying vegetables in the winter months can be expensive. Often I hear people say “my food bill would go sky high if I bought all the vegetables that my family and I should eat in a day.” But with a few shopping tips it can be done in the winter months without breaking your budget.
Avocados with other fruits and vegetables by USDA/Flickr.com CC0 BY 2.0

Avocados with other fruits and vegetables by USDA/Flickr.com CC0 BY 2.0

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a person on a 2,000-calorie diet needs to eat 2½ cups of vegetables per day or 17½ cups over one-week period of time. USDA further breaks down vegetables into specific groups which include dark green vegetables (1½ cups), red and orange vegetables (5½ cups), beans and peas (1½ cups), starchy vegetables (5 cups), and other vegetables (4 cups).

Hints to add more vegetables to your cart this winter:

  • Buy in season.

    January and February are cold months of the year, however, there are some vegetables that are “in season.” Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, turnips and sweet potatoes are just a few to mention. Although these vegetables have somewhat a strong flavor, there are tasty recipes available. Some vegetables, like cabbage, carrots, broccoli and potatoes are available year round.
  • All forms of vegetables count

    toward the 2½ cups recommended each day. Include frozen and canned to your list. They are all nutritious and handy for quick-fix meals.
  • Keep it simple

    meaning buy vegetables in their simplest form. Pre-cut, pre-washed and processed are convenient, but often cost much more

Source: Fruits and Veggies More Matters

Garden Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • 1 cup chopped green cabbage
  • 1 zucchini, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1/2 garlic clove, minced)
  • 1 can green beans, undrained (14 ounces)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (14 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Directions

In a large saucepan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, sauté the carrots, onion, and garlic over low heat about 5 minutes. Add broth, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil.

Cover, lower heat. Simmer about 15 minutes or until carrots are tender (Optional) Stir in zucchini and heat for 3-4 minutes. Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutritional Information: Calories 64, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 468 mg. Carbohydrate 12g, Fiber 3g, Total Sugars 5g, Protein 4g

Source: What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl

Contact Information

Mary Reistetter Ehret, M.S.,R.D.,L.D.N.
  • Extension Educator, Food, Families & Health
Email:
Phone: 888-825-1701