Winter vegetables include rainbow carrots

Photo courtesy of @kellykardos/Twenty20

Eating locally and seasonally is not only good for your health (enriching your diet with the most nutrient dense food), but it’s also better for the environment, requiring less food miles” for produce to travel, and supports independent growers and purveyors. What’s more, shopping at your local farmer’s market requires less packaging, ditching the plastic for an environmentally sound way to get your groceries, especially if you bring your own tote bag or basket. It’s also a fantastic way to feel a part of your local community and get familiar with the interesting heirloom fruit and vegetable varietals, ingredients, and products that come from within a 100-mile radius. 

I love to go to the farmer’s market to see what’s local, seasonal and fresh,” says Woldy Reyes, founder of New York-based catering company Woldy Kusina, which focuses on simple, vibrant, eye-catching dishes. I could spend hours going to each stand and coming up with new menu ideas, working with produce that I never worked with before. It’s a great place to get inspired!” 

During winter, Reyes suggests stocking up on root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, radishes, squash, parsnips, potatoes, and beets. Cabbage, onions, endive, chicories, broccoli, brussels sprouts, fennel, horseradish, celery root, sunchokes, and shell beans are also at peak season. When it comes to fruit: apples, pears, oranges, clementines, satsumas, tangerines, mandarins, and Meyer lemons are at their best in the colder months. 

Keep your eyes peeled for rainbow carrots and beets. The variety of colors is amazing, from purple carrots to candy cane striped beets,” says Reyes. When it comes to roots, the self-taught chef’s pro tip is using the vibrant green tops from carrots, beets and fennel as you would any fresh herb. You can throw them in salads or make delicious pesto,” he says. I like also like to eat winter produce such as carrots and beets, raw. Peel off the skin and they are delicious on their own or dipped into hummus.” 

Here, Reyes shares a recipe for his favorite winter dish: roast carrots with a sweet and spicy glaze.


3 garlic cloves, grated
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp Korean chili paste (aka gochujang, a hot pepper paste)
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 lbs rainbow carrots, peeled, tops removed, cut in half
Zest of 2 limes
Salt and pepper
1/4 cups toasted pepitas
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, cleaned


Preheat oven to 425 degrees 

Mix together garlic, oil, maple syrup, Korean chili paste, and cumin seeds in a bowl and set aside. 

Season carrots with salt and pepper and toss with the Korean chili mixture. 

Roast carrots in the oven for 40 minutes until lightly browned and caramelized, constantly rotating the roasting pan. Let the carrots cool completely. 

Toast the pepitas in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes at 350 degrees until fragrant

Sprinkle with lime zest and squeeze the juice of two limes over the carrots. 

Garnish with pepitas and cilantro.


Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.