On Our Plates: February

When it comes to health, eating what grows locally (where YOU live) is the way to go, all year round. The grocery store can be extremely deceiving. Sure, the tomatoes look great but they are bland and mealy this time of year because they aren’t in season or are shipped a long way from somewhere where they are in season. This On Our Plates blog post series is my way of sharing some best-of-the-season recipes with you.

In February, we’re still in the season of roots. Root veggies that is- veggies like carrots, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and others. These hearty vegetables are packed with real food nutrition, loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and are exactly what our bodies need this time of year. Root veggies can be “over-wintered” and harvested this time of year or harvested in the fall and stored depending on the vegetable. If you have a winter CSA, you are well acquainted with root veggies. If not, don’t pass them up at the market or store.

Here are a handful of recipes we’ve been enjoying this month. We hope you enjoy them too!

Plant-Based Main and Side Dishes width=

  • Loaded Sweet Potatoes– roast some sweet potatoes and top with your favorite protein options (like chili, black beans, meat, cheese, etc.) and veggies (like spinach, herbs, avocado, peppers, onions, etc.) and you’ve got a filling, satisfying, and oh so delicious meal- done. (recipe/method: https://www.erinharner.com/whole-food-recipes/how-to-bake-sweet-potatoes/)
  • Roasted Root Veggies– if you’re feeling overrun with root veggies like turnips, rutabagas, carrots, kohlrabi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. . . don’t just let them sit in your produce drawer- chop those root veggies up and roast them- they make a perfect side dish instead of other starches, are loaded with real food nutrition, and are so delicious eaten hot or served as leftovers over salad greens with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. (recipe/method: https://www.erinharner.com/whole-food-recipes/how-to-roast-vegetables/)
  • Roasted Broccoli– if you’ve been eating steamed or raw broccoli all of your life, it’s time to branch out and try roasting this ridiculously healthy and tasty seasonal veggie- heat your oven to 400 degrees F, cut up your broccoli into bite sized pieces and drizzle a little high-heat oil on it like avocado oil or grapeseed oil, add a pinch of sea salt, then roast for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing the broccoli about every 10 minutes until crisp tender and beautifully roasted.

Healthy-er Desserts

  • Baked Apples– like root veggies, apples store well and are one of the few fresh fruits that survive in cold-storage until February without being frozen- this simple and healthy baked apple recipe is a hit with kids and adults and makes a great breakfast or dessert. (recipe: https://www.erinharner.com/whole-food-recipes/baked-apples/)
  • Blueberry Lemon Tapioca Pudding– grab some frozen blueberries and some other simple ingredients and stir up this delicious and vibrant tapioca pudding- it makes a great dessert, healthy snack, or addition to a packed lunch. (recipe: https://www.erinharner.com/whole-food-recipes/blueberry-lemon-tapioca-pudding/)

Try some of these recipes? Leave a comment below! Can’t wait to hear what you think, Erin

Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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