Your winter produce guide -- Succulent citrus, greens and squash


Selection: For the juiciest grapefruit, pick fruits that feel heavy in your hand and have shiny skins. Look for 'Flame' or 'Ruby Red' varieties, which are particularly good at this time of year.
Storage: Store in the refrigerator for two to three weeks
Serving tip: Grapefruit isn't just for breakfast — try a grapefruit and spinach salad tonight!

Greens (arugula, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale)

Selection: These cold-season greens are all members of the cabbage family, which are especially good in the winter months. Leaves should be bright and fresh-looking. Sniff the bunch and avoid any with a strong odor. Greens lose considerable volume when cooked, so buy a lot.
Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to five days
Serving tip: Substitute any of the above-mentioned greens in the delicious Roast Pork with Spicy-Sweet Collards.


Selection: Look for deep green, unbroken leaves. 

Storage: Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for four or five days. Spinach shrinks by 90 percent when cooked, so buy a lot.
Serving tip: Make spinach dip by combining low-fat Greek (strained) yogurt, chopped cooked spinach and sautéed onions.

Winter squash (acorn, buttercup, butternut, delicata and pumpkin)

Selection: Squash should feel hard and heavy. Avoid any with soft spots. Talk to your produce manager about their favorite varieties. Butternut squash is available pre-cut at supermarkets: check the date and buy within a few days of packing. 

Storage: Whole winter squash keeps for months in a cool, dark, dry place. 

Serving tip: For a really quick and easy meal, make Gnocchi with Butternut Squash.

Susan Stuck is the food editor for Alere and has written about healthy, low-fat cooking for more than 20 years.

© 2012 Alere. All rights reserved. Last reviewed June 2012. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.