BALTIMORE COUNTY—Just because it’s January doesn’t mean people in Baltimore County can’t eat fresh and local food until Spring arrives.
The Maryland Farmers Market Association released its winter shopping list that is packed with a variety of food that is both healthy to eat and grown from Maryland farmers.
Apples may seem like strictly an autumn fruit but certain varieties can last well into the winter months. Pears are also another fruit that is in season during the months of January to March that can be enjoyed in a yummy winter salad or simply on their own. Including some Chestnuts, which are also in season, to the pear salad can be a nice dynamic touch to the dish.
Baked goods are always a favorite no matter what season it is! Including honey, fruit jams or jellies, which are also in season, can make any traditional baked good a unique sweet treat.
Certain varieties of beer, wine, spirits, coffee and tea are in season during the winter months. Whether you are a red or white wine person or prefer a nice hot mug of black tea, these drinks are sure to keep you warm during the coldest time of the year.
Kombucha is another drink that has gained more popularity recently. This drink is a favorite among people who enjoy ciders but want to avoid drinking too much alcohol. Kombucha is made by fermenting fruit. There is a slight alcohol content to this drink but there are many claimed health benefits to drinking it as it is full of antioxidants.
Other fermented foods that are the best to eat this time of year are pickles and sour kraut. These condiments can be added to sandwiches or act as perfect side dishes to many dishes.
There are a plethora of vegetables that are in their prime this time of year.
Arugula, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, chard, cauliflower, collards, dried beans, escarole, fennel, garlic, herbs. Jerusalem artichokes, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, romanesco, shallots, turnips and winter squash are all ripe for the picking this time of year and are full of nutrients that can keep immune systems strong throughout the winter.
Meat and Dairy
For all our meat lovers out there, don’t worry—veggies aren’t the only things in season this tie of year. Bacon, beef, butter, cheese, chicken, eggs, lamb, milk, pork, sausage, yogurt, and the Maryland favorite—seafood are all available this time of year thanks to local farmers.
The Maryland Farmers Market Association has built an archive of delicious recipes that highlight seasonal Mid-Atlantic grown foods. They’ve been categorized by degree of difficulty, so there’s truly something for all types of home cooks. These recipes can be found at www.marylandfma.org/recipes.