As we creep closer to winter, the abundance of fresh fruits from spring and summer becomes a memory. In fall and winter we focus more on vegetables that can take us through the cold months, but not all fruits have disappeared. There are yummy fruits in season during the fall and winter that should not be overlooked.

  1. Blood oranges. Depending on the variety, blood oranges are abundant December through May. They’re called blood oranges because outside they look very similar to other oranges but inside they have an almost burgundy-like hue. These sweet-tart fruits can be eaten as is, but they’re also great in salads, turned into marmalade and even used as an ingredient in muffins.
  2. Persimmon. Persimmons are orange-ish in color and look a little like a tomato. Fuyu and Hachiya are the two most common varieties. Try them with pomegranate in a fruit salad or even in a Persimmon Creamsicle Smoothie.
  3. Cranberries. Cranberries are not overlooked in the fall. They’re a must-have for Thanksgiving celebrations, but they have a life beyond jellies and relishes. They can be cooked into stuffing, paired with apples to make a sweet-tart apple cranberry sauce, and even used to infuse vodka.
  4. Pears. A standard in holiday fruit baskets, pears are available throughout the winter, depending on the variety. My favorite way to eat a pear is to do anything with it that pairs it with blue cheese like in a salad or on a pizza. But they’re so versatile. Pears are good in salsa, in a frittata, and even mashed with sweet potatoes.
  5. Dates. Dates come in season in January. These sweet-as-honey fruits can be cooked into energy bars and used as a sweetener in treats like pudding.
So don’t let the fruit bowl go empty this winter. Fill it with seasonal fruits and get creative with how to use them.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.