SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After all the holiday meals and treats, it may be time to stock back up on your regular groceries.
And if produce is on your list, dietitians have some advice on what to look for during the winter season.
The growing season in South Dakota may be finished but that you’ll still find plenty of healthy options in the produce section.
Mary Alice Smith stocks up on produce year round.
“I come here quite often as you see, a lot of times I’ll just run in and get a few products,” Smith said.
But if it’s not peak season for the produce you’re shopping for the price may reflect it.
“As long as I can pick up strawberries, if they’re not too expensive then I have a fruit smoothie in the morning,” Smith said.
But when the price goes up, don’t skip the produce items. Instead, registered dietitian Lizzie Kasparek says it’s time to look in the frozen produce aisle.
“I actually recommend frozen for a lot of my clients because number one it’s convenient so it’s going to stay in your freezer for a long time and stay tasting good for a long time,” Kasparek said.
Plus, at a lower price you’re getting the same nutritional value of fresh produce– and sometimes even more.
“It is picked when it is fresh and then usually blanched and frozen right away so it’s going to retain a lot of those nutrients versus something that’s picked, and then shipped and then sat in a warehouse and that kind of thing. Those vegetables might actually lose some of their nutrients during the transportation process,” Kasparek said.
While frozen produce is just as beneficial as fresh, dietitians say to avoid produce with sauces.
Added sauces can contain unnecessary sugar and sodium, so Kasparek recommends seasoning them yourself. And when you’re done spicing them up, keep the cook time at a minimum to get the most nutrition.
“The quicker that you can cook things, even microwaving them, the faster it’s going to cook and it’s going to retain a lot of those nutrients,” Kasparek said.
To see a chart of when the peak season is for various produce items, click here.