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Winter Fare: How to Get the Most Out of Seasonal Foods

Montreal holistic food and wellness coach Myrite Rotstein shares her tips on how to choose, cook and store fresh staples for maximum flavour and nutrients.

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Cabbages

DO look for cabbages that are firm, dense and heavy, with tight outer leaves. Any damage to the outer leaves suggests decay in the core. Store in fridge.

DON’T buy pre-shredded-the vitamin C content is lower.

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Parsnips

DO choose small to medium parsnips (12 to 25 centimetres) with firm flesh and uniform colour. To prevent overcooking, add parsnips to dishes 15 minutes from the end of cooking. Store unwashed parsnips in a cool, dark place. Peeled parsnips turn dark when exposed to air, so cook immediately or refrigerate in a dish of water with a little lemon juice.

DON’T buy large parsnips-they have a woody, bitter core.

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Endives

DO select firm, plump endives with tightly folded leaves-the whiter the endive, the milder the flavour. Remove wilted outer leaves and store endives wrapped in damp paper towel inside a plastic bag in the fridge for up to five days.

DON’T wash until ready to use or they’ll get mushy. Avoid exposure to light to preserve flavour. Remove the bitter bottom core before eating.

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Beets

DO pick small or medium beets that are firm, smooth-skinned and deep in colour. Store unwashed for up to three weeks in fridge, wrapped in a plastic bag with as much air squeezed out as possible.

DON’T buy beets with spots, bruises or soft, damp areas. And skip shrivelled beets, as they’ll be tough and fibrous.