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‘Taste Winter!’ cookbook shows how to make the most of your cool-season harvest

Enjoy winter fruit and vegetables with these home-grown recipes

Fresh-off-the-tree oranges mean winter to those of us lucky enough to live in California. Find several citrus-based recipes in the "Taste Winter! cookbook.

Fresh-off-the-tree oranges mean winter to those of us lucky enough to live in California. Find several citrus-based recipes in the "Taste Winter! cookbook. Kathy Morrison

Beat the winter blahs with cool-season aahs!

Elsewhere around the country, snow and freezing weather shuts down garden-minded cooks. But here in Sacramento, we make full use of year-round gardening – and our cool-season harvest.

See how in “Taste Winter!,” the latest in our collection of seasonal e-cookbooks.

In this Sacramento Digs Gardening recipe collection, discover almost 70 delicious ways to enjoy our local harvest of winter fruit and vegetables. Packed with nutritious fresh produce, these recipes will help you eat healthier, too.

Start your day with a hearty, fruity breakfast treat such as fluffy lime scones or triple apple coffee cake. In this collection, find 18 breakfast recipes to wake up your taste buds.

Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and bok choy come into season at the same time we’re trying to eat healthier – at the start of the new year – and when we really need that added dose of antioxidants. Enjoy vegetable-forward main dishes, salads and soups that are packed with nutrients and great taste. (There are several vegetarian options, too!)

Asparagus – a seasonal treasure – sprouts with the first warmth of late February or March. It’s been a local favorite for generations in such recipes as baked asparagus a la Sacramento.

What about fruit? Citrus – California’s star winter crop for generations – adds zest and juicy flavor to a wide range of winter recipes from blood orange mimosas and grapefruit-roasted beet-avocado chopped salad to fresh lemon pasta and Meyer lemon crème brûlée. Simple kumquat sauce can go sweet (as a dessert-like topping for yogurt or pound cake) or savory as a tart complement to grilled chicken or pork tenderloin.

Apples and persimmons may be holdovers from late fall, but they add sweetness and flavor to hearty desserts and baked goods.

In late winter, the season’s first strawberries can be showcased in old-fashioned desserts such as strawberry fool or strawberry spoon cake.

So many possibilities! These recipes prove that – even in the dark days of winter – you still can eat local, in season – and fresh. (That’s another reason why we dig gardening – and cooking – in Sacramento!)

Find this new e-cookbook at: https://sacdigsgardening.californialocal.com/article/83747-taste-winter-recipes-from-your-garden/

What’s cooking in this collection?

Featured vegetables include: Asparagus, beans (dried), beets, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, cardoon, carrots, cauliflower, chard, fava greens, fennel, garlic, greens, kale, leek, onion, potato, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato and turnip.

Featured fruit and nuts include: Almond, apple, avocado, grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, rose hip, persimmon, pomegranate and strawberry.

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Taste Summer! E-cookbook

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Find our summer recipes here!

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Taste Spring! E-cookbook

Strawberries

Find our spring recipes here!

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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!