Winter's Grocery List

Photo credit: Paul Andresen 

Photo credit: Paul Andresen 

It’s a cold rainy day in Los Angeles. What better time to write up a grocery list for the up-coming winter months? Using traditional Chinese medicine’s words of wisdom for seasonal attunement we’ve devised a simple list of items to have in your pantry and in your fridge to better attune with the season. As the winter weeks progress we’ll dig a little deeper and provide recipes, too.  Let's start with flavors ~ salty and bitter. 

Salty and bitter foods are best for winter. According to traditional Chinese medicine, such flavors promote a centering quality bringing body heat deeper and lower, helping you to notice the cold less.

Admittedly, bitter flavor is a bitter pill for most Americans to swallow. So let's do some “starter” bitters.  Focusing on flavor, here are few staples to have around in winter. And you don't have to search far and wide for the bitter, either. Bitter herbs such as parsley and vegetables such celery, will help bring a little more bitter into your flavor wheel. Try citrus peels atop salads or sauteed greens boosting the dish with the bitter. Bitter greens such as dandelion, kale or collard greens are great, too. On the raw side, bitter lettuce varieties such as endive, escarole, and radicchio should be placed on the grocery list this winter. 

As for salt, put away the chips. When we speak of salt flavor, we mean healthy salts. Think seaweed, sea salt, soy sauce (or tamari), and saltier cheeses such as feta, edam, and blue, cheese. Of course, if you are watching your salt intake for medical reasons, don't follow this advice. 

Just a simple list for starters to incorporate more bitter and salt flavor into your diet:

  • collard greens
  • kale greens 
  • dandelion greens
  • endive 
  • escarole 
  • radicchio 
  • citrus peels 
  • celery
  • parsley 
  • feta, edam, or blue cheese 
  • soy or tamari sauce 
  • sea salt 
  • seaweed 

Once you collect these items from your favorite market then it’s time to mix and match and mash up. Just looking at the list above, we can already see a salad recipe, a greens side dish and main dish. Be creative! We’ll help you in the coming weeks with recipes and ideas, too. So stay tuned!