It's getting to be that time of year when your options for local, seasonal fruits are either apples or…apples. Citrus growers haven't gotten a really tasty crop yet, and 90 percent of what's in your grocery store has been shipped in from far, far away, devoid of any taste or nutrition. But, unless you're branching out to specialty grocery stores, you could be missing out on some of the most nutritious, unique fruits—grown in the U.S.—that are available this time of year. Certain varieties of tropical and citrus fruits, which are grown somewhat locally in places like Florida and Hawaii, have the highest levels of heart-healthy antioxidants of any fruit, so you can still make your heart happy without having to pollute the planet with fruit flown in from another hemisphere.
Forget pomegranates—start popping kumquats. The tiny little olive-sized citrus fruits are full of disease-fighting antioxidants, which are contained in their sweet, edible skin. A serving of five (which is about 5 calories) also contains one-fifth of your daily fiber needs, along with a healthy dose of potassium and vitamins A and C. California and Florida are home to most of our domestic crop, and the most commonly found variety is the Nagami, which peaks between November and March. The fruits are super-versatile: Slice up a kumquat and toss it into a salad, or use that instead of hassling with orange zest when recipes call for it; kumquats lend a more refined, complex flavor to your dishes. Diced kumquats and avocado make a great salsa when mixed with red onion, cilantro, and lime. At the market, look for firm fruits that are bright orange in color (green ones aren't yet ripe), and store kumquats at room temperature for two or three days, or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.