Help Us Build a Healthier Community

The SLO Food Bank strives to give community members the food as well as the tools they need to live healthy lives. By providing our participants with healthy, affordable, culturally inclusive recipes and science-based nutrition education, we encourage them to prepare more nutritious meals at home and make informed choices in their everyday lives.

Distribution Ingredient Recipes – February 2024

At each of our over 60 monthly Neighborhood Food Distributions across the County, participating households receive a bag of shelf-stable protein, grains, vegetables, beans, and fruits, a bag of fresh assorted produce, as well as fresh and frozen protein and dairy items.

Below are recipes that incorporate the shelf-stable ingredients given out across our February 2024 Neighborhood Food Distributions. They are healthy, affordable, and easy to prepare.

Do you need additional assistance with purchasing groceries? Visit Funds for Food for information on programs that provide monetary assistance to purchase healthy foods.

Seasonal Produce Recipes

Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis will provide you with an array of nutrients essential for your overall health. Click on the names of the fruits and vegetables below for info and recipes!

Winter Fruits and Vegetables


  • Grapefruit 


    Availability: December- March

    Look for: Plump, smooth, and thin skin, dense

    How to Prepare: Rinse the outer skin. Cut through the stem and cut into slices like you would an orange or cut in half horizontally and scoop out with a spoon

    How to Store: Store at room temperature if you plan to enjoy the fruit soon. To enjoy later, store in the crisper in the refrigerator

    Fun Fact: Grapefruits grow in clusters like grapes, that is where they got the name “Grapefruit”

    Nutrition Fact: Grapefruits are high in vitamin A and C, which helps your immune system

    Flyer: Grapefruit Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Grapefruit Grilled Chicken • Broiled Grapefruit • Citrus Salad

  • Pomegranate


    Availability: October-January

    Look for: Large pomegranates, heavy for size.

    How to Prepare: Slit skin and carefully pull away skin and pith (note: the juice stains). Only seeds are edible. Pomegranates are juicy with a sweet tart flavor. Sprinkle over salads, desserts or crush seeds in blender and strain to make juice for drinks, sauces, and jellies.

    How to Store: Keep at room temperature for a few days or refrigerate for 1 to 2 weeks. Seeds and juice can be frozen.

    Fun Fact: The word pomegranate means apple with many seeds.

    Nutrition Fact: Pomegranates contain polyphenols, an antioxidant that helps protect your body’s cells from free-radical damage

    Flyer: Pomegranate Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Broccoli, Pomegranate and Chickpea Salad • Pomegranate and Cucumber Salad • Pear Pomegranate Salsa • Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Bites


  • Kiwi


    Availability: September- December

    Look for: Evenly ripe fruit, free of mold or soft spots

    How to Prepare: Peel skin and cut into slices or cut horizontally and scoop out with a spoon

    How to Store: Store ripe fruit in refrigerator for a week or leave on countertop away from direct sunlight for 1-2 days

    Fun Fact: You can eat the fuzzy skin of the kiwi; it has many nutrients! 

    Nutrition Fact: Kiwifruit is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber and potassium

    Flyer: Kiwi Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Strawberry Kiwi Yogurt PopsFruit SalsaKiwi SorbetHoney Gingered Fruit Salad


  • Lemons and Limes


    Availability: October- December

    Look for: Smooth, firm fruit, heavy for size

    How to Prepare: Cut through stem and cut into slices. To juice, place in the microwave for 30 seconds or roll them under the palm of your hand to make the juice easier to extract.

    How to Store: Keep at cool room temperature for one week or refrigerate for up to one month

    Fun Fact: In the 1800’s lemons and limes were used to prevent scurvy among sailors

    Nutrition Fact: Lemons and limes are a great source of vitamin C

    Flyer: Lemon and Lime Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Lemon Rice Pilaf • Whole Wheat Pasta With Lemon • Southwest SlawVegetable Salad with Tangy Avocado Dressing



  • Butternut Squash 


    Availability: September- March

    Look for: Solid beige color and no deep cuts or bruises 

    How to Prepare: Rinse outer skin and cut lengthwise with a large knife. Scoop out the seeds from the middle of the squash. The skin can be peeled or left on, depending on preference. Then, cut into cubes. 

    How to Store:  Store in a cool, dark place for up to a month.  

    Fun Fact: The seeds of the squash can be roasted and enjoyed, just like pumpkin seeds

    Nutrition Fact: Butternut squash is rich in vitamin A, which supports eye health. 

    Flyer: Butternut Squash Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Root Vegetable Medley • Lightly Curried Butternut Squash Soup • Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese • Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash • Garlic Butter Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Beets  


    Availability: June- February

    Look for: Smooth, hard, round, unbruised, and free of nicks or cuts

    How to Prepare: Rinse the outer skin thoroughly just before cooking. Place in a pot of boiling water for 45-60 minutes. Once cooled, peel off outer skin. Be careful, beet juice stains! 

    How to Store: Remove leaves, leaving an inch of stem. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

    Fun Fact: Beet juice can be used as a natural dye in food or on fabrics. 

    Nutrition Fact: Beets are a good source of fiber, which supports digestive health.

    Flyer: Beet Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Beets, Beans, and Greens • Crunchy Beet and Cabbage Slaw • Beet Salad with Goat Cheese


  • Brussels Sprouts 


    Availability: August- February

    Look for: Bright green, firm, and tightly packed leaves

    How to Prepare: Rinse and trim stem end. To cook evenly, cut each Brussel Sprout in half.

    How to Store: Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

    Fun Fact: Brussel Sprouts grow on long stalks.  

    Nutrition Fact: Brussel Sprouts are high in vitamin C and K.

    Flyer: Brussel Sprouts Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Brussels Sprouts with Mushroom Sauce • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples • Brussels Sprouts Hash


  • Parsnips


    Availability: September- March

    Look for: Firm, pointy, no blemishes

    How to Prepare: Rinse and peel outer skin. Cut off tops and root ends. Enjoy whole or cut into smaller pieces

    How to Store: Store in the refrigerator, unwashed for up to 2 weeks 

    Fun Fact: Parsnips are sweet in flavor and often used in soups and salads

    Nutrition Fact: Parsnips are rich in potassium, which supports heart health

    Flyer: Parsnip Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes • Root Vegetable Medley • Harvest Vegetable Salad


Year-Round Produce:


  • Apples


    Appearance: Apples are crunchy, juicy fruits that grow on trees. They vary in color including red, yellow, and green.

    Look for: Apples that are hard, without bruising or soft spots.

    How to Prepare: Rinse and eat. To prevent browning, coat cut surfaces with lemon juice.

    How to Store: Store at room temperature for up to a week or unwashed in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks.

    Fun Fact: The average apple has 10 seeds.

    Nutrition Fact: Eat the apple peel to add more fiber to your diet. Fiber helps us stay full and aids in digestion.

    Flyers: Apples Produce FlyerFood Hero Apples

    Recipes: Simple ApplesauceApple and Chicken SaladApple NachosCabbage, Apple and Cheese Casserole


  • Pears


    Appearance: A sweet and juicy fruit with mild flavor that is the shape of a tear drop.

    Look for: Firm, well-shaped, fruit. Use fully ripe fruit for immediate use. Minor scars and blemishes do not affect flavor.

    How to Prepare: Rinse and enjoy whole or cut into pieces. To prevent browning, coat cut surfaces with lemon juice.

    How to Store: Cover, refrigerate unwashed ripe fruit for up to three days. Ripen firm fruit at room temperature in a paper bag until it yields to gentle pressure at stem.

    Fun Fact: Pears do not ripen on the tree. They’re harvested when they’re mature, not ripe. Pear also ripen from the inside out.

    Nutrition Fact: Pears contain fiber, which helps with healthy digestion and keeps us feeling full.

    Flyers: Pears Produce FlyerFood Hero Pears

    Recipes: Frozen Pear PopsPear QuesadillasPear Salad


  • Oranges


    Appearance: Plump, round, and shiny with orange skin and orange flesh

    Look for: Dense and firm

    How to Prepare: Rinse the outer skin, cut through the stem and into slices. Or simply peel and enjoy!

    How to Store: Store at room temperature if you plan to enjoy the fruit soon. To enjoy later, store in the crisper in the refrigerator.

    Fun Fact: The color “orange” was named after the orange fruit.

    Nutrition Fact: One orange provides all the vitamin C you need in a day.

    Flyers: Orange Produce FlyerFood Hero Orange

    Recipes: Citrus SaladCinnamon OrangesOrange Strawberry SmoothieBreakfast Fruit Cup



  • Potatoes


    Appearance: A potato is a vegetable that grows underground. They can be brown, red, or blue.

    Look for: Clean, firm, smooth potatoes, without sprouts, green areas or blemishes.

    How to Prepare: Scrub well. Remove sprouts, decayed and green areas. Leave whole or peel cut as desired.

    How to Store: Keep in a cool, dry, dark, ventilated place for up to two months or keep at room temperature for up to one week. Do not refrigerate except new potatoes for up to one week.

    Fun Fact: The word “potato” comes from the Spanish word patata.

    Nutrition Fact: Potatoes are rich in potassium which helps build muscle and keeps your heart healthy.

    Flyers: Potato Produce Flyer

    Recipes: Potato and Broccoli SoupPotato Corn ChowderTasty Tots


  • Carrots



    Appearance: Carrots are long root vegetables that taper at one end. They are a crunchy, sweet vegetable and are usually orange but can also come in yellow and purple.

    Look for: Firm, clean, bright carrots that are well shaped. If tops are attached, they should be bright green.

    How to Prepare: Trim root and stem ends. Rinse. Scrub or peel. Leave whole, shred or cut into coins or sticks.

    How to Store: Cover, refrigerate unwashed carrots for up to 2-3 weeks.

    Fun Fact: California produces over 85% of all carrots grown in the United States.

    Nutrition Fact: Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which supports our vision and immune system.

    Flyers: Carrot Produce FlyerFood Hero Carrot

    Recipes: Carrot Apple PieCarrot DipCarrot & Potato Baked French Fries • Carrot Cookies


  • Onions



    Appearance: Onions are an edible bulb that grow underneath soil. They have many layers inside with thin papery layers on the outside. They are crunchy and pungent when raw and are soft and sweet when cooked.

    Look for: Firm, small necked onions. Avoid dark spotted or sprouted bulbs.

    How to Prepare: Rinse, trim root and stem ends. Discard outer leaves, cut in half and lay each side on the flat side to slice/chop.

    How to Store:Ideally, onions should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. Whole, raw onions can last two to three months when stored properly.

    Fun Fact: Onions make you cry because they contain sulfuric acid. To prevent tears, place onions in the freezer 30 minutes before chopping or chop onions from the top, and not the root end.

    Nutrition Fact: Onions contain B vitamins, which help our cells grow and stay healthy.

    Flyers: Onion Produce FlyerFood Hero Onion

    Recipes: Couscous with Peas and OnionsBaked Onion Rings French Onion Soup


  • Cabbage


    Appearance: Cabbage are dense-leaved heads that come in shades of white, green, or purple.

    Look for: Firm, heavy head with fresh outer leaves and good coloring.

    How to Prepare: Remove outer wilted leaves. Rinse. Cut head in half lengthwise and remove core. Cut into wedges or shred. Boil, microwave, steam or stir-fry.

    How to Store: Cover, refrigerate unwashed for up to two weeks.

    Fun Fact: Cabbage is closely related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

    Nutrition Fact: Cabbage is rich in vitamin K, which helps wounds heal as well as vitamin C, which helps support immune system health.

    Flyers: Cabbage Produce FlyerNapa Cabbage Produce FlyerFood Hero Cabbage

    Recipes: Cabbage SaladSweet Potato and Cabbage TacosNapa Cabbage SaladSweet and Sour Cabbage


Nutrition Education Resources

Click on the topics below for handouts, tips and tricks!

Produce Picks

General Nutrition Topics

Kitchen and Cooking Tips

Farmers’ Market Information

Family Activities

Kids’ Corner

Food Safety

Spanish Resources

Unhoused Population Food Resources

Unhoused Population Packet (Spanish and English)

All Recipes

Do you need some additional inspiration in the kitchen? Check out these yummy and nutritious recipes:


Main Dishes

Soups and Salads

A bowl of vegetable soup with a pitcher beside.

Snack and Sides