Until recently, seasonal eating has become a new health trend that is being incorporated by most people in their diets.
Today, we don’t need to pay as much attention to what’s available where we live-thanks to the cross-country and global commerce. Walk into your typical supermarket and you can find papaya from Peru, mangoes from India, grapes from Brazil, water melon from Spain, no matter the season. Great, right? Unfortunately, not really?
Eating food out of season makes makes little sense nutritionally, environmentally, or economically. Eating seasonally helps you eat healthier, more nutritious food, and support the local or regional economy. It is also better for the environment than the standard American diet, because foods grown locally require less energy and resources to produce and transport.
Read on to discover why and how you should eat season by season.
Why You Should Eat in Season:
Each season offers an array of beautiful fresh produce. Eating seasonally is a healthier, more economic, and environment friendly way of incorporating fruits and vegetables in your diet. Here the many benefits to eating seasonally.
It taste better:
When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that have been naturally ripened and harvested at the right time, it will have more nutrition and flavor.
It will be a lot cheaper:
Due to the increased production and supply of particular fruits and vegetables, the cost of the produce will go down. As it is locally sourced, the traveling and storage expenses are eliminated and you only get to pay for the production cost.
It supports our local farmers who choose to farm sustainably:
As you are buying directly from the farmers, your money goes directly to them and encourages a much more sustainable way of eating.
Preserves the environment:
It decreases the environmental damage which comes with shipping foods across large distances which such as transportation, refrigeration, and irradiation of produce. Fewer chemicals are needed to fertilise the seasonal foods and less energy is used to create the perfect environment it needs.
How To Eat In Season?
Shop At Farmer’s Market, Join A CSA, or Buy A Farm Share:
Your local farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, and farm shares are great ways to get to know farmers, connect to where your food comes from, and to eat seasonally.
The produce stands at the farmers market would be full with a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables and they are much fresher than what you get in a grocery store. You will be able to enjoy fresh tomatoes, massive zucchinis in summer, potatoes, cabbage, or broccoli in the winter, and winter squash in the autumn.
On the other hand, CSA or community supported programs are subscription based programs. You can buy a monthly or yearly subscription to a farm or group of farms, and you will receive a box of produce on weekly or monthly basis. It is an excellent way to know what is in season, and try new fruits and vegetables.
Know What’s In Season:
Seasonal eating means that you are eating fresh greens at a time of year when it’s naturally ready for harvest. Seasonal produce is different from the imported ones when it comes to taste and price. Depending on where you live, different fruits and vegetables will be produced and harvested at different times. Seasonal produce is harvested at the correct time, when the nutrients are at peak. This way you will be getting food that is highly nutritious and tastes better.
Here’s a brief list of fruits and vegetables that are present seasonally in the United States:
- Green Beans
Recipes to try:
Super Fresh Cucumber Salad
Zucchini and asparagus frittata
Grilled Veggie Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce
- Butternut Squash
- Celery Root
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
- Tomatoes (see above)
Recipes to try:
Roasted sweet potatoes with chilli and seeds
Pear Cheddar Crisp
Autumn fruit salad
Southwestern sweet potato stew
Recipes to try:
Sweet Potato Stew
One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf
- Fava Beans
- Fiddlehead Ferns
- Mustard Greens
Recipes to try:
- Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes
- Raw Asparagus Fennel Salad
- Simple Asparagus Soup
- Chickpea Pasta with Basil Pea Pesto
- Pickled Avocado Toast
Read Food Blogs And Learn How To Cook Seasonally:
Most restaurants and food companies don’t tend to source food locally and seasonally. Cooking your food is the best way to take advantage of the bounty of seasonal food.
So, if you are wondering what is in the season or how you should cook it, spend some using food blogs for inspiration. Pinterest is also full of amazing recipes using seasonal fruits and vegetables.
For instance, different cooking methods are appropriate in different seasons. Use cool cooking methods in warm months and warming food methods in the cold season.