Eating produce that is in season can lower your food costs, help to eliminate environmental damage caused by shipping foods across thousands of miles, help you to gain the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and the unprocessed produce will taste much better. There are many benefits to learning to eat what is in season in your area.
Seasonal eating can be tough to incorporate into our meals. Many people only purchase produce that is familiar to them; whether it is in season or not. Everyone has go-to meals that they eat regularly and by learning to adjust these meals you can include new produce that is in season in your area. There are many simple tips to try if you are struggling to eat seasonally:
- For seasonal fruit, you can always find a new smoothie to try or just add it to some low-fat yogurt as a snack.
- If you are looking for a new way to use vegetables try chicken or fish fajitas. Fajitas can be customized to fit any season.
- If spaghetti is a go-to meal of yours try adding mixed vegetables to your sauce while it simmers.
- Find what is in season in your area and search the blog world or your recipe books for some new ideas that will incorporate whatever you have purchased.
- Check for a farmer’s market near you, they will sell produce that is grown locally.
- If cooking in the winter, soup is always a good way to go, find a basic recipe then add any vegetables you have laying around.
Finding fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer is typically easy; it is the winter months were it is important to focus on seasonal produce. Winter squash is a major vegetable to focus on in the winter. It may possibly work as a substitute for other vegetables. Pumpkin is another vegetable that may be easier to find during the winter in more southern states, while cabbage and gourds may be more abundant in northern states.
To find when your area’s growing seasons are, check out this Seasonal Food Guide.