Learn To Shop For In-Season Fruits And Vegetables
One of the best ways to get the most out of your home-cooked meals is to shop for fruits and vegetables that are in season. But, what exactly does that mean? Essentially, seasonal shopping means that you are attuned to the natural growing cycles of various produce, and the regions that best produce them. For instance, apples are often best in the late summer and fall, which is why so many orchard offer apple-picking to visitors, and apple cider and apple pie are so familiar to us at those times of year!
Another important reason to shop seasonally is for your health. We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but eating produce when it’s in season ensures that we’re getting the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals that particular fruit or vegetable has to offer. To make doubly sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck in the health department, look for organic produce that’s locally grown – these labels mean that the produce hasn’t been sprayed with harmful pesticides or been traveling for days in a truck, both of which are detrimental to food’s nutritional value.
Want to learn more about what’s best to eat as we enter spring? Keep reading to learn more about some of the best seasonal produce in the coming months!
Popular Spring Fruits
Spring is a great time to become acquainted with seasonal shopping – local farmers’ markets are starting back after winter, and some of the tastiest fruits and vegetables peak during the spring months. Strawberries and blueberries are great spring fruits that are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Eat them freshly picked for exceptional taste, or include them in a pie or crumble for a sweet spring treat.
Local farms may offer berry picking, which is a great opportunity to get a bundle of berries at an incredible deal but will require you to get creative in order to use them all! Strawberry jam is a great option for using up fresh strawberries, as this will keep for up to a year if stored in a hermetically sealed jar. Equally delicious, but not as long lasting, is blueberry compote: I love to put this on pancakes and waffles, mix it into my yogurt, or add to a smoothie for some extra flavor. The compote can keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, or you can freeze it in batches and defrost as needed.
Scrumptious Spring Veggies
Spring is a great time to eat your vegetables! Green peas are a seasonal favorite, and freshly shelled they taste so much better than the frozen variety – so if you’ve avoided them in the past, it’s time to give peas a chance! Add them to a salad for a fresh, sweet touch, or include them in a risotto or pasta dish for a vibrant flavor.
Leeks are another vegetable to try this spring. While a member of the onion family, they are much milder than the yellow or white onions you might usually buy. Leeks are delicious when grilled and dressed with a simple vinaigrette, so consider adding them as a side dish to your next barbeque or picnic!
Getting your “five-a-day” is so easy – and tasty in the spring! Be sure to shop locally and seasonally to take advantage of this delicious season!