Cooking with the Seasons

Cooking with the Seasons

Four Benefits of Seasonal Cooking

Have you noticed how apples taste extra crisp and delicious in the fall, or how a piping hot bowl of butternut squash soup or beef stew is so comforting in the winter? What about your local roadside stands with the freshest and juiciest strawberries in the summer?

Today we'll unpack why meals prepared with seasonal produce not only taste amazing but also have many added benefits too! We'll also go over what produce you can expect to find during each season.

1. Fuller Flavor

Produce that's in season is rich and full in flavor because it's had a chance to fully and naturally ripen. On the contrary, out-of-season produce hasn't had a chance to fully ripen before it's harvested and transported.

2. Cost Efficient

Since produce in season is more abundant you'll pay less per pound or quantity when you buy it at a market. When buying produce out of season, you are also paying for the expenses that come with transportation, refrigeration, and re-heating.

3. Maximum Nutrition

When produce is harvested in season, the nutrients have had a chance to fully develop. Produce, just like plants, need adequate sunlight and water to grow, and picking them before they have fully ripened with the elements prevents optimal nutrient availability and freshness. 

4. Community Benefit 

Shopping from your local farmers and markets is a great way to show support and build community, especially during this time! It also helps you to be more connected with where your produce is coming from, and who harvests it!

What is in Season?

The easiest way to see what is in season is heading to your local farmer's market, food stands, etc. If you don't see a specific type of food, it probably isn't in season. Here is a list of what you might find during the different seasons. Just remember that some foods can be grown in multiple seasons so it's just going to depend on where you live. 

Spring

Produce in Season: Apricots, Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Carrots, Cherries, Grapefruit, Herbs, Kale, Leeks, Lemons, Lettuce, Parsley, Peas, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Turnips

Recipes
Potato Chip Crusted Halibut

 

Summer

Produce in Season: Most Berries, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Mango, Peaches, Peppers, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Zucchini

Recipes
Zucchini Pizza Bites
Parmesan Crisp Bruschetta
Breakfast Pancake Tacos
Griddled Peaches

 

Fall

Produce in Season: Apples, Bananas, Beets, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Pineapples, Onions, Celery, Garlic, Bell Peppers, Grapes, Parsnips, Pears, Pumpkin, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms,

Recipes
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Pancetta Green Beans with Shitakes and Cranberries
Taco Salad
Pineapple Chicken

 

Winter

Produce in Season: Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Celery, Oranges, Grapefruit, Beets, Apples, Carrots, Kiwifruit, Onions, pumpkin,

Recipes
Super Salad
Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken
Pumpkin French Toast
Fall Pasta

Interested in seeing what's in season in your state? Check out seasonalfoodguide.org to get a full breakdown of the produce that's available in the US during different months of the year, and more information on why seasonal eating has so many wonderful benefits! 

Wondering when the optimal time is to plant? Just search for your state at www.ufseeds.com

The following articles were also used in the research of this letter:
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