To Everything There is a Season- You Should Respect That

Like most Americans I am always trying to get more fruits and vegetables into my DIYet. Studies show that, as a nation, we just don’t get enough. And, like most Americans in these economically challenging times I search my local grocery store circulars when deciding which fruits and vegetables I will buy each week. Here is a sampling of what is on special in the produce departments of the chains near me:

  • Bunched broccoli
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • California mandarins
  • Spinach
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Green cabbage
  • Pink grapefruit

The melon, berries, and tomatoes make no sense to me at all! It is not the season for any of these foods. Even if I gave in and bought the strawberries I predict they would taste something like a dish sponge. Don’t get me started on the bullet-proof tomatoes sold in grocery stores.

If I didn't know they were "fruit" I would have thought they were strawberry scented pencil erasers.

If I didn’t know they were “fruit” I would have thought they were strawberry scented pencil erasers.

People buy these. It boggles my mind why.

People buy these. It boggles my mind why.

 

However, I’m sure the cabbage will be crisp and nutty. The mandarins are most likely a perfect mix of sweet and tart. This is my favorite reason to select produce by season. You get your fruits and vegetables at their best.

 

I used my head and bought one of these beauties.

I used my head and bought one of these beauties.

Many people also note the environmental edge to seasonal eating. In-season food is more likely to be from near-by, and therefore fewer resources are spent getting it to your plate. This advantage diminishes for me this time of year. New England is frozen. Not much of anything is growing right now. In the interest of truth I will disclose that those cabbages came from California. For reference, so did the “strawberries”. I am still finding some long-keeping items that were harvested in the Bay State at my local markets- apples, winter squash, and many root vegetables specifically.

I am dreaming of the day when I can get my fruits and veggies from local growers and my own garden. But for now I’m selecting the best fresh produce I can by selecting winter produce. Here is a large (although not complete) list of fruits and vegetables that are considered in-season in the winter.

Yes, we need to eat veggies and fruits every day. In fact, adults are supposed to eat one and a half to two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables every day.  So you’d might as well enjoy them! Getting your produce in season will help ensure your produce choices are as tasty as possible, even if they traveled a while to get to your refrigerator or fruit bowl. Don’t forget that canned and frozen veggies count too. Remind me to tell you more about them sometime…

One of my new favorite thing to do with cabbage, carrots, onions and potatoes: Ethiopian style cabbage. You should try it. http://bit.ly/1BeThFH

One of my new favorite thing to do with cabbage, carrots, onions and potatoes: Ethiopian style cabbage. You should try it. http://bit.ly/1BeThFH