Do you pay attention to what is in season when you shop? There are a large number of benefits to shopping for seasonal vegetables and fruits such as; being able to grab what you need from the local farmers market, increased freshness, protection from disease, lower price and better taste.
My favorite fruit is mango; however, I have learned (despite my reluctance to come to terms with the reality) that I cannot have mango throughout the year without some slight inconvenience. During off-season mangos do not taste as good, will not ripen correctly or I will have to pay a premium. For this reason I found it extremely helpful (and my taste buds thanked me as well) to shop for and cook produce while it was in season.
Click here for a calendar of some of the vegetables that are in season now.
I am excited to share some of my favorite seasonal dishes for the winter months as well as the benefits of their key ingredient.
Why is it good for us? – This hearty vegetable packed dish is one of my winter favorites. It provides you with protein from the beans and allows you to load it with veggies such as the seasonal carrots as well as your favorite green leafy vegetable. For an added spin toast a piece of bread and place on the bottom of your soup bowl and then ladle on your minestrone soup.
How can I make it easily? – Click here for one of the easy to prep versions of this winter delight. Note that this is a dish that has few rules, if you have any extra veggies they can be added and it the soup will still taste delicious. Also feel free to make without pasta.
Why is it good for us? – Apple Crumble is a great way to use an abundant in season fruit, Apples! The addition of oats provides even more nutritional value. It also allows you to control how much sugar you wish to put in and is quick and easy to make with minimal steps and ingredients.
How can I make it easily? – Click here for a recipe for vegan apple crisp (substitute ½ cup olive oil or canola oil for margarine)
Why is it good for us? – Like other squash Butternut squash has high water content, so if you want to swap it out for the starchier sweet potatoes there are certainly benefits to that. Butternut squash is also extremely beneficial for heart health, low in fat and high in antioxidants. Serve your butternut squash as a side for dinner or as a snack.
Click here for more facts on butternut squash as well as other winter squash varieties.
How can I make it easily?
Click here for a quick and easy recipe for butternut squash
These are a few dishes to get you started on your seasonal cooking journey. If you are really in love with a particular fruit or vegetable there is the option of looking for it in the frozen isle. Despite this wonderful luxury it is an extremely healthful and informative habit to get used to shopping in season. Please share some of your favorite seasonal recipe ideas in your comments!