While many people are accustomed to buying their favorite fruits and veggies year-round – regardless if they’re in season or not – this article seeks to explain why you should only buy fruits and vegatables in season.
Though your favorite produce, like strawberries, spinach, Brussel sprouts and even garlic may be your “go-to’s” whether it’s 90 degrees out or snowing, it’s time to think beyond your typical dinner menu. Instead, visit your local farmer’s market right now to expand your horizons… Eating local is a smart way to not only support local farmers, but get tastier, more nutritious, and more wallet-friendly produce.
Keep reading to learn about buying fruits and vegetables in season – Plus, get some mouthwatering recipes using delicious fall produce!
Why Buy In-Season Produce
Peak Ripeness – When produce is grown and picked out of season, it’s typically harvested before those fruits or veggies are even ripe. Then, it often has to travel far and wide to even get to a store near you – and to reach more stores across the country. Therefore, you never actually get the produce at its point of peak ripeness and freshness. Instead, when you buy items in-season you can literally taste the freshness in every bite.
More Nutritious – For the exact same reason as #1, produce purchased outside of its natural growing season won’t be as good for you, nutritionally – since peak ripeness also equals peak nutrients. For fruits and veggies to develop into their true health-supporting potential, they need the sun and soil that they’re deprived of before hitting ripeness when grown out of season. In contrast, fruits and veggies purchased within their season will be the best ones for you, health wise.
Taste Better – Another reason you should buy fruits in season, plus veggies in season is that they also taste their absolute best when they’re allowed to reach peak ripeness. For instance, peaches will only be their utmost in sweetness and juiciness in the summer, and apples are sweet and crisp right now, since they’re a fall season fruit. When you start paying attention, you recognize that fruits in season (and veggies) simply taste better.
More Economical – If you want strawberries in winter (which is outside of the natural growing season), there’s going to be less supply available – which makes prices for the fruit go up. This is an example of how buying produce out of season actually costs you more. When the produce is in season, there is a much greater supply, leading to cheaper prices!
Expands Your Horizons – Another reason it’s great to get fruits and veggies in season is that it forces you out of your comfort zone. Most of us have “go-to” fruits and veggies we migrate towards all the time – but there are SO many we’ve never tried or don’t even know about. When you shop for local, seasonal produce, you learn about different types of fruits and veggies – providing your body with a wide array of nutrients, and expanding your palate with new and exciting recipes.
Fall Season Produce Guide
So, now that you know why you should buy seasonal produce, let’s take a look at what’s in season across the US right now! Fall produce indefinitely includes some of your favorite foods, and makes for awesome ingredients in recipes that will keep you satisfied all season long.
Apples – Though this is a fruit that many people purchase year-round, apple season is actually late summer through fall (which is when they’re harvested). One of the best ways to get this fiber-packed fruit is to go apple picking at a local orchard; You’ll come upon a variety of different types of apples including Gala, Honeycrisp, Cortland and Jonagold, allowing you to make a variety of different yummy apple recipes.
Pumpkins – Though many people typically use pumpkins in October as decorations, to paint or carve, they’re actually a highly nutritious fruit with lots of health benefits. Probably the most popular “winter squash”,” pumpkins are harvested in September and October – so get your fill of pumpkin recipes in now!
Carrots – Though carrots are harvested year-round in temperate climates, their natural growing season is late summer and fall. When you get carrots in the fall, you’ll also find unique varieties that are both totally tasty and visually appealing. These include the Deep Purple Hybrid carrot, which is a rich purple color and the Kaleidoscope carrots with different varieties of carrot seeds including: White, Yellow, Cosmic Purple and Atomic Red.
Pomegranates – Be on the look-out for this exciting red fruit coming up soon at farmer’s markets and grocery stores – as it’s harvesting season starts in late September/October. Pomegranates are full of antioxidants, taking their health factor to superfood status. Wondering how to eat one? The edible part of this fruit is actually the seeds, which contain a slightly sweet/slightly tart, nutrient-packed juice. You can juice the seeds, eat them whole, or sprinkle them on yogurts, salads and more.
Butternut Squash – With its sweet, buttery flavor, and the fact that it’s low in carbs and fills you up, this fall fruit is an easy favorite in a variety of dishes. You can find it at its freshest and most delicious in summer through late fall. Scrumptious baked or roasted, it’s also chock full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, since one cup has only 83 calories, and 7g of filling fiber, it’s a wonderful food to add to your diet for weight loss.
Want to see a full list of fall produce? Here’s a much more expansive selection of fruits and vegetables in season right now!
Fall Recipe Ideas Using In-Season Fruits and Vegetables
Now that you know the veggies and fruits in season right now, we’re going to hook you up with some irresistible fall recipes that feature the ripest, best produce available.
Pumpkin Apple Muffins – Featuring two of the most popular fall fruits, these muffins are extra-special with a sweet streusel topping!
Pear, Pomegranate, and Walnut Salad – Featuring pomegranates, along with another fruit in season right now, pears, this is a very simple salad with homemade dressing that can be made in 25 minutes or less.
Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash – This recipe is the perfect healthy, yet indulgent comfort food and side dish for any fall meal.
Honey Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots – You can use any type of carrots in this recipe, which is both sweet and decadent, with butter, honey, garlic, pepper and parsley.
Pumpkin Pie Chai Shake – This recipe features pumpkin puree, almond milk, fuji apples, cinnamon, and a vanilla chai protein powder.
We hope you enjoyed this article and it helps you find the best veggies and fruits in season right now – so you can make totally tempting, yet nutritious dishes you can’t resist!