by ADMIN on OCTOBER 7, 2011
Eating Seasonally is a new ‘hot’ term being thrown around – but what’s so good about seasonal eating anyway? And what fruits and veggies should we be eating and when?
Fruits and vegetables grown during the current season are less expensive because they don’t have to be shipped from across the country or another continent. Not only that, but eating produce that has been grown recently and locally means that less carbon emissions are being produced due to the smaller distance they are transported. And one last bonus: Seasonal produce typically tastes better and have higher nutritional value. Quadruple bonus!
TidBit: The reason why seasonal produce have more nutrients is because you’re eating them very soon after harvest. The longer a fruit or vegetable sits in storage, the more its nutrients begin to breakdown.
Whether you want to purchase a couple seasonal fruits or vegetables a week; or have the goal to eat only seasonal foods – here is a list of the seasonal produce in the Northeast.
Spring (March to May)
In the Northeast, the growing season is primarily dormant during the spring. But towards May, tender leafy greens begin to sprout up.
Veggies: Turnip greens, mustard greens, rhubarb, Swiss chard, and spinach.
Fruit: Early strawberries
Herbs: Parsley, Basil, and other fresh herbs are starting to pop up.
The other produce available at this time are the hearty autumn-grown fruits and veggies that have been stored a very cool temperatures over the winter and which retain their nutrition and taste very well
Look for: Apples, pears, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash, turnips.
Summer (June to August)
Summer is the peak of growing in the Northeast, and light, cooler foods are available.
Fruit: Blueberries, strawberries, summer squash, cantaloupe, peaches, raspberries, watermelon, peaches.
Veggies: Beets, asparagus, cucumber, lettuce, peas, peppers, artichoke, kale, radishes, scallions, spinach, tomatoes and corn. Cabbage and cauliflower are also starting to come up during the end of summer as well.
Herbs: Peppermint and Cilantro are sprouting now too!
Autumn (September to November)
With cooler weather, it’s nice to turn toward the warmer, heartier foods being harvested.
Veggies: cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower; as well as carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, celery, salad greens, pumpkins, potatoes, turnips, winter squash, mushrooms, and eggplants.
Fruit: Apples, pears, blackberries, cranberries, plums, nectarines, raspberries, and some late watermelon.
Herbs: Spice up your meals with freshly harvest garlic and ginger root!
Winter (December to February)
In the Northeast, the growing season is truly dormant at this time. Again, choosing the autumn harvest foods are wonderful for a hearty, warm meal. Root vegetables and squash are great choices!
Veggies: Carrots, winter squash, onions, white and sweet potatoes, cabbage, beets, winter squash, parsnips, rutabagas, and pumpkins.
Some fall fruits keep well through the winter, too.
Fruit: Apples and pears.
Whether you choose to eat all seasonal or simply choose a few fruits and vegetables to include in your eating – you’re doing a wonderful thing for both the environment and your body!