It’s spring! Trees are starting to bud; flowers are blooming; birds are singing – the world is coming alive again! With all the new plants poking their heads through the dirt, gardening has been on my mind! Every year we have a little vegetable garden. We till the dirt, pick out the seeds, plant, water, and hope everything grows! I love having my own garden. Nothing compares to walking outside, picking food off the vine, and bringing it inside to put in your dinner that night.
While gardening isn’t for everyone, eating fresh fruits and vegetables definitely is! Every plant has a season, and every season has certain plants that grow best during those months. Grocery stores sell quite a few foods all year long as they have access to foods from all over the world, and this is great! I love being able to buy all kinds of foods throughout the year. But there are definitely benefits to buying more seasonal foods.
A big bonus for me is the variety this adds to my diet. I typically eat very different in the summer than I do in the winter. I eat lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, peas, zucchini, corn, peaches, raspberries, etc. in the summer. In the winter my diet consists of winter squash, potatoes, onions, carrots, apples, oranges, etc. I love both times of the year, and buying seasonal food keeps my meals entertaining and fresh!
Seasonal food is also cheaper and it tastes better! You’ll notice this when you buy a food at the grocery store out of season (for more money) and take a bite, only to discover that it tastes like a watered down version of what you were wanting and expecting. I’m all for cutting back on my grocery bill, and if I can do that and get food that tastes much better, then I’m in!
If you’re someone who is into supporting local business, eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is a great way to do this. Farmer’s markets are becoming very popular and are a great way to support local farmers and growers. Grocery stores also often carry local seasonal fruits and vegetables. Check out the farmer’s markets near you to see what foods are available and ask your grocery store what foods are purchased locally.
To get an idea of what foods are being grown right now, check out a basic list at https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide. Once you find what fruits and veggies are in season, start looking around for some recipe ideas. Finding new recipes that incorporate the seasonal fruits and vegetables you buy is a great way to add even more variety to your meal plan throughout each season. And don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never had or maybe never even heard of! Who knows, you just might love it!
Increase the variety in your diet, save money, eat better tasting food, and support local businesses by adding lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet this spring (and throughout the year)!!