Seasonal produce are vegetables and fruits grown and picked when the right season comes, with limited outside interference.
The idea of seasonal produce became old and redundant once trade and commerce boomed. You can find all year round vegetables and fruits coming from around the world. When shopping for grapes in spring, you will find me reaching for South African grapes. Or I try to find year-round tomatoes produced anywhere except for the Netherlands.
But every time I do get to choose what vegetables to cook, I will turn to seasonal vegetables.
There are many benefits when eating seasonal vegetables. The most important are these:
High nutritional value
Picking fruits and vegetables that are naturally ripe from the sun and not indoors, pumped with chemicals, creates products with a higher nutritional value.
Locally available products don’t have import costs or other taxes like import products have. Plus, during the season, products tend to have a smaller price than usual, meaning you can buy more products for the same price. You can then freeze, can, or even invent new recipes and taste combinations.
Naturally, riped products are sweeter, tastier, and packed with flavor when picked at the right time. You don’t have to wait for them to ripen, they are ready to eat!
You get products fast, and you will get them better. Because the road from the producer to the consumer is shorter, the quality of the products will be superior. And, if you buy from local farmers, you might get products that have been picked or harvested the day before. How amazing would that be?
Reduced distance and time lead to reduced associated costs, like gas, import taxes, shipping taxes, storage costs, etc. Low carbon footprint food is key!
If you study the all-year-round available products, the recipes you can make with them, and the health benefits that you get from consuming them, you will get a clear picture of this statement. During the cold winters, the body needs nourishment from potatoes, beans, and vegetable fruits. In springtime, you need a boost of vitamins from greens, lots of salads, and lots of easy-to-grow-easy-to-cook vegetables. Hot summer days need a boost of energy and lots of beta-carotene to protect the skin from sun damage.
I am all about supporting the local community. It’s lovely when you can establish a relationship with your local farmer and can get advice on what to buy. Or even a great recipe. The whole energy around food changes. I can assure you that you will think twice before creating more food waste when you know more about what is involved in growing that food. Everything becomes more personal. Don’t sleep on the benefits of positive social interactions you get when picking the perfect apple for that lovely apple pie recipe you plan on doing this weekend.
But we get it – it requires more planning and maybe more research regarding new recipes and ways to prepare something. We got you! We plan on making more diverse recipes featuring more seasonal products.
How do you plan to further enrich your diet with local products? Leave your comments or questions below.
Do you love to cook with seasonal fruits and vegetables? Please share your experience with us, comment below, or tag @basilbunch.blog on Instagram and hashtag it #basilbunchblog. We would love to see your creation!