Spring brings us an abundance of fresh and flavorful produce! The availability of fresh fruits and vegetables varies, providing colorful and delicious options for everyone! Eating seasonally and locally helps the environment, boosts the local economy, supports local farms and farmers, and even improves the nutrient profile of produce.
Studies have shown that in-season produce allowed to ripen on their parent plant naturally contains increased nutrients. Conversely, produce consumed out of season or not local tends to be harvested earlier due to transportation requirements. This practice can impact quality, color, flavor, texture, and even nutrient availability.
A great alternative to purchasing local produce or produce that is not in season is utilizing frozen and canned items. Frozen fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak ripeness and quickly frozen. This type of processing helps retain the nutrients, flavors, and textures. Canned fruits and vegetables are processed similarly. However, be mindful that fruits can be packed in sugar syrup and vegetables with sodium. Look for products that say “packed in juice” or “low sodium” / “no sodium.” If you cannot find those options, gently rinsing the fruit and vegetables can help remove the excess syrups or sodium.
Some examples of fruits and vegetables available in the spring include:
- Greens – Arugula, Collard, Kale, Mustard, Watercress
- Herbs – Cilantro, Chives, Green Onion, Parsley
To look up the different types of seasonal produce in your area, click here.