Originally published on alwaysfoodie.com
If you are looking for ways to eat healthier and generally get more out of the foods you eat, seek out seasonally available foods.
The benefits of eating seasonally
Have you ever noticed that the tomatoes you buy in the winter have no flavor compared to the ones you can get in August and September?
Freshly picked foods deliver large on flavor and nutritional value because they are picked at their peak of ripeness. Since they don’t need to travel far, it’s not unusual to be able to buy something harvested that morning.
Pineapples in December?
Items that are out of season where you live need to travel a long way to arrive on your store shelves. To ensure they arrive in a sellable state, they are picked before they have a chance to ripen, which means they won’t have a fraction of the flavor or nutrients they would have if ripened naturally.
What’s in season this summer?
In the early summer, look for strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb, and green beans. If you live on the east coast, you’ll see fiddleheads, morel mushrooms, and wild leeks popping up on chef’s menus, so get them while they’re hot!
In hotter climates, early summer brings avocados, artichokes, and apricots.
Raspberries, blueberries, and cherries hit their stride around the end of June, and new potatoes are not far behind.
Vegetables that start in early summer and last all season include carrots, radishes, and most types of salad greens. Cucumbers, melons, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and zucchini (if you find some with the blossoms still on – all the better!) dominate the summer months, and you can look forward to the sweetest corn and tomatoes starting around mid-august.
Fall and winter produce
Once September rolls in, we can look forward to grapes, apples, cranberries, squash, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and cool-weather greens like kale and chard.
More ways to eat seasonally: support your local farmers
Eating seasonally has even more benefits if you buy your produce locally. If you’re lucky enough to live in an agricultural area, visit a farm stand; or, if you’re a city dweller, make a date with your local farmer’s market. You’ll not only be giving your body a nutritionally-dense infusion, but you’ll also be supporting our local farmers and their communities.
When dining out, look for seasonal ingredients on the menu. Chances are the chef has a relationship with local producers, so it’s another opportunity to support the farming community.
For more tips on living your best life, connect with Rory Brown of Charleston, SC.
About: Rory Brown is a food critic and blogger specializing in healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Beginning in Charleston, SC, he has attracted a large following by offering nuanced takes on fine cuisine with a focus on health. Mr. Brown splits his time between Charleston, Kauai, Sydney, and Lake Como, keeping his finger firmly on the culinary pulse across the globe.
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