seasonal produce

It is less expensive and healthier to eat produce that is in season. Produce will be more fresh and you will not have to buy anything frozen or canned! Less sodium. Frozen produce is actually pretty healthy because most is picked at the perfect time and then is – flash-frozen – (used of foods) preserved by freezing sufficiently rapidly to retain flavor and nutritional value; “frozen foods”to lock in the nutrients. But if you have a choice to buy fresh, why not? And sometimes it is local.

A few examples:

December-February Citrus is at it’s best. It is very affordable and at it’s peak season. Choose from oranges, tangelos, tangerines, grapefruit (red or white), or clementines. Sometimes blueberries are found really affordable this time of year, if they are I will purchase them fresh or I will buy them frozen.

Fall/Winter months: It is fun to buy pineapple this time of year. It is imported so it is really good all seasons and is the same price all year long (unless it is on sale). This is the time of year to buy sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips and squashes. Try mashed sweet potatoes with a little orange zest or acorn or butternut squash as a side with chicken or pork. Asparagus and brussel sprouts are available, but sometimes are not the best. My preference is thin asparagus, the thicker lacks flavor. It used to be this vegetable was available in the spring and summer, but is much more abundant now. Try white asparagus (slightly sweeter) mixed in with green, for a fun festive side around the holidays! Pomegranates and apples are plentiful in the fall. Try Honey Crisp (large, juice apple from Michigan), Fuji or Macintosh. Granny Smiths are good but available almost all times of the year. Apple Cider, a real luxury and treat if you live in Michigan.

Spring- This is when asparagus looks better. Brussel sprouts look healthier and less wilted. Try buying them on the stalk. I was amazed at how much sweeter they were. Cantaloupe melon arrives in stores and is priced very reasonable. Strawberries start arriving in supermarkets reasonably priced and in abundance.

Summer- The time of year for peaches, plums, nectarines, green beans and corn on the cob. The state of Michigan has the best corn on the cob. Indiana lacks the same corn except , my dad’s sweet corn out of Tipton, Indiana. Strawberries are super affordable, along with blueberries. Raspberries are blackberries are more affordable than in the fall and spring. Buy local peppers and onions, enjoy them on the grill!