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As the weather changes so does the availability of fresh produce. Each season offers an array of unique options, which is a great way to try new foods and recipes. There are many benefits to choosing seasonal vegetables and fruits.
When produce is in season it is harvested at the right time, so that it has had the chance to naturally ripen making it taste better. Crops lose flavor when they are transported a long distance because they are often harvested early and refrigerated thus diminishing the natural taste.
Easier on the Wallet
When a crop is in season they are able to harvest large amounts at a time, thereby driving the price down. If you are watching your budget it is also best to buy produce that is not only in season but also local to you. Eliminating transportation and storage costs also helps to keep the price lower for the consumer.
Higher in Nutritional Value
Produce that is purchased and consumed in season is fresher and higher in nutritional value. Some anti-oxidants, like vitamin C and carotenes, decline when the food is stored for long periods of time. In season produce will also appear to be more vibrant in color and will not be limp or dry.
Some of the fruits and vegetables that are in season for April include:
- Arugula (Rocket)
- Dandelion greens
- Fava Beans
- Lettuce (leaf and head)
- Sweet Onions
The best place to find local in season fruits and vegetables is to visit your local farmer’s market or join a Community Supported Agriculture group (CSA). Visit Local Harvest: www.localharvest.org to find a farmer’s market or get more information on how you can become part of a CSA.