When I go food shopping, I typically don’t think much about what produce is in season. However, during my last trip to the supermarket, fresh, colorful fruits and veggies were in the front of the store for all to see. There are so many benefits to learning when your favorite produce will be in season. Buying during the peak time usually makes a product more flavorful, less expensive and less likely to have lost nutrients due to a long journey from farm to store. To get you started, here are five fruits and vegetables currently in season that will have you running to the supermarket.
This sweet, albeit messy treat is a fall favorite. While you can purchase pomegranate juice year round, the ideal time to purchase the fruit is in the fall. With the change of season, you’ll quickly start to see pomegranates disappear from the store, so make sure you stock up while you can.
2) Butternut Squash
This fall and winter staple is at it’s prime right about now. Butternut squash is a great ingredient to have around your apartment or house. It can be used as a substitute for pumpkin in soup and has a great shelf life – you can store it for up to a month in a cool, dark place and it will still taste amazing. Who doesn’t love a kick-ass butternut squash soup on a cold day? Pro tip: add chunks of this veggie to an oven-baked mac and cheese and please even the pickiest of eaters.
3) Pears and Asian Pears
Although you can purchase pears all throughout the year, they’re technically seasonal, so fall is a great time to pack one with your lunch. For unripened pears, store them on your kitchen counter at room temperature. Don’t worry if you bought ripe pears, those can be stored in your refrigerator for a few days. Naturally, pears are high in vitamin c and are fat free too… that sure is a great pair of nutritional benefits.
Did you know that broccoli is in season and at it’s freshest in the fall? We see broccoli all the time in salads and stir-frys, but now is the prime time to enjoy it. Celebrate by sautéing some broccoli up with garlic and oil, or lemon juice for a contrasting pop of flavor.
5) Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are in season from September to November. Any regular potato dish can be made sweeter by using the orange variety of this starch. Once purchased, sweet potatoes can be stored for 3-5 weeks and still remain in good shape. Make a healthy choice and swap out your regular baked potato for a baked sweet potato. Or mash up sweet potatoes, crush pineapple, top it off with marshmallows and stick it in the oven until the marshmallows are toasted and gooey.