- Food and Cooking
Vegetables and Fruits By the Season - What is Available Throughout the Year
We live during a time when we can get exactly what we want, when we want it. With the ability to ship goods throughout the world, most countries have access to fruits and vegetables that they would not have otherwise. Regardless of the time of year, we can get pretty much any fruit or vegetable at the local grocery store on the corner. This isn't always a good thing.
By the time all of these imported fruits and vegetables have reached the United States, it has been days, maybe even weeks. Most of these items are picked before they are even ripe. Nutritionally these foods are not the greatest for us. Picked at the peak of ripeness is the time when fruits and vegetables are the best for you. Of course this is difficult to do year round.
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are in season, here in the United States, each season of the year. Being willing to eat what is locally available is the best way to save money on fruits and vegetables and is the best for you nutritionally. For me eating what is local means different things in the summer and winter. In the summer I can eat fruits and vegetables right from my state. In the winter, though, this is not possible. Local becomes the United States for me at that point.
It can be difficult to figure out what exactly is in season when. Especially since you can walk into any grocery store and get whatever produce you want any time of year. Usually the cheapest options in the produce department are your in season vegetables and fruits. I thought it would be a good idea to list them out though.
Spring Baby Lettuce Mixes
Sugar Snap and Snow Peas
It goes without saying that winter is the season when our options for fresh produce are most limited. Winter is a good time to rely on frozen fruits and vegetables that were frozen at their peak ripeness - these are the best nutritionally. In the spring our options get better, however fruits are very limited during this time. Summer and fall are the times of the year that we have an abundance of vegetable and fruit options. This is a good time of year to freeze your own - especially if you have your own garden.
No matter what the season though, there are fresh, in season fruits and vegetables available to us. These are your best bet, cost wise. Eating what is in season is a great way to stretch your grocery dollars. The book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle A Year Of Food Life is a wonderful book that documents one families year of eating only local (within their county) foods, not just produce. It has only been in recent decades that eating foods from other countries even became available. There is no reason why we can't go back to eating locally as much as possible. I hope this list of foods helps people realize exactly how much in season produce they have available to them, regardless of the season.