Have you noticed that spring produce is coming down in price?
Asparagus, strawberries, zucchini and lots fruits and vegetables have been at some fantastic prices lately. I love spring and summer produce: zucchini, asparagus, peas, strawberries…….. Oh and I really love a fresh Jersey tomato right off the vine!!! (but I still have to wait a little while for those)
Not only do my tastebuds love these healthy treats, but this time of year, my wallet does a little happy dance too. When produce is in season, it is lower priced. Have you ever seen the price of strawberries in December? (If you can even find them)
It makes sense to eat in season for a few reasons. For one thing, it is much cheaper to eat produce that is in season. I refuse to pay the out of season $3.99 for asparagus. I will only pay $1.99 or less for that yummy vegetable. Same thing with strawberries, I only buy them when they are $1.99 or less. You can probably get these even cheaper at a local farm stand. What is in season, is usually much cheaper because it is more readily available. So, BUY what’s in season.
It can be healthier to eat in season. You can get more locally grown food, that has not had to be shipped over from other countries. The food is fresher and therefore packed with even more nutrients.
Let’s also look at what our bodies need in various seasons. In summer, when it is hot, we crave juicy, watery things, like cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon. I love making lots of salads with fresh veggies (pasta salad, tomato salad, taboule salad…..) I don’t like to sweat and eat a bunch of steaming hot things in summer. Do you?
In fall, what is better than an apple pie? YUMMY! (not necessarily healthy, but oh so delicious)
In the winter, we probably need the extra vitamin c found in readily available citrus fruit, to fight off winter colds and the flu. Root vegetables and butternut squash can make some hearty soups. I also love to roast potatoes and carrots and other root vegetables in the oven in the fall and winter. It helps warm the house and warm me. Plus, the roasting brings out the sweet flavors of everything.
So it really makes sense for your body and for your wallet to buy in season, whenever possible.
If you are not sure what produce is in season in your area, this awesome tool here will help you figure it out!!!
If you can garden or hire someone to garden for you, you can save even more money and get the freshest and healthiest foods of your choice!
Another way to save, is to stock up and freeze veggies when they are at their lowest price. Maybe you will find some amazing deal on produce at your local farmer’s market or maybe you or a friend will have a garden that produces an overabundance of a particular veggie.
In these cases, you might want to freeze these items for future use. There are lots of things that you can freeze, and some things that you can’t. Some items need to be blanched first, some don’t. I highly recommend the what to freeze and how to freeze it chart in the post Freeze Summer for Later. I found it very helpful and I learned a few new things! (You might want to bookmark it for later or copy it to a word document, print it out and tuck it in your favorite cookbook. You need to sign up to one of my favorite free financial resource sites, Learnvest, to access the article. After you sign up here, just search for the article in the search bar on top)
Ultimately, try to enjoy whatever produce is fresh, in season, and affordable. Your tastebuds, health and wallet will thank you!
Once you get your veggies, you need to know what to do with them right? Go here to access 18 recipes for Spring Veggies! (Just sign up for a FREE account to Learnvest and seach for 18 delicious recipes for the top 9 Spring Veggies)
There are 2 recipes for each veggie: a super simple and frugal recipe and a more advanced recipe. Enjoy! If you have any more great recipes for these in season vegetables I would love for you to share them in the comments!