There are many benefits to being mindful of the seasons when it comes to fresh produce. In today’s modern world, you can get your hands on all kinds of fruits and vegetables ongoing throughout the year, which can lead to us forgetting about the natural way of things, where this produce actually comes from and seasonality.
Why should we care?
Here’s a few reasons why eating what’s in season can be of benefit to you:
- Flavour – Produce that has been allowed to ripen naturally will taste so much better! Crisper, juicier, more fragrant and so much more delicious. It’s still important to bear in mind that just because a food is in season, it can still be affected by long supply chains before getting to the supermarket. To get the best quality, we recommend using a Farmer’s Market or similar to have the best chance of eating the freshest seasonal produce.
- Nutrition – Produce that is in season and picked when ripe and fully developed is likely to have more nutrient value, including a higher level of antioxidants from increased sun exposure. The fresher the produce, and closer to harvesting it is eaten, it’s likely to have retained more of these valuable nutrients – some of which rapidly decline when stored for periods of time. So try choose locally sourced produce fresh from the market, or even better, why not try growing some of your own home grown produce!
- Environment – Seasonal produce generally has less impact on the environment, as it’s being grown when it is meant to. Because of this, it will likely need less pesticide and human intervention in order to grow – which means less toxic chemicals infiltrating our water ways and soils, and also our bodies. There’s also less transportation mileage involved, particularly if you are able to source direct from farmers and growers.
- Cost – Buying what’s in season can also be better for your hip pocket. When the produce is readily available, the price drops whilst the quality goes up! Win, win!
- Variety – Eating with the seasons can mean trying out some new ingredients you might not usually cook with. Whilst you may have to explore a few new recipes, you will benefit from eating a more well-rounded and balanced diet as a result.
- Community – When you start to ask questions about your produce at your local farmers market, you’ll get to know more about where your food has come from, and the families behind the farms you are supporting. You’ll feel much more engaged with the process and probably meet some really awesome people too.
- Living in harmony with nature – Most importantly, when fresh produce is in season it usually provides your body with exactly what it is looking for as the natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to support our health. An abundance of leafy greens in Spring helps us alkalize and detox after the heavy foods of Winter. As we head into warmer weather – the available foods are those which are lighter, with less carbohydrate and that help us cool down and stay hydrated such as berries, fruits, cucumbers etc.
It’s not always possible to eat locally and seasonally all the time, so let’s not stress out about how strict we need to be. Even small changes towards a more seasonal way of eating will positively impact your health.
So what’s in season right now in Perth in late Spring? Here’s a few options to get you started:
- Citrus (season coming to a close for most)
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale, silverbeet)
- Asian greens
- Broad beans
- Brussel Sprouts
Here’s a handy little seasonal produce guide for Australia. You can set it to any capital city for an idea of what’s fresh in your location right now.
Given that strawberries are abundant right now and will be for a few more months, here’s a few fabulous strawberry recipes to try: