Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tis the Season...So Eat With It!

Now that winter is here, it means the weather's changing and different fruits and vegetables are in abundance. While we will all always have our favourites, it is so important to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables whenever possible and here's why:

Seasonal produce that grows locally is inexpensive to buy. When a fruit is in season, it is widely available. When it's available locally and on every other corner, the shops can source it easily and quickly and therefore can keep up with the demand. In fact, they often have more of one particular fruit than they need and since every store has that same access to it, they lower their prices.

Seasonal produce tastes delicious. When you eat a fruit or vegetable when it was meant to be eaten and close to where it was grown, it ripens naturally on the tree or bush instead of on the back of a truck. That means it stays where nature intended it to for a longer period of time and is allowed to reach it's full taste potential. 

Seasonal fruits and veggies are also so festive! At this time of year, the sweet treats are abundant but nothing will fulfill my craving for something sweet and juicy like a persimmon or some jewel-like pomegranate seeds. 

While taste, price and accessibility is so important, the most important thing to me is the nutritional value. It's as if nature had intended us to eat what we are meant to at the right time...which is to say, at the time when we need it most. For example, pomegranates have tons of antioxidants and clementines and tangerines are filled with vitamin c. It seems to be more than a coincidence that these become naturally available during the peak of cold and flu season. Similarly, in the summer, we have access to cooling fruits like watermelon and cherries. 

So what fruits and vegetables are in season now? When you hit the grocery store or market, keep your eye out for fun winter favourites that add a festive touch to your plates and table. Some of my winter favourites are brussel sprouts, collard greens, sweet potatoes, kale, kiwi, mandarins, tangerines, persimmons, pomegranate, pears, red currants, leeks and turnips. Also don't forget to pick up some chesnuts and walnuts, perfect to keep you warm from the inside out during the cold winter months.

Stay tuned for more recipe posts using seasonal ingredients. I'd love to hear what your favourite seasonal fruits and vegetables are at this time of year. Share them in the comments! 
For me, persimmon wins hands down. What's your favourite?

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