Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to eat healthy while also maintaining a reasonable budget and cooking meals our families enjoy. An important first step in changing the way we eat is to eat with the seasons. Eating with the seasons means buying fruits and vegetables during the months in which they’re typically harvested. Not only is choosing to eat mostly in-season produce less expensive for you as a consumer, it’s also more environmentally friendly.
Five Tips for Eating with the Seasons
Ready to reap the benefits of a bountiful harvest? Here are five useful tips to help you start eating with the seasons.
1. Know the Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables
The first step in eating seasonably is finding out which fruits and vegetables are available per season. Not only is in-season produce fresher, it’s also less expensive. Erika at Style Me Green has compiled a great, comprehensive list of produce to buy based on each of the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Want to look up a specific fruit or vegetable? Check out this Guide to Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables from About.com.
2. Buy Produce at the Local Farmers Market
Eating seasonally is more fun, cost effective, and environmentally friendly when you buy from your local farmers market. Choose a new recipe that incorporates a family-favorite seasonal fruit or vegetable and be sure to pick up the ingredients while you’re out. Not sure where to go in your area? Visit www.localharvest.org for a list of local farmers markets across the nation.
3. Learn How to Can
There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the sweet taste of peaches or twang of dill pickles during the barren winter months. Canning is the answer! Never canned before? No problem. Follow this step-by-step guide from Better Homes and Gardens. Already a canning artisan? Browse these creative canning recipes for some fresh inspiration.
4. Plant an Herb Garden
No matter your living situation—tiny apartment or spacious bungalow—planting an herb garden is a great way to live green and make sure you always have the necessary ingredients on hand to spice up your seasonal dishes. Andy and Kerry at Burritos & Bubbly created a cute, simple kitchen herb garden in less than a day. They chose to plant basil, cilantro, peppermint, rosemary, thyme and chives. View their finished project here.
5. Share the Bounty
Making a conscious effort to eat seasonally provides wonderful opportunities to practice the farm-to-table approach. Invite your family and friends over for a dinner party where you share your favorite seasonal recipes. Set the table outside if the weather permits and give canned jellies or preserves to your guests as gifts when they leave. Jump start your planning with this lovely post: How to Host a Farm to Table Dinner from Abby Larson at Style Me Pretty.
More great tips for living a healthy lifestyle.
Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and now calls Chicago home. In her free time you'll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, running along Lake Michigan, or checking out a new restaurant. If you'd like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.