Seasonal produce is a key component to plant-based meals. Not only can you maximize the flavors found in freshly harvested ingredients, but you’ll also notice substantial savings for your wallet.
When you purchase food that is in season, the supply is much higher. With a larger supply, farmers will be able to transport more items in one trip, without risking too much spoilage, which means its easier for farmers to get those items to your local farmers market or grocery store. All of this equals better tasting produce for you!
An easy way to tell what items are in season is to visit your neighborhood grocery store. Often times, produce that is on sale or has a large quantity available are in season, while items that seem more expensive than usual are not. Have you ever tried buying strawberries in December? If you can find them, they're usually pretty pricey and not very sweet because their season starts in February.
Another great way to find out what is in season is to visit your local farmers market. Many operate year-round and are such a great way to support local farms, bakers, and other food vendors. To find the farmers’ market nearest you, check out the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s website, which features a comprehensive list of certified farmers’ markets throughout California.
For a quick cheat sheet, check out the list below to see what fruits and vegetables are in season in January (Source: Southland Farmers’ Market Association):
- Citrus (Blood Orange, Grapefruit, Kumquats, Lemons, Navel Oranges, Tangelos/Tangerines )
- Dates, Medjool
- Onion, Green
- Passion Fruit
- Peas, Green
P.S. Which seasonal ingredients are you using this month? Comment below with recipes to be featured!