Whether you’re shopping at the farmers market, grocery store, or your own backyard (lucky you!), knowing the ins and outs of seasonal produce is key to nourishing your body and satisfying your tastebuds.
This guide will help you know which foods to be on the lookout for, how to select the best quality ingredients, and why you should be eating them.
Try some recipes we’ve gathered together that incorporate these yummy foods, or create your own and let us know what you think!
When: July-October, possibly into November
Why: Rich, earthy, and extremely versatile; beets can be eaten cooked, raw, or pickled. They are a source of folate, manganese, copper, and betacarotene.
Tips: “Beets should be firm with a smooth, undamaged surface. Smaller roots are more tender - avoid any larger than about 6cm (~2.5 inches) in diameter as they may have tough, woody cores.” - Eat the Seasons
Why: A little tedious to prepare, pomegranate seeds are a delicious treat for snacking, juicing, or garnishing. Rich in potassium, vitamin C, niacin, fiber, and high in antioxidants.
How: If you can, make yourself prepare one or two pomegranates at a time, and keep seeds in an airtight container in the fridge; the fresh seeds or juice will keep for up to five days. “Pick fruit that are weighty for their size (indicating a high liquid content) with taut, glossy, unbroken skin.” - Eat the Seasons
When: September-January (can be frozen up to one year)
Why: Bright, flavorful, and tart; cranberries provide a flavorful contrast to both sweet and savory foods. Rich in vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and polyphenol antioxidants.
Tips: “A fresh cranberry will be shiny and plump and have a deep red color; the deeper the color the more highly concentrated the beneficial compounds are. Truly fresh cranberries are quite firm to the touch and will bounce if you drop them.” - The Spruce Eats
Try it: Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce (pro tip- use it as a spread on a turkey sandwiches with brie!)
Why: Savory, slightly sweet, and nutty in flavor; Brussels sprouts taste similarly to cabbage with contrasting crunchy and soft textures. (They also pair excellently with bacon!) Rich in vitamins K and C, folate, iron, fiber, and potassium.
Tips: “Choose Brussels sprouts that are vivid green and are tightly closed. As they sit, the leaves will begin to separate and the edges will yellow. Squeeze the head, it should be hard enough that there is very little give.”- Los Angeles Times
Try it: Brussel Sprout Carbonara with Pomegranate Roasted Winter Squash (This recipe hits 3 of the 5 superfoods on our list!)
Why: Sweet, nutty, and smooth, not stringy; butternut squash can be used as anything from a side or entree to a soup or puree. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, magnesium, manganese.
Tips: “The rind should be firm and unbroken with a uniform matte tan or beige coloring (free from green tinges). Squash should feel heavy for their size (indicating a high moisture content - squash gradually lose water after harvesting). Bigger squash generally have a more highly developed flavour.” - Eat the Seasons
Try it: Vegan Butternut Squash Soup