‘Tis Still the Season for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

By Celina Scala

As the seasons change from fall to winter, the availability of fresh produce changes. The widest variety of produce is available during spring and summer, but some seasonal fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year. Knowing which fruits and vegetables are in season and purchasing seasonal produce supports local agriculture and saves money.

Seasonal foods are less expensive and more likely to be fresh since they didn’t have to travel as far to get to your local store. Currently apples, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, chard, kale, lettuce, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, sweet potatoes, turnips and winter squash are all in season. When winter arrives, brussels sprouts, carrots, radishes, spinach and sweet potatoes will remain in season.

Since we receive produce from across the nation, even more fruits and vegetables than those listed above are available from warmer parts of the country. Winter is also a great season to buy grapefruits, oranges, tangerines and tangelos.

If you are interested in buying local produce and love the farmer’s market like I do, there is still time. The Green City Market is held indoors at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Nov. 6 through Dec. 22 every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fresh apples and squash are my favorites.

Don’t be shy and talk to your farmers. They know produce better than anyone and usually have great tips for recipes and storage. Stop by, try something new, and see what seasonal foods you can find!

Celina Scala, MS RD LDN CNSC, is a nutrition support dietitian who works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rush University Medical Center.

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