Seasonal produce to pile on your plate

spring_produceApril showers bring May flowers, as well as a cornucopia of farm-fresh produce to enjoy all spring long – and well into the summer.

You only need to tuck in to a tasteless tomato or a mealy peach mid-winter to appreciate how eating locally grown and seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables packs in a full bounty of flavour.

Moreover, produce picked at the peak of its harvest offers greater nutritional value, especially when you nosh on fruits and veggies in a variety of hues – from leafy greens to multi-coloured berries. Ensuring you eat a rainbow of seasonal produce provides you with the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants needed to promote optimum health.

Additionally, choosing local produce over fruits and vegetables that travel a distance to your table also encourages sustainable farming practices, and can help you avoid pesticides, herbicides and genetically-modified ingredients.

As well as yielding a superior quality product, locally grown and seasonal produce also comes with environmental and economical benefits. Sourcing produce from area farmers reduces your carbon footprint, can save you on grocery bills, and supports the farmers who feed us.

Here’s some seasonal produce you should be piling on your plate this spring and summer!

Early spring

Hardy greens tolerate early spring temperatures, which can drop unexpectedly. The hardiest of all include kale, spinach and collards, which make for great salads or can be cooked as side dishes. Members of the Brassica family, including broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage, are also ideal early spring vegetables.

Mid spring

Semi-hardy produce can withstand light frosts and include beets, carrots, celery, endive, radicchio and certain lettuces. Mid spring is also a good time to plant and grow your own herbs, which is an easy and healthy way to enhance the flavour of your meals.

Early to late summer

Summer in Canada is the time to take advantage of local fruit. What’s in season varies according to where you live, but can include all kinds of berries, cherries, apples, pears, grapes, peaches, apricots and melons. Summer is also time to enjoy locally grown tomatoes and corn.