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Your Guide to In Season Produce

Spring Produce: Your Guide To Fresh, In-Season Eating

By Karen Kelly, R.D. | March 21, 2024

I always recommend eating the fruits and veggies that are in-season. Eating with the seasons is a great way to save money and enjoy the freshest, tastiest produce out there. Spring is just around the corner, so let’s review what will be in season, the benefits and the best places to find them. 

Benefits of Eating Seasonally

  • Better Flavor: In-season produce is harvested and picked at its peak ripeness. For example, spring and summer strawberries pale in comparison to ones in December. There is a huge difference in flavor - the strawberries in spring are fresher and just taste better.
  • Lower Costs: Another benefit of eating seasonally is lower costs. Out-of-season produce is often shipped which adds more to the cost. No longer-distance shipping means produce is more affordable when it’s in season.
  • Better for the Environment: Eating produce in season and from local sources reduces the food’s carbon footprint by eliminating long-distance transportation and storage requirements for out-of-season produce.

Where to Find In-Season Produce

Farmers markets are a good option to find in-season produce and support local farmers. This can be a fun, family-friendly outing to do on the weekend, too. Check to see if your town has a local farmers market this season

Grocery stores almost always have an assortment of in-season produce. You may find a dedicated section specifically for seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Spring Produce Guide

Eating in season can also be a great way to try something new. Here’s a quick guide to what’s usually available in March, April and early May and some creative ways to use them in your next recipe.

  • Asparagus
    • Asparagus is a vegetable that is a good source of fiber which is important for optimal digestion. One of my favorite ways to use asparagus is to toss it with some olive oil, salt and pepper and throw them on the grill.
  • Artichokes
    • Artichokes are particularly high in folate and vitamin c which can help keep our immune system strong. Steam for an easy, flavorful treat. Then you can enjoy the leaves in your favorite dipping sauce such as hummus.
  • Brussels Sprouts
    • Brussels sprouts often get a bad reputation but I encourage you to give them a try. They are loaded with antioxidants that promote overall health. I think brussels sprouts taste the best when tossed with olive oil and seasoning and then roasted in the oven until they are crispy. I love to top mine with balsamic glaze.
  • Broccoli
    • Another great source of fiber, broccoli is a great veggie to include in your weekly rotation. Plus it tastes good raw, roasted and steamed!
  • Citrus Fruits
    • Keep your immune system in tip top shape with vitamin C rich citrus fruits this season. Stock up on clementines, cara cara oranges and grapefruit These make for a great, portable snack.
  • Fennel
    • Here’s one you might not have tried before. Fennel is a good source of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation in the body. Fennel has an interesting, licorice-like flavor. I love to add sliced fennel to my brussels sprouts when roasting!
  • Peas
    • Did you know that peas are actually a good source of protein? A ½ cup serving of green peas yields almost 5g of protein. Peas are simple to add to any dish like cauliflower fried rice or a healthy protein pasta recipe.
  • Radishes
    • Radishes are a good source of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin c. You can enjoy them roasted or pickled but my favorite way to eat radishes is sliced on top of a salad for an extra crunch.
  • Spring Greens
    • Replace your usual romaine lettuce with this for a nutrient packed salad. Spring greens are easy to add to your diet.  You can even pack some into your blender for a green smoothie.

Karen Kelly, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Sparta and Totowa, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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