In Season Produce to Pick Up Now
Whether you subscribe to the 100-mile diet, want to support local business, or simply want to eat healthy this fall, choosing local produce that is in season is a great choice. Fortunately, any time of the year is a great time of year to choose to buy local produce.
You know the reasons by now, but just in case you need a little extra convincing here are a few reasons why you should buy local, in season produce:
1. Fresh! You might not think about this, but local produce is fresher and picked closer to its peak ripeness; rather than picking early so it can ripen while in transit. You'll likely notice better flavor when you purchase locally.
2. Better for you: Studies have indicated that when food is in transit for a long time, it loses nutrients. Local food won't have this issue.
3. Supports your economy: By buying local your money stays in your community, keeping local farmers profitable which in turn creates jobs and helps your community stay viable.
4. Benefits the environment: Farms don't just feed human families; they also help local wildlife populations. Water is fresh, open and forested land is protected, and there's less urban build up around farmland.
5. Cuts carbon: Buying local means your produce didn't travel by boat, plane, or train. Likely it was picked within 24 hours and delivered a short distance to your local market, dramatically cutting down on its carbon footprint.
What's in Season?
You can certainly search for a list of what's in season in your area, or head to a Farmer's Market that offers local produce, or you can check out our list of what's in season right now across most of North America:
Squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti)
That's a lot of produce! The question is, what can you do with it?
Suggestions Using Local Fall Produce
Now that you know that there are many options when it comes to buying in-season produce, it's time to plan a few items for your fall plant-based menu. We've pulled together a few suggestions that you can use to find a favorite recipe online:
Soup Suggestions: Pumpkin, mushroom, potato/leek, vegetable, minestrone, borscht, green soup (broccolini and spinach), sweet potato minestrone, vegan chili, coconut curry pumpkin, Mexican stew, squash stew, avocado/cucumber, potato/cabbage, garbanzo/fennel
Starters: Butternut squash salad, roasted vegetable salad, stuffed mushrooms, roasted apple and cranberry salad, chickpea/pumpkin pizza
Main Dishes: Sweet potato casserole, roasted brussels spouts with cranberries and almonds, mashed (or smashed) potatoes with garlic, sweet potato & brussels sprouts bowl, stuffed acorn squash, stuffed bell peppers, roasted vegetable lasagna
Desserts: Braised pears, pear/apple crumble, pumpkin pie, apple butter, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin squares, apple cookies, pumpkin/cranberry bread