Edit Content
Food and Nutrition

In-Season Foods and Ideas to Use Them in Recipes

Vanessa Martin, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ November 7, 2023

If you haven’t focused on buying your fruits and veggies in-season in the past, now is the time! Buying in-season foods offers so many benefits. Some of the advantages of choosing foods that are in season include:

  1. Better Flavor and Quality: In-season produce is typically harvested at its peak of ripeness. This means it is more likely to be fresher and have better flavor and texture compared to out-of-season produce that may have been transported long distances.
  2. Nutrient-Rich: Seasonal fruits and vegetables are often more nutrient-dense because they spend less time in transit and storage. This can result in higher vitamin and mineral content.
  3. Supports Local Agriculture: When you buy in-season foods from local farmers or markets, you support local agriculture and the economy. This can help sustain small-scale farmers and preserve farmland in your community.
  4. Reduces Environmental Impact: Out-of-season produce is often grown in greenhouses or transported long distances, which can result in a higher carbon footprint. Buying in-season foods that are locally sourced reduces transportation-related emissions and energy use.
  5. Cost Savings: In-season produce is generally more abundant and, therefore, less expensive. You can often find good deals on fresh, local foods when they are in season.
  6. Variety and Culinary Inspiration: Seasonal foods encourage culinary creativity and variety in your meals. You can experiment with different recipes and ingredients as the seasons change.
  7. Food Safety: Seasonal foods are often subject to fewer chemicals and preservatives, as they don’t need to be stored for long periods. 

Some of the foods that are currently in-season or will be in season soon are listed below. 

Fall (September to November):

  • Pumpkins
  • Winter squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Apples (from nearby regions)
  • Pomegranates
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes (through October)

Winter (December to February):

  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons)
  • Leafy greens (kale, lettuce, spinach)
  • Root vegetables (carrots, radishes)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

The following are some ideas on ways that you can incorporate these seasonal foods into your diet.

Roasted Root Vegetables:

Ingredients: Carrots, beets, radishes, sweet potatoes.

Toss these root vegetables with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite herbs, then roast them until they’re tender and slightly caramelized.

Butternut Squash Soup:

Ingredients: Butternut squash, onions, garlic.

Make a creamy and comforting butternut squash soup using roasted squash, onions, and garlic, then blend them with vegetable broth and spices.

Citrus Salad:

Ingredients: Oranges, grapefruits, mixed greens.

Create a refreshing salad with citrus segments, mixed greens, and a light citrus vinaigrette.

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad:

Ingredients: Pomegranate seeds, quinoa, cucumber, mint.

Combine cooked quinoa with fresh pomegranate seeds, diced cucumber, and chopped mint. Drizzle with a lemony dressing.

Chili with Seasonal Vegetables:

Ingredients: Bell peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes.

Make a hearty chili with a variety of peppers, tomatoes, and kidney beans. You can add ground turkey or lean ground beef for extra protein.

Baked Apples with Cinnamon:

Ingredients: Apples, cinnamon, a touch of honey.

Core and stuff apples with a mixture of cinnamon and honey, then bake until they are tender and aromatic.

Kale and Pomegranate Salad:

Ingredients: Kale, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, walnuts.

Create a nutrient-packed salad with kale, pomegranate seeds, crumbled feta cheese, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle with a light vinaigrette.

Keep in mind that the specific benefits of buying in-season foods may vary depending on your location and the types of produce available. To make the most of these benefits, consider shopping at local farmers’ markets or joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program to access fresh, seasonal produce directly from local growers. 

Related Posts

holistic approach to weight loss
Digital Health / Food and Nutrition / Medicine

Dive into the Latest in Obesity and Cardiometabolic Medicine: Embrace a Holistic Approach to Care!

April 11, 2024
Glass Meal Prep Containers
Food and Nutrition / Meal Planning and Preparation

The Art of Simple Meal Prep: A Dietitian’s Guide

December 21, 2023
Ozempic | obesity medication adherence
Partner Clinics / Uncategorized

Break-through Weight Loss Medications Can Have Heart Benefits But Only If Used Correctly

November 16, 2023

Stay in the Loop

Our newsletters are curated for providers, members and anyone who wants to stay up to date on healthy living, best practices in weight loss, and trends in healthcare technology.

Skip to content