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Shopping the seasons, seasonal fruit and vegetables for a tastier table.

We hear chefs going on about the importance of buying in season all the time, but does it really matter and what's the point. Eating a well-balanced diet is crucial for maintaining good health, and one of the key components of a healthy diet is consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, not all produce is grown equally. Purchasing and consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables offer numerous benefits for both your Health and your budget. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of buying seasonal produce, the advantages it brings, and the potential issues caused by not doing so.

1. Packed full of nutrients!

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak ripeness, meaning they are packed with a boat load of nutrients. As produce ripens naturally under the right environmental conditions, it has a higher vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content. By consuming seasonal produce, you maximize your intake of nutrients necessary to keep your body ticking along nicely.

Peeled Beetroot
Freshly peeled winter Beetroot

2. Awesome Flavour and Taste

Have you ever noticed that fruits and vegetables taste better during certain times of the year? That's because seasonal produce is cultivated and harvested when it's meant to be enjoyed. These fruits and vegetables often boast superior flavour, aroma, and texture, allowing you to enjoy the true taste of nature's bounty. Whether it's the juiciness of a summer strawberry or the sweetness of a winter apple ( believe me when I say a new season pink lady apple is just 🧑‍🍳 💋), seasonal produce can take your culinary experience to new heights.

3. Easy on the pocket

Purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables is often more cost-effective. When produce is in season, it tends to be abundant and readily available, resulting in lower prices. On the other hand, out-of-season produce requires special storage and transportation methods to reach consumers, which drives up the costs. By buying in-season produce, you can enjoy fresher and more affordable options.

4. Environmental Sustainability:

Opting for seasonal produce supports environmental sustainability. When you choose fruits and vegetables that are in season, they are typically grown locally, reducing the need for long-distance transportation. This not only lowers carbon emissions but also minimizes the use of energy and resources required for storage and refrigeration. Additionally, seasonal farming practices align with natural growing cycles, reducing the need for excessive pesticides and fertilizers.

The Issues of Not Buying Seasonal Produce:

While it may be tempting to buy that peach in the depths of winter, there are several drawbacks to consider when buying out of season

  1. Reduced Nutritional Value: Out-of-season produce is often picked prematurely and ripened artificially, leading to a potential loss of vital nutrients during the transportation and storage process.

  2. Inferior Flavor: Out-of-season fruits and vegetables lack the natural sweetness and flavour that comes from ripening on the plant. They may taste bland or have a subpar texture, diminishing the overall eating experience.

  3. Environmental Impact: Importing out-of-season produce requires significant resources, including transportation fuel and refrigeration, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation.

  4. Higher Costs: Non-seasonal produce typically requires more resources and processes to maintain freshness during transportation, resulting in higher costs for consumers.

A pear
New season pear for our Apple, pear & ginger chutney

Here at The Mulberry pig we're all about the seasons, preserving the glut of fruit and vegetables at the peak of flavour so they can be enjoyed at a later date when the produce is no longer available.The joy of capturing the summer in our strawberry jam or the earthy chill of winter with our beetroot relish is such a pleasure and one I always enjoy.

The more we use the seasons to our advantage the better, seeing the first of the stone fruit come in around Christmas time and knowing there's only a couple of months to enjoy is such a treat it makes me appreciate the flavour and produce so much more. you can use the seasons to help with cooking in the kitchen as well think of it as a cookbook, different recipes for each season, asparagus, poached eggs and hollandaise in spring, Pavlova with fresh berries in summer, Roast cauliflower cheese in autumn or Poached pears on porridge in winter. it keeps me from getting stuck in a rut when I'm cooking up a meal.

"But I want strawberries for my smoothies all year round"

I hear you, the big supermarkets have made produce available nearly all year round and we've gotten used to it, but instead of reaching for the fresh ones maybe scoot over to the freezer aisle, the produce in there are not only a lot cheaper but more than likely they were frozen from the previous seasons strawberries when there were either too many strawberries or they didnt quite meet the strict super market standards ( that's another blog post for another day)

Choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables is not only beneficial for your health but also for the environment and your wallet. By embracing the produce that nature provides during specific times of the year, you can enjoy superior flavor, enhanced nutritional value, and cost-effective options. Moreover, supporting local farmers and reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation contributes to a sustainable future. So, the next time you're at the grocery store or local farmers' market, prioritise seasonal produce and reap the rewards of a vibrant and nourishing diet.

Summer strawberries fresh from the farm for our strawberry jam

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