Despite the fact we have dozens of veggies from which to choose, don’t we always reach for our favorites? So, by the end of the season, we’re a bit tired of the old, let’s bring in the new.
A student asked me what “seasonal” meant which is really a deeper question than it first seems. The easiest answer: whatever is in abundance at the market is most likely “in season”. My grocery had huge displays of sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage and kale this week.
When you buy out of season, besides the hit you take in the wallet, flavor will be mediocre, at best. We can all tell the difference between the summer tomato from the farmer’s market and the anemic looking, tasteless winter tomato, right?
The longer the journey from the farm to your fork, the greater the chance your produce wasn’t picked at its peak ripeness. Our produce is at its nutritional peak when it’s ripened in the garden.
We’re enjoying broccolini these days as I saw it used in a recipe (which at my house is just source material and is never used). If you’ve not tried broccolini, give it a go. It’s a cousin of our conventional broccoli with many of the same nutritional pluses: fat free, no cholesterol, very low in sodium and high in vitamins A, C and K. The other healthy plant chemicals in broccoli are in broccolini too. It tends to have a milder taste than broccoli so it might be appealing to the whole family.
Tell me what seasonal vegetable you are happiest to see. Cheers to a new season of vegetables to be well,