As the weather is starting to turn a little colder, it is nice to know what is in season so we can enjoy their goodness at the right time when creating delicious and warming dishes.
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Squash, Swedes, Turnips.
When grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local store. Normally, produce at local markets has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase.
Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Food imported from far-away countries is often older, has travelled and sits in distribution centres before it gets to your store.
Local food supports the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community which in turn benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community.
Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps there are between you and your food’s source the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution.
Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.
As the growing season starts and gets into full swing, you should think about how you can add more locally grown foods to your menus. By doing so you are supporting the many benefits of locally grown food and the natural tastes and flavours are significantly better and richer than anything that has had to be processed or far travelled!
With all this in mind, here is a great recipe that you can create with some of this month’s seasonal vegetables: