Finally we found the time to continue on our blog after our gorgeous holidays in Colombia and Panama. We are very sorry for the break but we promise we will write a blog post soon about the culinary part of the vacation so you also benefit from our well-being!
So yesterday was Saturday and like most of the Saturdays, we also made it to the local farmers market in Stuttgart-West. We enjoy it a lot to grab our bikes and head there in the mornings to mingle around for about 1-2 hours. It’s a really nice market at the Bismarckplatz and it is usually not so crowded. Go check it out and see for yourselves!
Anyway, our main objective for the shopping trip is to buy our fruit and veggie supply for the whole week. So basically we arrive there already with some recipe ideas on our mind and just search for the amazing ingredients we need. One of the things we try with our recipe selection is to stick to products which are in season. As mentioned in the Warming Caramelised Apple Oats recipe, one of our mottos is called SOL. So we want to use Seasonal, Organic and Local products. Since we haven’t been talking much about the seasonal part yet in this blog, we feel it is about time. Especially as it is so essential for us.
The Philosophy: Why we should eat Seasonally
To get started on the topic, here is a list of benefits you will have by buying seasonal products. If you’re interested in some more details then just continue reading. If you’re happy with the benefits and want to put that straight into action, jump a little bit further down where we explain which products are in season right now.
- Get tastier ingredients
- Save money
- Consume more nutrients
- Support sustainable farming
- Boost your creativity
Let’s get into the details.
Produce that have been allowed to fully ripen in the sun taste amazing! Freshly picked produce has the optimal flavor – crispy, fragrant, juicy and colorful. Since they are fresh you’re getting fruits and vegetables that haven’t had time to lose their flavour or their health benefits by sitting in a shipping container for a trip across the ocean.
Simply supply and demand. When there’s abundance of a product, such as watermelons in the summer, the prices go down. Seasonal food is much cheaper to produce for the farmers who would rather sell their products for a lower price, than not at all. When you buy what’s in season, you buy food that’s at the peak of its supply, and costs less to farmers and distribution companies to harvest and get to your grocery store. It may seem like common sense, but it’s one of those things many of us ignore when we’re shopping. Cash in on the seasonal bounty.
The food is grown closer to you so it doesn’t spoil on its trip, it’s harvested at the peak of its season (although there’s no real guarantee that it’s picked at the peak of freshness), and sold during its season, before it spoils. Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil. Seasonally fresh produce are picked when they’re ripe and fully developed. The plant has had more sun exposure, which means it will have higher levels of antioxidants!
Seasonal produce can grow without too much added human assistance i.e. pesticides and genetically modification. We know how these toxic compounds can contaminate the water and soil and also our health. Seasonal food is more likely to be locally produced as well, which reduces the load on our environment due to transport, or “food mileage”. Purchasing local foods and eating within the seasons helps to protect our planet. You’re reducing the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate, and this helps to reduce the amount of fuel used and prevents pollutant gases from going into the atmosphere.
A pleasant side-effect of eating what’s in season is that you get a broader variety of foods in your diet. Those foods can broaden your palate, for one, but they may also expose you to dishes and ingredients you may not have otherwise explored. Many of us do this by default to a certain degree—in the spring and summer we eat berries and stone fruit, then as summer turns to fall we turn our attention to apples, pumpkins, and squash. Part of that is because they’re ingrained in our culture, but also because they’re seasonal and plentiful. Expanding your horizons a little more can open the door to way more delicious food that you can get and prepare cheaply.
What’s in season for Christmas then?
So if you’re curious what’s in season for Christmas after reading the article above here comes a list of 8 fruits and veggies that cannot be missed in this wonderful part of the year.
- Oranges & Tangerines make it to markets in warmer climates in late November and tend to start to pile up come December.
- Apples store well, so even though the harvest season is over, if you live somewhere where apples are grown, they will be on offer from storage in December.
- Pears have a season that runs from mid-summer well into winter, depending on the variety and region.
- Pomegranates only ripen in warmer climates. They are in season starting in October and are usually available fresh through December.
- Cabbage is bright and crisp when raw and mellows and sweetens the longer it’s cooked. The cooler the weather when it’s harvested, the sweeter it tends to taste (this effect is called “frost kissed”).
- Pumpkin season stretches from October to December, so make the most of this deliciously sweet, honeyed flesh while it’s readily available.
- Sweet Potatoes store well and are available from local sources year-round in warmer areas; from late summer through winter in other places.
- Sauerkraut has high levels of Vitamin C, for collagen production and as a natural antioxidant for immune system support. Historically, usually in November, Eastern European families prepared for winter by putting up several barrels of sauerkraut. Winter is coming guys! Brace yourselves!
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