As you know, having fruits and vegetables as a part of your daily meal pattern can contribute to your health and overall well-being. There are numerous fruits and vegetables you can eat and many different ways to cook them, so you should be able to switch it up on a regular basis.
But, do you?
Try and switch up your fruits and vegetables based on what is in season; they’ll taste fresher and are (usually) cheaper!!
Here are 5 fruits and vegetables that are in season now, how you should pick them at the store and prepare them.
- Brussel Sprouts are an underrated, delicious vegetable. They are high in vitamin C and K and a good source of fiber, folate and manganese. Brussel sprouts are also very high in flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, which can have protective benefits against heart disease and certain types of cancer.
- Choose Brussel sprouts that are firm, compact and vivid green. They should be free of yellowed or wilted leaves.
- Before cooking, cut off the stems, remove any discolored leaves and wash them.
- Broil or sauté Brussel sprouts with a little olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette for flavor. They will cook best if you cut them in half (or quarter, depending on how big they are).
- Pears are a delectable fruit that are high in fiber and a good source of copper, vitamins C and K. They are also a great source of phytonutrients that have been shown to provide antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Choose pears that are firm, with a smooth skin free of bruises.
- Avoid cutting the pear until right before you eat because they will oxidize quickly and turn brown.
- Pears can be eaten raw, preferably with the skin for the fiber, and mixed into salads, oatmeal and Greek yogurt.
- Grapefruits are a tart and tangy fruit, with an underlying sweetness. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of copper, vitamin A and fiber. Since they are an excellent source of vitamin C, grapefruit may keep your immune system strong and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Pink and red grapefruit also contain lycopene, a carotenoid that may have anti-tumor activity.
- Choose a grapefruit that is heavy in size and is firm. The skin does not have to be perfect, as discoloration and scratches do not impact the taste quality.
- Grapefruits are usually eaten fresh. Peel the skin off and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Or, you can eat it just like an orange.
- Add grapefruit to salads or salsa for a unique flavor.
- Be aware that grapefruits are known to have interactions with statins and a few other pharmaceutical drugs. Check with your pharmacist or doctor to see if there is a potential interaction.
- Cabbage has two popular varieties, red and green. Green cabbage is more commonly eaten, but red cabbage has a higher concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins K, C and B6 and a good source of manganese, fiber and potassium.
- Choose cabbage that is firm and dense with shiny, crisp, colorful leaves free of cracks and bruises.
- Avoid cutting cabbage prematurely because once it is cut, it begins to lose its high vitamin C content.
- Cabbage can be eaten raw or can be chopped up to make coleslaw with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, turmeric, cumin and black pepper.
- Oranges are a traditional delicious snack. They are rich in vitamin C and a good source of fiber and folate. Due to the high vitamin C content, oranges have high antioxidant activity and can keep your immune system healthy.
- Choose oranges that have smooth textured skin and are firm and heavy for their size. Oranges that are smaller will typically be juicer than larger ones.
- Oranges can be peeled and eaten as a snack, added to salads or Greek yogurt. Orange juice can also be used during cooking, with onions and ginger, as a sauce for salmon and tuna.
Beets, avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes, kale, leeks and turnips are also in season now!
Be adventurous when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Do not be afraid to try new ones or new ways of cooking them!
Your Turn to Take Action: What new fruits and vegetables will you try that are in season now? Let me know in the comments below.