4 Reasons to Eat with the Seasons + What’s on the May Seasonal Menu?

We love the Farmers Markets here in New York!! As we head deeper into spring and approaching summer, there's so much delicious fresh produce coming into season and making its way to the market shelves, we're beyond excited for all the new fresh flavors and Plant Power coming to our plates.

Nowadays, it seems that with all our technological advancements in farming, agriculture, transportation and storage, we can get pretty much any ingredient we desire at any time of the year with a quick trip to the grocery store. While it’s unrealistic these days to stock our entire fridge and pantry with fresh seasonal ingredients all year round, if we have the opportunity and luxury of choice, here’s 4 reasons to eat with the seasons when we can!

 

1. Seasonal produce tastes better.

There’s no question that strawberries eaten in the heart of winter lack the same explosive flavor as strawberries eaten during the summer. This is because strawberries bought and sold out-of-season are picked unripe, stored for weeks to months in cold environments, and either artificially ‘speed-ripened’ before hitting the grocery store shelf or ripen during transport. 

As a result of this process, out-of-season produce won’t taste as fresh or flavorful as naturally matured fruits and vegetables that were able to fully ripen on the vine. It’s not to say that out-of-season produce has no flavor at all, it’s just that buying in-season means you’re getting food at its natural prime.

 

2. Seasonal produce has more nutritional value and vitamin content.

This is not to say that out-of-season produce has zero nutritional value! Of course they still do, and should still be a regular part of a plant-based diet. It’s just that as mentioned in #1. above,  when “out-of-season are picked unripe, stored for weeks to months in cold environments, and either artificially ‘speed-ripened’ before hitting the grocery store shelf or ripen during transport,” produce will lose some of its nutritional value and vitamin content during this process.

As quoted from Harvard Health Publishing article Fresh or Frozen Produce? The Health Benefits is All in the Mix, “For example, the B and C vitamins in fruits and vegetables are highly sensitive to heat, light, and exposure to oxygen. Within a week of refrigerated storage, carrots can lose close to 80% of their vitamin C.”

 

GrowNYC Farmer's Markets 

 

3. Seasonal Produce is better for the environment.

Food that needs to travel long distances to get to your plate requires a lot more energy than food that’s grown and harvested locally in-season. By buying locally grown in-season produce, you’re essentially saving the hassle of transportation, refrigeration, storage and also often saving on plastic packaging meant to keep produce fresh during this process - all of these factors contribute to a reduced carbon footprint. Being aware of where ingredients and materials have come from and staying seasonal and local can help reduce the drain on our planetary resources. 

 

Related: Making ‘Earth Day’ Everyday of the Year

 

4. Seasonal Produce is often less expensive.

Buying in season means you’re getting your produce at its greatest annual abundance, meaning fresher ingredients will often be cheaper than when out of season due to fluctuation in the supply and demand. If you’re supplying ingredients plant-based meals for the whole family, resorting to locally(ish) sourced in-season produce can not only feed everyone better tasting, more nutritious, fresher ingredients, but save you money in the long run. 

For all of the above reasons, we hope you’re getting as excited as us for all the amazing  spring & summer seasonal produce to come! Here’s a few links to the fantastic GrowNYC local markets where you can find your fresh seasonal produce all year round with the changing seasons.


 

 

May Seasonal Produce

What’s on the Plantable May Seasonal Menu? 

For all of the above reasons, we love eating with the seasons when we can. We feel so much more connected to our food knowing where it comes from, when it will be at it’s prime for the picking and knowing all the extra environmental benefits that come with eating with the season.

Following our May seasonal veggies guide, you can find these amazing in-season meals on the Plantable menu for the rest of the spring season:

 

Minestrone Verde

Featuring the following seasonal ingredients:

  • Sugar snap peas, English peas, Basil, Parsley, and Kale.
Minestrone Verde

 

 

Kale, Artichoke and White Bean Stew

 Featuring the following seasonal ingredients:

  • Kale, Artichokes and Thyme.

Kale, Artichoke and White Bean Stew

 

 

Supergreen Frittata 

 Featuring the following seasonal ingredients:

  • Potatoes, Kale, Spinach and Watercress.

Supergreen Frittata

 

Love Plantable 🌱