By Danielle Sharkey a recent ASU Nutrition Student
What is eating seasonal and why should we consider this way of eating?
How do we know what is seasonal in our area?
Eating “seasonal” is when you purchase and consume fruits and veggies that flourish in the different seasons (fall, winter, spring, summer). Different types of vegetables and fruits grow better and thrive at different points in the year. For example, squash grows best in summer and fall so you would consume squash within those seasons. For summer in Arizona, apples, tomatoes, and nectarines are just a few examples of what thrives in the summer season.
It is important to consider this because there are actually many benefits of consuming produce grown at their “peak”. For one, you will save money on in-season produce as it costs less for farmers to harvest and distribute seasonal produce. On top of the savings, the biggest benefit of eating seasonally is that you will be ingesting the most nutritious and best-tasting food! You can find what is seasonal for your area by simply searching online and pulling up a list.
Here is a recipe for a seasonal Arizona vegetable dish that I have been making with my mom for as long as I can remember.
Arizona Winter Veggies Dish
- 1 large broccoli head
- 2 beets
- 1 pack of Brussel Sprouts
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 3 tbsp of Olive oil
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh rosemary
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Garlic seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 375*
- Chop the broccoli into smaller pieces and add to a large bowl.
- Peel and chop beets and add to a large bowl with broccoli
- Chop Brussel sprouts in half and add to a large bowl
- Peel and chop sweet potatoes add to another large bowl if no room in the first bowl
- Add oil over all the veggies as well as seasoning with salt, pepper, and garlic (to taste)
- Mix the veggies up with the oil and seasoning to ensure fully coated
- Place veggies on one or two large baking pans and add to oven to cook for 20 minutes
- After 20 minutes, pull out pans briefly and add pieces of thyme and rosemary all over veggies.
- Cook for 20 more minutes
- Pull out, cool for 5-10 minutes, add veggies over a bed of arugula
- Top with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, serve and enjoy!
For more information on Arizona’s seasonal produce visit Fill Your Plate.