Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Peak Produce for Peak Performance: What’s in Season

Boost your performance and enhance your nutritional intake by incorporating in-season produce into your diet. Learn why buying in-season is important and discover how to make the most of your investment in fresh produce.

What Does In-Season Produce Mean?

In-season produce refers to fruits and vegetables that are currently available due to the climate conditions. Certain produce thrives in colder, wetter climates, while others prefer warmer, drier conditions. The availability of in-season produce varies not only by season but also by geographic location.

Why Buy In-Season Produce?

Purchasing in-season produce has multiple benefits, including environmental sustainability, support for local farmers, and cost-effectiveness. Locally grown produce requires less transportation to reach your table, reducing travel emissions and ultimately lowering prices for consumers. Additionally, in-season fruits and vegetables tend to have richer colors, flavors, and higher nutrient content as they are picked closer to their peak ripeness. This makes them an excellent choice for athletes and individuals aiming to maximize the benefits of consuming fresh produce.

How Can You Identify In-Season Produce?

Price can be a good indicator of whether a particular item is in-season. Generally, when produce is in-season, there is an abundant supply, resulting in more affordable prices. For example, strawberries are often 2-3 times more expensive during winter when they are not in-season.

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Another way to identify in-season produce is by visiting your local farmers market or produce stand. Farmers markets usually prioritize offering in-season produce since it aligns with what farmers are growing at that time. The Seasonal Food Guide is also a helpful resource that lists seasonable produce based on both location and season.

If you have a craving for something that isn’t in-season, consider opting for frozen options. Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked when ripe and then quickly frozen to preserve their nutrients and flavor. Buying frozen produce is also a sustainable choice, as it has a longer shelf life and is less likely to spoil, reducing food waste.

Summer In-Season Foods

During the summer, an array of delicious, nutritious produce is in-season. Here are some examples:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Lemons
  • Lima Beans
  • Limes
  • Mangos
  • Okra
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

How to Store Fresh Produce

Proper storage is crucial to ensure that your fruits and vegetables maintain their freshness for an extended period. Here are some storage tips:

Cool, Dark Place:

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Winter Squash

Refrigerator:

  • Apples (preferably in a separate bin)
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Cherries
  • Collard Greens
  • Clementines
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Green Onions
  • Herbs (excluding basil)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Lemons and Limes
  • Mushrooms
  • Oranges
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Watermelon
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Keep on the Counter:

  • Basil
  • Bananas
  • Persimmons
  • Tomatoes

Ripen on the Counter, Then Refrigerate:

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwis
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums

Peach BBQ Sauce Recipe

Try this mouthwatering peach BBQ sauce, a favorite among USA Volleyball’s national teams. It pairs perfectly with chicken or pork and can also be used as a dressing for a spinach and strawberry salad.

Makes five servings

Ingredients:

  • Ancho Chili Powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Crushed Red Pepper: 1 teaspoon
  • Water: ¼ cup
  • Peaches (pitted, fresh or frozen): ½ – 1 cup sliced or cubed
  • Fresh Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Honey or Agave: 2 tablespoons
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 tablespoon
  • Olive Oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Worcestershire Sauce: ½ tablespoon
  • Smoked Paprika: ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard Powder: ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper: ⅛ teaspoon

Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Add more water to thin the sauce if necessary.

FAQs

Q: How can I determine if a produce item is in-season?

A: A good starting point is to check the price. In-season produce is typically more affordable due to its abundant supply. Shopping at local farmers markets or referring to the Seasonal Food Guide can also help you find in-season produce.

Q: Why should I buy in-season produce?

A: Buying in-season produce benefits the environment, supports local farmers, and ensures higher quality and nutrient content in your fruits and vegetables. In-season produce is often picked at peak ripeness, making it an excellent choice for athletes and health-conscious individuals.

Summary

Discover the benefits of incorporating in-season produce into your diet for peak performance. Buying in-season not only benefits the environment and local farmers but also ensures that you receive the freshest, most nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. By following proper storage techniques, you can prolong the longevity of your produce. Don’t forget to try the delicious peach BBQ sauce recipe, a perfect addition to your summer meals.

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Embrace the variety and freshness of in-season produce to optimize your health and wellbeing. Start exploring the vibrant world of fruits and vegetables that await you each season.

Visit Alpinetgheep.com to find more insightful articles on health, nutrition, and performance.