The concept of savouring seasonal foods is truly timeless. In the days before supermarkets, our ancestors relied on what they could grow and harvest during specific times of the year – a practice we now refer to as ‘seasonal eating.’ Thankfully, when it comes to fresh produce, we are incredibly fortunate with an abundance of fruits and vegetables grown locally.

There’s still something special about embracing the seasons when it comes to our food choices.

When we opt for in-season produce, we’re selecting items that are at their peak – bursting with flavour and freshness. Plus, it’s often a budget-friendly choice! The costs associated with growing, harvesting, and transporting in-season fruits and vegetables are notably lower than those out of season. The result? Savings that benefit you, the consumer. One of the prime spots for sourcing in-season goodies is your local farmers’ market. For those without easy access to such markets, fear not – many local supermarkets offer fantastic weekly specials, or you can take on the challenge and become an urban gardener.

By choosing local and in-season produce, you’re also contributing to a greener planet by reducing food miles. ‘Food miles’ represent the resources expended to transport food from the farm to your table. Locally grown and in-season foods require significantly fewer resources for cultivation, transportation, and storage. Additionally, you’re supporting local growers and farmers, fostering a stronger community.

Produce that’s not in season is typically harvested before reaching peak ripeness. It undergoes cooling processes to halt ripening and endures long-distance transportation and storage. Unfortunately, this can lead to a loss of taste and nutritional value. Conversely, fruits and vegetables allowed to ripen naturally on their vines and trees are picked at their absolute prime. The result? Delectably sweet fruits and veggies and heightened nutritional density. Berries, in particular, showcase the sweet, juicy delights of in-season produce.

If you’re just starting your seasonal eating journey, stick with familiar produce. Not only will you have a better grasp of how to incorporate it into your culinary creations, but you’ll also help minimise food waste. Australians, for instance, waste up to 20% of the food they purchase – a statistic that underscores the importance of food sustainability and responsible consumption.

For further insights into fostering a sustainable future, I encourage you to explore the following websites:

Keep this guide handy as it will become your trusty kitchen companion, breaking down the produce available to you throughout the seasons. Helping you plan and purchase your favourite fruits and vegetables all year round.

I can’t wait to see what you create in the kitchen, so make sure you tag @mysimpleplate over on instagram.

Ready to explore the wonderful world of seasonal produce? Sign up below to receive Part 3: Your Seasonal Produce Guide in a convenient PDF, delivered straight to your inbox! Happy cooking!