Have you ever wondered why it completely blows your grocery budget to buy certain fruits and veggies in spring? Well, wonder no more, because I’m about to rock your world with some knowledge on why buying seasonal produce is the most badass thing you can do for yourself and your grocery budget.
I hope you’re ready to get excited about seasonal produce, because it rocks! Seriously — it ripens more effectively, tastes better and is more nutritious than produce that isn’t in season. It turns out that fruits and veggies are a lot cheaper when they aren’t grown in hothouses and shipped long distances in refrigerated vans.
Which brings me to my next point: Buying seasonally is super cost effective (especially if you’re buying local), which means you’ll save a ton of extra cash to purchase more important things like overpriced music festival tickets or cute new swimsuits for summer. So this quarter, be sure hit up the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market or head to your favorite grocery store to grab some scrumptious spring produce!
Below, I’ve created a list of fly fruits and edgy veggies that are totally in season this Spring Quarter! In parenthesis to the right, I’ve included the peak growing months of each item:
1. Limes (January – April)
The peak season for these awesome citrus fruits is ending in April, but I had to include them on this list because limes are the bomb. (Tip: If you put ice cubes and lime slices in your water bottle, people will assume you go to the gym 99 percent more than you actually do.) Put the lime in your water bottle and you are sure to drink it all up!
2. Artichokes (March – May)
Did you know that artichokes are packed with fiber, magnesium, potassium and iron? With so many health benefits, you don’t have to feel too bad for slathering them with butter and mayonnaise … right?
3. Asparagus (March – May)
Asparagus is anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants. It may make your pee smell weird, but, on the plus side, it’s a great source of vitamin K (which helps your blood clot and your bones stay healthy).
4. Radishes (March – August)
Raw, cooked or pickled, this root is definitely one of the cooler sounding vegetables. I mean, the word “rad” is even in the name. These little guys are revered by veggie-lovers for being high in fiber and vitamin C as well as livening up fresh salads!
5. Mangoes (April – June)
The flavor of mangoes has been described as a cross between a pineapple and a peach, which is something I’d never thought of, but is surprisingly accurate. This juicy, flavorful fruit is widely consumed throughout the world and contains copious amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A!
6. Rhubarb (April – June)
Have you ever wanted to eat something that could literally kill you if you don’t prepare it correctly? Rhubarb’s leaves may be poisonous, but its tart and edible stalks are commonly found in pies. (Fun fact: Whether rhubarb should be considered a fruit or a vegetable is a controversial topic, a fact that makes it even cooler.)
7. Strawberries (April – July)
Everybody likes strawberries! Really, they’re one of the most popular fruits in the world! Strawberries are even higher in vitamin C than oranges and are lower in calories. Also, these red berries contain malic acid, a natural enamel whitener, so you can have a brighter smile while remembering how much money you saved buying them in season.
8. Fava Beans (April – July)
These little beans will be your fava-rite! With 10 grams of protein per cup, these edamame-like legumes are super nutritious. They can be cooked, made into hummus or even tossed into salads!
9. Cherries (April – August)
Cherries can reduce inflammation and help soothe sore muscles. Also, some contain melatonin, a hormone that can help you sleep. So, if you’re one of many students combatting insomnia, try munching on some dreamy, juicy cherries!
10. Leeks (March – June)
Cooking with leeks will be a source of nonstop hilarious puns about things leaking in your kitchen. Jokes aside, this versatile vegetable contains tons of vitamins and antioxidants and is delicious sautéed, on salads or in stir fry.