Ask vegetarians – fruit and vegetables can be a lot cheaper than other items in the supermarket. You just need to be smart and stick to buying fruit and vegetables in season. Your body and your budget will thank you for it, but first you need the knowledge. Here’s what’s fresh in March.
It’d be safe to say, our grandparents were much more in tune with seasons and produce cycles than we are now. Contemporary supermarkets import their fruit and vegetables from all around the globe to satisfy the demands of consumers who are used to buying what they want, when they want it. What that means is, apart from summer stone fruits, most people have limited sense of what is in season and when.
There are lots of benefits to buying fruit and veg when it is in season. It’s almost always cheaper when it is grown locally rather than imported.
Produce that has travelled shorter distances also tends to be better quality as it has had a gap of days or weeks rather than months, between when it is harvested and when it gets to your plate. The fresher the produce, the better it is for you as it loses nutrients the longer it is stored.
To help you know which produce is at its best when, we’ll be creating a monthly seasonal produce snapshot. In there will be some common (and not so common!) fruits and vegetables for you to investigate and some ideas on how to use them.
Fruits In Season In March
• Nashi Pears
All About Pomegranates
Pomegranates are bright red fruits that contain tiny, flavour-packed arils (small bubbles of juice). Pomegranates are packed full of antioxidants and known for their sweet yet slightly sour flavour and bold colour that adds vibrant texture to any meal.
Extracting the arils is easy. Fill a bowl full of water and score around the pomegranate so the skin is cut. Place the pomegranate in the water and then pull the fruit apart. The arils will sink to the bottom and any pith will rise to the top. Once you have gently removed all the arils, drain and use.
Pomegranates can be added to salads or used in a marinade for meats. Just add equal parts pomegranate juice (extracted from the arils) with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with a little sugar and pepper as required.
Vegetables in Season in March
• Asian Greens
All About Okra
Okra is the edible green seed pod of the okra plant also commonly known as ‘lady’s fingers’. Okra is most commonly used in Asian dishes and is well recognized for its high content of fibre, folate and vitamin C.
Okra releases a natural, sticky substance when sliced, which can be used as a natural thickener in stews and casseroles.
Alternatively, cook off some onion and garlic, then add either canned or fresh chopped or crushed tomatoes and sliced okra. Allow this to cook off until the okra is tender (or cooked to your liking) and serve.
Enjoy good fresh food and good health!