One of the biggest concerns I hear about plant-based eating is, “But isn’t it really expensive to eat that way?” Unfortunately, many think that when we increase the green in our shopping carts, we also increase the green leaving our wallets. But, this isn’t the case! There are several things we can do to minimize the cost of eating more plant-based foods, like visiting farmer’s markets, buying frozen, choosing bulk items, and buying produce that is in-season.
It might seem strange to think about since we have so many fruits and vegetables available to us year-round in our grocery stores, but actually, there are specific seasons in which our produce is actually meant to grow. When we buy foods grown in the season ideal for them there are several benefits for us.
For starters, fewer resources are needed to grow corn in summer, turnips in spring, and cauliflower in fall because the seasons provide the ideal amount of light, water, and moisture for these picks to thrive. From an environmental angle, this is a huge plus, but also for our wallets. Fewer resources needed means less inputs from our farmers and more savings for us. In-season produce also tends to taste better, without the need of artificial conditions to hasten the ripening process. This type of produce can also be more nutrient-rich, as these choices tend to be fresher. They contain more vitamins and minerals, and even more antioxidants.
Between the lower cost, greener carbon footprint, and improved nutrition buying in-season has a plethora of benefits. This spring what are some go-to options for you to stock up on and some delicious ways to use them? Let’s take a look below:
Full of healthy fats, b-vitamins, and 40% of our fiber needs in a single cup, avocados are a great pick to add heartiness to a meal.
Suggested Recipe: Are you a salad lover like me? Be sure to try out this delicious Chickpea Avocado Salad.
Collard greens are rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants. This green is a vegetable that is jam-packed with nutrition.
Suggested Recipe: Even though collards are great just cooked in some vegetable broth, they can also be enjoyed raw! These leaves make great wraps and can add a lot of crunch and flavor, like in this Veggie Quinoa Wrap!
An excellent source of selenium, an important mineral to fight oxidation. Also provides b-vitamins, and vitamin D, which can be increased if left in the sun!
Suggested Recipe: One of my favorite foods of all time is stuffed mushrooms. If you are ready for your taste buds to experience one of the best meals ever, here is an amazing Wild Rice Stuffed Mushroom recipe. (You can thank me later.)
Peas are a fiber and protein-rich food. Not to mention they also contain s variety of other minerals and vitamins, like the b-vitamins!
Suggested Recipe: It’s no secret that I am a huge soup lover, so of course this list needed a soup recipe, here is a mouthwatering Split Pea Soup for those rainy spring days.
Which of these in-season recipe picks are you most excited about making? Share with me in the comments below!