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Making the Most of In-Season Produce

Vegetables, such as squash, can be used in a variety of summer meals. (Photo by Michaela Parker)

When you visit your community farmers market, you know you're purchasing local produce in its peak season. Fruits and vegetables have more flavor and are typically less expensive when they’re in season. So, when you go to the farmers market, how do you make the most out of in-season produce?

  1. Buy in bulk. You can create a meal plan that features the in-season fruits and vegetables available at the market. What about the produce you don’t use? Easy! Use vegetables in soups and casseroles, and fruits in smoothies and baked goods. You can always freeze soup and save it for later!

  2. Ask questions! Vendors love to talk about their products. Ask how and where the produce is grown, and what’s the best way to prepare the food. They might even share a new recipe with you!

  3. Experiment! Don’t be afraid to branch out from your normal farmers market list and try something new. You might run across a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before. Ask the farmer how to incorporate it into your recipes.

To find out which fruits and vegetables are in season at which times of the year, check out this Extension Publication. Hang this calendar on your refrigerator for a great year-round reminder!

In case you missed our previous blog post on farmers market tips, be sure to check it out as well!

Special thanks to our friends at the University of Minnesota Extension for the great info!

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