Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, I’m beginning to see the first signs of local produce stands in my area. I’m always thrilled with this for two reasons: A) the produce sold locally is especially fresh and tasty and B) local produce is very budget-friendly , which means I end up trimming my grocery bill.
In most areas of the country where cold weather keeps fresh fruit and vegetables from being grown during the winter months, May is when you’ll find the local farmer’s market, produce stand or orchard offering "fresh from the field" produce again. At first you may see asparagus, spinach and butter lettuce, but before long strawberries, snow peas and green beans begin to appear. And this is just the start of the season! Come summer you’ll be able to select from a wide variety tree fruit (peaches and plums), zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, corn …the list goes on and on. The point is to take advantage of what your local area has to offer–you’ll find it easier to eat healthy and you’ll see that grocery bill decline.
I find it very easy to plan my meals around fresh, local produce during this season. My family may have three different fruit or veggie dishes as our main meal. Here are a few recipes that take advantage of in-season fruits and/or veggies:
- Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Sandwiches
- Fresh Tomato and Pita Chip Salad
- Corn on the Cob w/Chili Lime Butter
- Grilled Peaches
- Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad
- Strawberry Shrimp Ceviche
So, keep an eye out for those produce stands. In fact, you can search our Community database to see what fruit and veggie events may be happening near you. Or, if you know about something, add it yourself!