California Avocado season has ended.

The Benefits of In-Season Eating

In California, seasonal changes in the weather are subtle, so we look forward to changes in fresh produce as important markers of the seasons. For example, in fall there are locally grown pumpkins and root vegetables, and citrus in the winter. In the spring and summer there’s a bounty of fresh produce, from berries to melons, tomatoes to corn, and my personal favorite, Fresh California Avocados. 

I love to connect myself with in-season produce whenever I can, like taking California farm and grove tours. From the strawberry fields to the California Avocado groves to the peach orchards, there’s just nothing like fresh picked and fresh-to-market produce. That’s why I’m here to encourage you to incorporate fresh in-season produce as often as you can. 

I get most excited when I know California Avocados are in season which is from spring through summer. In-season produce inspires me in the kitchen. 

In the spring and summer, I have more options to play with. I can move away from the soups and stews of wintertime to warmer weather favorites from smoothies to salads to chilled desserts – for which I use California Avocados – because we all know avocados make everything “Californian.”

To find in-season fruits and veggies, visit your local grocery store and use these tips to spot what’s in-season:

  • Signage – Look for produce that may be marked as “in-season” and/or “local”
  • Front and Center – In-season produce is normally displayed front and center in the produce department

So, what are the benefits to you of enjoying in-season produce? 

  1. Freshly picked, in-season produce is at its peak in flavor and nutrition 
  2. Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of good-for-you antioxidants and phytonutrients 

When it comes to California Avocados, adding them to dishes is an excellent way to get in your good fats. According to the American Heart Association®, saturated fats increase risk for heart disease, but over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated, making them a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat.  

Inspired to cook with in-season produce? Let me share my recipe for California-style Stuffed Bell Peppers.

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There are so many nutritional wins in this recipe! Let’s count the ways…

  1. This recipe features an assortment of fresh and flavorful vegetables and fruits (avocados and tomatoes are fruits!); in fact, eight in total!!! 
  2. Avocados can play a dual role in the diet to help meet fruit and good fat recommendations
  3. It’s an excellent source of three nutrients: protein (34% Daily Value), vitamin A (20% Daily Value); and fiber (16% Daily Value), AND a high potency source of vitamin C (240% Daily Value) 

Eating in season is flavorful and creative, and my favorite way to cook. Introducing new flavors and textures and getting creative with ingredients is a great way to keep mealtime exciting all year ‘round. 

Have ideas or in-season eating tips you'd like to share? Comment below or share them with me on Twitter

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