Lately, I've been reading a lot about the nutrient quality of many vegetables and fruits available today, and aside from the winter, it's the primary cause for my anticipation for warm and sunny summer days.
One of the biggest takeaways I recommend in regards to eating the healthiest vegetables and fruits is this:
Stick to produce that is grown in season, and as local as possible! That important note is exactly why I can't wait for my thriving gardens to return with fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. (And what is a garden without flowers?)
We are nearing the end of winter, and this is a great time to begin considering where you will be obtaining your fresh produce from in the coming months. The further away your fruits and vegetables have been grown, the less nutrients they will contain. This is due to the fact that vegetables and fruits are picked when they are NOT ripe in order to make it to you NOT rotted. Imagine the taste of a mango picked fresh off of a tree in Ecuador. It certainly wouldn't last even a day in transport! An Ecuadorian mango comes first to mind as I absent-mindedly purchased several not long ago, and they were the most tasteless mangoes I've ever had. It might seem like you're purchasing ripe produce from the store, but in reality, a lot of it has gone through an unnatural ripening process that really only enhances the color, and not the nutritional integrity.
FLAVOR TIP: Nutrients have flavors. The less nutrients a food has, the less flavorful it will be.
If you've struggled to enjoy the taste of fruits and vegetables, this could be one reason why. Do you usually plant vegetables or fruits in your yard? Would you consider it if you have not? Growing a garden requires a lot of time, energy, and knowledge. If you're not ready, there are other options! Farmers markets are one of those options. Or, one of my favorites in the past when growing a garden was not an option: purchasing a share through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA, for short). Here are three reasons why I LOVE CSA's: 1. It's affordable 2. You will likely receive A TON of seasonal produce, and 3. That produce may include foods you have never even heard of before - so this is especially great if you're an adventurous eater. You can check out farms that participate in your location by visiting this website. Some farms have delivery sites, other farms require you pick up on-site. Some farms are organic, some are not. You'll really have to do your homework, but trust me, it's so worth it! This is really a great time to be thinking about CSA's anyway, because NOW is the time to sign-up! Shares are not unlimited, so don't hesitate.