When you prepare a meal that you put your heart into, you want to choose the best, most flavorful ingredients, and of course the healthiest ones, too.
We all know that there is nothing better than cooking with seasonal produce. In just a glance, you can almost taste the essence of a red, ripe tomato in summer. Or what about the taste and smell of a pumpkin soup in fall?
In order to choose the best seasonal products and prepare dishes that are not only delicious, but also healthy, we have created this very useful guide where you will find the keys to making the most out of your purchases and thus eat fresher, healthier produce that support the local economy… and your budget.
Know which fruits and vegetables grow in each season
Today, thanks to globalization and new technologies, we have access to almost any kind of fruits or vegetables throughout the year. Sometimes this can confuse us as to whether the products are local and seasonal, or if they have been imported from remote places and transported using not-so-healthy preservation practices.
To brush up on your knowledge of seasonal fruits and vegetables, we recommend you take a moment at the beginning of each season to do your research on the web. This way, you can find out about the fresh products available and the health benefits of eating them.
Often, we forget about the benefits of eating seasonal produce. When produce is in season it is at its tastiest with more intense flavor. Also, when products are not harvested early, as sometimes happens to meet consumer demand, their nutrients are better conserved.
According to SourceTrace, if the food is not seasonal, its quality is inferior and it may have elements that are harmful to your health, such as preservatives. If you buy from local farmer’s markets, you will also be helping local producers who often do not have a budget for pesticides but will deliver fresher and healthier products.
Depending on the product, purchase in smaller or larger quantities
Some fruits and vegetables have a short expiration date, no matter how we store them for optimal preservation. In order to keep them fresher and avoid spoiling, it is better to purchase those foods in smaller quantities and more frequently. Although it is a little more work, you will no longer have to throw a full head of lettuce in the trash. It feels awful, right? You also save money!
For foods that you use more frequently, some sources such as Money Crashers, recommend buying in large quantities. These will be cheaper for two reasons: in addition to being seasonal, they will cost you less since you are buying more.
Choose products in their natural state
Buy fruits and vegetables in their simplest form. Products that are cut, washed, and packaged usually cost much more than if you buy them in their more natural states.
Processed foods can be very practical, but they have many additives and preservatives, which can be very harmful to health. Try to eat more seasonal vegetables and fruits that are as close as possible to their natural state. Without a doubt, you will give your body more nutrients.
Start Your Own Garden
Start your own garden in your backyard! You can start with a small plot in your yard or even just place some pots on your terrace or balcony. Start by growing some herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers, these are good options for beginners.
Over time, you will see how not only you will have the satisfaction of having harvested the best seasonal products for yourself, but you will be able to make your meals tastier and healthier. This will also help you save money.
Stick to Your List
Plan your meals a week in advance, and based on those plans, create your shopping list. If you limit yourself to what you have already decided on preparing, you will save money by buying only what you need.
This does not take away from the fact that you may have an unexpected moment of inspiration in the supermarket, and you want to prepare an exquisite dish with that seasonal fruit that you just found. But if you have a plan, it will be much easier.
Use Healthy Cooking Tools
After having taken the time to follow these guidelines, researching and selecting the best seasonal produce, it’s important to use high quality products to cook everything. For that very reason we recommend using products and kitchen utensils such as the ones from Royal Prestige®, which them you can cook and preserve the nutrients of your seasonal products better Royal Prestige® utensils are designed to cook fresh vegetables and some fruits with very little water and allow you to cook most meats, poultry and some kinds of fish, without adding fat or oil. In addition, they have a uniform heat distribution system, which cooks meals for less time, while preserving the benefits of each dish and its lids have a perfect seal to better retain moisture and flavor.
Go forth and conquer the produce section, with the knowledge and advice from this article. You have the ability to cook smarter, healthier, and more nutritious with the help of Royal Prestige®.