The season of pumpkin and peppermint is upon us. While it’s a little sad to let go of watermelon and fresh berries of sweet summertime, but it just means that we can enjoy the produce winter season has to offer us. Buying what’s in season has an enormous impact on the quality of your produce. The taste of fresh food simply can’t be beat. When purchasing in season produce you’re saving money. As well, food keeps it’s full nutrient profile when it doesn’t have to travel far to get to your table. Another benefit to eating what’s in season is that you have a wide variety all year round of colors, nutrients, tastes, and flavors to enjoy!
There are a few farms in the Hampton Roads area that offer CSA (community supported agriculture) programs that essentially offer a subscription to fresh, local, in season produce. Hickory Ridge Farms is a great example of running a phenomenal CSA program. This helps the consumer develop a tangible relationship to the people feeding your family. The cherry on top is that the kids will probably have a lot more fun visiting a farm to pick up produce than going to the grocery store with you.
Whether you’re getting the family together for the holidays, cooking a meal for a special someone, treating yourself to a wholesome meal, or looking to bring new and fresh recipes to the table, buying in season local produce is an incredible way to accomplish these things. To learn more about CSA programs or where you can buy local fresh produce in your town, get your search started today on Buy Fresh Buy Local’s main web page.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration on what to do with all of your delicious and fresh goodies, check out these recipes!
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
Ingredients: 1 medium butternut squash, salt and pepper to taste, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, scatter cubed butternut squash across a lined baking sheet and coat evenly with syrup, olive oil, and seasoning. Bake for 20 mins, take a spatula and flip the pieces, and continue to bake for 10-15 more minutes until slightly browned.
Caramelized sweet potato and kale with wild rice
Ingredients: 3/4 cups wild rice blend & broth to cook it in, 1 Tablespoons butter, 1-1/2 cups 1/2″ cubed sweet potato, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, vinaigrette dressing of choice, salt, and 4 cups packed chopped curly kale (about 1/2 bunch)
Directions: Prepare rice according to package instructions using chicken or vegetable broth in place of water. Set aside. Fill a wok or large skillet with water then bring to a boil. Add a heavy dash of salt and kale then boil until tender, 4-5 minutes. Drain, then when kale is cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water with hands, crumble, and then set aside.Turn heat down to medium-high then melt butter in skillet. Add brown sugar and sweet potatoes, season with salt, then saute until tender and caramelized, 8-10 minutes.Add kale, cooked rice and vinaigrette to the wok then toss to combine.