What’s In Season – SeptemberWed 05 Sep 2012
Story by Food Revolution Team
As the summer draws to a close there are some great new fruits and vegetables coming into season. Find out what’s at its peak near you and what new foods you can try at home this month.
The apple, which originated in Western Asia and is part of the rose family, is the fruit of the apple tree – a small deciduous tree. It is one of the mostly widely cultivated tree fruits and one of the most popular fruits used by humans. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Grown in temperate zones throughout the world and cultivated for at least 3,000 years, there are now thousands of different apple varieties, ranging in color from green to bright yellow to dark red and providing a good source of vitamins A and C. Are apples in season with you like they currently are in Montana? If so, why not head out to get some fresh from your local farmers market or even a local orchard and see how many different colors and varieties you can find to add to our simplest fruit salad.
Collard Greens originated in the eastern Mediterranean and date back to prehistoric times. They belong to the same family as cabbage and broccoli. However, instead of forming a head, like cabbage or broccoli, collard grows in a loose rosette at the top of a tall stem. Its large dark-colored edible leaves are often confused with its close relative Kale (it actually tastes like a cross between cabbage and kale) and can be prepared in the same way that spinach or cabbage is. Collard is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium and iron. Are you in North Dakota or somewhere else that collard greens are in season through September? Why not try out this member of the cabbage family and see what you think. You could even add some to our Minestrone Soup to get add even more goodness into this dish!
Beetroot (‘beets’) is a firm, round root vegetable which has leafy green tops. Although the most common color for beets is a deep red-purple, they range in color from dark red through to yellow and white, with the Chioggia variety having concentric rings of both red and white. While this round root vegetable is the most well-known other cultivated varieties of beetroots include the leafy vegetables chard and spinach beet. Beets originated in the Mediterranean region and were originally used solely for medicinal purposes until around the 1800s when they also became a common food. Rich in folate and high in fibre, beets are nutrient rich and are also thought to have good detoxification qualities. If beets are in season with you, just as they currently are in Maine then why not hunt out some of this nutrient rich vegetable to add to this great veg coleslaw.
The eggplant, otherwise known as aubergine, is a member of the nightshade family and related to both the potato and tomato. Commonly thought of as a vegetable, the eggplant is actually a fruit and specifically a berry (though it is known as a vegetable for cooking purposes). Native to the Indian subcontinent, eggplants are now grown in many different countries including the U.S. where it is currently in season in Florida. There are many varieties of eggplant, which range in color from dark purple (the most common) to white, in length from 2 inches to 12 inches and in shape from oblong to round. The egg-shaped white eggplant is how this fruit got its name. Eggplants contain a whole host of vitamins and minerals and important phytonutrients which have antioxidant activity. Are eggplants in season with you? Why not roast some up and add them as an extra veggie to our fajitas (you could even switch out the chicken for them if you are looking for a vegetarian friendly version).
The largest of the wild berries, ranging from ½ an inch to 1 inch when mature, the blackberry is also known as a bramble as it grows on thorny bushes (brambles). Blackberries are a widespread and well-known group of over 375 species found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and South America. These deep purple colored berries are currently in season across Britain, and are great for both cooking and eating raw once picked. So if you are in Britain or somewhere else that these berries are currently found on brambles across the countryside, why not head out blackberry picking this weekend and get some fresh juicy berries to add to a fruit smoothie, or to top some cupcakes for an afternoon treat.
A cross between a cauliflower and broccoli and originating in Holland, the broccoflower is shaped like a cauliflower and is golden green in color. The edible part of the broccoflower is the immature flower head of the plant, the leaves of which should be crisp and green, and which has a lighter and sweeter taste than either cauliflower or broccoli. Broccoflower can be used and cooked in the same way as cauliflower and is a good source of vitamin C, folate and fibre. If you are in Australia or elsewhere that this lesser known vegetable is currently in season, why not track some down, try it at home and see how it compares to our brilliant broccoli.
We want to see your seasonal snaps!
While you are out and about this month, picking up some seasonal produce, remember to take some photos to share with us on our Food Revolution Community page and let us know what’s in season with you and what new foods you are trying!
The Food Revolution Team
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