What's In Season This MonthMon 06 Aug 2012
Story by The Food Revolution Team
Find out some of the fruit and vegetables in season in August and be inspired to support local producers, eat fresh and better understand the food you eat.
Eating seasonal and local produce is not only a great way to support your local community and educate yourself and your family on seasonal foods, but fruit and veggies are usually cheaper and tastier when in season. So find out what is growing this month wherever you are and pick up some local produce to inspire you in the kitchen.
Belonging to the Capsicum family, both sweet and hot peppers are native to tropical areas of the Western Hemisphere; Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were carried to Spain and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, China is the world’s largest pepper producer. Sweet peppers can range in color from pale to dark green, from yellow to orange to red, and from purple to brown to black and flavors can range from bland to sweet to bittersweet. The most common of sweet peppers is the bell pepper which grow in many colors. Red bell peppers are ripened green bell peppers - sweeter because they have ripened for longer. Peppers grow above the ground on a vine much like tomatoes and are rich in vitamin C while also containing good amounts of Vitamin A and small amounts of calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin (B vitamins).
Peppers are in season in August in many places including New York. If they are in season near you, why not pick up a variety of colors and add some to our chicken fajitas. You could even get these going on the BBQ one summer night.
Native to China, this fruit, which grows on a deciduous tree, has hundreds of varieties which vary in color and flavor. Generally a peach falls into two classifications; freestone, when the stone or pit falls away easily from the flesh and clingstone, when the fruit sticks to the pit. Peaches are the latter and have a velvety skin which can range in color from creamy white to pink to yellow to gold and contain both vitamins A and C. Are you in Oklahoma or anywhere else that peaches are currently in season? Why not add some to our simplest fruit salad.
Having originated in Asia, the cucumber plant is a creeping vine plant which bears long edible cylindrical fruit which has been cultivated for hundreds of years. Now grown on most continents, cucumbers are usually eaten raw and added to salads, although smaller cucumber varieties are used for pickles. A member of the same family as squash, cucumbers have edible seeds in the middle surrounded by mild, crisp flesh, as cucumbers mature the seeds grow and become more bitter so sometimes the seeds of an older cucumber should be removed before being eaten. The ‘English’ cucumber can grow up to 2 feet long and is virtually seedless. Cucumbers are available year round from across the world but are currently in season in Tennessee. Are they also in season where you are? Why not get some fresh, local, cucumbers to add to our garden salad with a buttermilk dressing.
Tomatillo, which originate from Mexico are also known as the Mexican green tomato, belong to the same family as the tomato and resembles a small green tomato in size, shape and appearance except for the fact that it has a thin parchment like covering. Although this fruit can ripen to yellow, they are generally used while still green and firm and their flavour has hints of lemon, apple and herbs and adds a slightly more acidic taste to salads and salsas. Rich in vitamin A and containing a good amount of vitamin, tomatillos are also known as ‘jamberry’. If you are in California or anywhere else that tomatillos are currently in season why not get some to grill and add with your peppers for more colors and flavors in our chicken fajitas.
There are three main varieties of these berries, black, golden and red, the latter being the most widely available and which was thought to originate in Asia. Raspberries composed of many connecting drupelets (individual sections of fruit, each with its own seed) surrounding a central core and are often considered to be the most intensely flavored berry. Raspberries contain iron, potassium, and vitamins A and C and although they are available throughout much of the year depending on season, they are a great summer food and perfect to add to either our simplest fruit salad or used in our yogurt pops (substitute for the frozen fruits). So if raspberries are currently in season with you like they are in England, get out and see if you can visit a local farm to get raspberry picking with the kids!
Celery grows in bunches that consist of leaved ribs surrounding the tender choice heart which although was only used as a medicinal herb before the sixteenth century has now become one of the most popular vegetables of the Western world. There are two main types of celery, golden celery which is grown under a layer of soil or paper (to prevent chlorophyll from developing and turning it green) and the more common pale green pascal celery. Celery is often eaten raw but is also great in soups and stews. If celery is in season with you at the moment like it is in Australia why not pick up some locally and try out this cool crudité veggies recipe or our Minestrone soup for something a little heartier!
Happy seasonal, local and fresh food hunting, enjoy!
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