The health benefits of combining fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets are well-known. From supplying vitamins and minerals to boosting our immune system, fresh produce is necessary for healthy living.
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But did you know that the unique growing season in Florida allows for diverse produce throughout the year?
In this post, we'll explore the different fruits and vegetables that are in season in Florida and how you can include them in your diet.
Winter is an excellent time to enjoy fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables in Florida.
These winter fruits and vegetables offer a variety of nutritional benefits. Oranges and grapefruit have loads of vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system and protect against disease. Broccoli and cauliflower store sustenance and are low in calories and fat. Radicchio is a good source of fiber and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Oranges and grapefruit: Enjoy as a snack, or add them to salads, smoothies, or marinades. Try making homemade orange or grapefruit juice, or use the zest to add flavor to baked goods or sauces.
- Broccoli and cauliflower: Try roasted, steamed, or in soups or stews. You can also make homemade broccoli or cauliflower rice or use them in a stir-fry or frittata.
- Radicchio: Add it to salads, or try it grilled or roasted as a side dish. You can also use radicchio leaves as a wrap for sandwiches or fillings.
Spring is a season of new beginnings and fresh growth, which reflects the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available during this time of year. Florida's famous spring produce items include strawberries, avocados, pineapples, radishes, and asparagus. These fruits and vegetables are delicious and versatile and provide a range of essential nutrients and health benefits.
- Strawberries: These sweet berries pack antioxidants and vitamin C. Enjoy in various dishes, from smoothies and salads to desserts and jams.
- Avocados: Avocados are a rich source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins E and K, making them a great addition to any diet. They are used in various dishes, from smoothies to salads to toast.
- Pineapples: A delicious tropical fruit high in vitamin C and manganese, which help support healthy bones and tissues. They also contain an enzyme called bromelain, which helps aid in digestion.
- Radishes: These crunchy, spicy vegetables are a great source of vitamins C and B6, fiber, and potassium. Enjoy raw in salads or cooked in dishes like roasted radishes or radish soup.
- Asparagus: Asparagus is a versatile vegetable high in vitamins A, C, and K, on top of folate and fiber. You can eat it roasted, steamed, or grilled, which is a mouthwatering addition to any meal.
Summer is a delicious time of year in Florida, with enough seasonal fruits and vegetables available at local farms and markets.
Not only are these summer fruits and vegetables delicious, but they offer a mixture of nutritional benefits. For example, watermelon is high in vitamins A and C and lycopene, which help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. Corn provides fiber, which is beneficial for digestion and heart health. Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Eggplant is low in calories and has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling and pain in the body. Okra is an excellent source of vitamins B and C and folic acid, essential for maintaining good health and supporting the body's immune system.
- Watermelon: Enjoy it as a refreshing snack, or use it in salads, smoothies, or even grilled on the barbecue.
- Corn: Add it to salads, soups, or stews, or enjoy it grilled or roasted on the cob.
- Tomatoes: Try them in salads, sandwiches, or on top of pizza. You can also make homemade tomato sauce or salsa.
- Eggplant: Try roasted, grilled, or in a classic eggplant Parmesan dish.
- Okra: Enjoy it fried, roasted, or added to soups or stews.
Fall in Florida is a beautiful time of the year to enjoy a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
These fall fruits and veggies offer a range of nutritional benefits. Pumpkins are a type of fruit often associated with the fall season. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, which are needed for maintaining healthy skin and a robust immune system. Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, vital for maintaining healthy eyes and skin. Leafy greens have vitamins A, C, and K and iron and calcium. Apples and pears are good sources of fiber, which helps support healthy digestion.
- Pumpkins: Enjoy them roasted in soups or classic pumpkin pie.
- Sweet potatoes: Try roasted, mashed, or in a sweet potato casserole.
- Leafy greens: Enjoy them in salads, soups, or sautéed with garlic and olive oil.
- Apples: Enjoy them sliced and added to salads or oatmeal, or use them in pies, crisps, or other baked goods.
- Pears: Try them cut and added to salads, or use them in pies, crisps, or other baked goods.
Mixing seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet is vital for maintaining good health, but it also supports local farmers. By taking advantage of Florida's unique growing season, you can enjoy a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. So next time you're at the grocery store or farmer's market, check what's in season and try blending new fruits and veggies into your nutrition.
Here at Moorings Park Communities, we strive to provide our members with a variety of Simply the Best® dining options. In fact, our 5-star casual and fine dining restaurants rotate menus seasonally, delivering creative, tasty, fresh local ingredients and health-conscious options. Learn more about how Moorings Park’s luxury independent living communities can enrich your life by contacting us for more information.