Across the United States, Farmer’s Markets are overflowing with delicious fresh fruits and vegetables: We’re talking about uber-ripe berries, fragrant herbs and the biggest damn tomatoes you’ve ever seen. But even if there are consistently “seasonal” produce across state lines, where you live often dictates what fruit and veg should be picking up this time of year.
Ahead, we’re sharing our regional picks – and how we like to eat ‘em, too. Read on!
Northeast – Arugula
Shopping in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont? Opt for spicy, bitter arugula, which is still in season in these more northerly states. Loaded in Vitamins A and K, plus folate, arugula is a very protective food, helping to fight inflammation, promote ocular health and even lower your risk for cancer. We love noshing on arugula in a simple salad with fresh lemon and, if you’re okay eating dairy, some shaved Parmesan cheese.
Mid-Atlantic – Strawberries
In states like Maryland, now is the time to grab your strawberries – they’re just coming into season. These juicy, antioxidant-rich beauties are fantastic sources of Vitamin C, plus are great choices for a bit of sweetness for those of us who are dessert addicts. We love eating them on their own, adding them to baked goods or pairing with some coconut yogurt for breakfast. Yum.
Southeast – Peaches
Dining in South Carolina? We have two words for you: PEACH SEASON. Yup – the golden child (or… fruit) of Southern cooking is coming into season and it’s time to stock up. Like strawberries, peaches are loaded in antioxidants and are deft at fighting free radicals, the nasty buggers that cause things like oxidative stress and cell breakdown. In terms of preparation, we love pairing sweet peaches with something savory, like a pork loin; we’ve also been known to blend them up with coconut water to spritz on as a free radical-fighting facial toner. Seriously, trust us on this one.
Southwest – Tomatillos
If you’re in New Mexico, you eagerly await the onset of tomatillos each season. Come mid-June, you can start shopping for these regional delights, which happen to pack a potassium punch, plus are strong sources of fiber and manganese. Use ‘em in vibrant salsas and aromatic stews all through summer and into the fall.
Northwest – Cherries
Shopping in Washington State? Pick up some blood red cherries, one of our all-time favorite fruits over here on team BHH. Similar to other berries, they’re loaded in antioxidants and are filled with flavonoids, the most potent of all free radical fighters. We’re all about snacking on these puppies straight, but keep in mind they do contain a fair amount of fructose per serving, so don’t feel liberated to eat the whole box in one sitting.
Midwest – Carrots
Sure, potatoes and sweet corn are just coming into season, but if you’re in Iowa, opt for the less starchy selection of fresh carrots. Infinitely snack-worthy and endlessly versatile, carrots are a fine source of beta-carotene and fiber (and when consumed, beta-carotene converts in the body to Vitamin A, the nutrient responsible for maintaining eye, skin and neurological health). We love pairing carrot with fresh ginger for a healthy soup or whipping up this salad from our fave spot, ABC Kitchen.