While many of us have become accustomed to seeing the same fruits and vegetables on display in our local supermarket throughout the year, it’s often only because were importing fresh produce from overseas. Buying your fresh foods when they are in season can save you money, help to support Australian farmers and also gives you confidence that you’re serving your family the very best.
Generally, fruits and vegetables that are picked and enjoyed in their season are more flavourful and a higher nutritional content. Often, when fresh food is imported from overseas, it is frozen and thawed before being sold. This can often give your fresh foods a floury taste and softer texture, which is another great reason to shop locally.
This spring, head down to your local market and keep an eye out for these fresh products.
Globe artichokes and asparagus are both spring-only vegetables. They’re best bought and enjoyed from September to November, as this is the optimal growing time for them.
Broad beans, broccoli, parsnips, snow peas, spinach and cauliflower are autumn to spring vegetables, which are readily available from March until November. They’ll be approaching the end of the season in spring, so be prepared for prices to creep up from October onwards.
At the warmer end of the spectrum, there are a number of vegetables that begin their season at the start of spring. Chillies, beans, capsicum, cucumbers, squash and zucchini are at their peak throughout spring, and should be in their prime right through autumn next year.
While you might see them all year round, berries are at their peak from spring to summer. Keep an eye out for juicy strawberries and cherries from the start of September, while blueberries and raspberries should come into season during November.
Citrus fruits like limes, lemons and imperial mandarins all started their season during autumn or winter, but it continues right through until the start of summer so they should be plump and juicy right through spring.
Year-round fruits and vegetables
There are some fruits and vegetables where the seasons can make a massive difference to the taste and price, such as buying raspberries in winter. However, there are also lots of great fruits and vegetables that are available locally all year round.
Bananas and grapefruit are usually grown throughout the year thanks to Australia’s subtropical climate. In addition, there are plenty of colourful vegetables available throughout the year, including beetroot, carrots, onions, lettuce, leeks, potatoes, silverbeet and spring onion.
Use these year-round vegetables as the base in your recipes and change up a few ingredients with each coming season.