In order to maintain a Paleo-Friendly diet, our grocery lists will include foods available year-round: sweet potatoes, lean protein, healthy fats and snacks. Each new season brings an opportunity to seek fruits and vegetables that were “not in season” and spice up our meals. Adding variety to our grocery lists has many benefits for nutrition and health. Certain vitamins and minerals are more abundant in fruits and vegetables, but depending on where we live, that produce has a limited availability because of the season. Use our five tips to successfully shop this summer season on a Paleo-Friendly diet.
Tip #1: Think Local
Summer brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to grocery stores, farmer’s markets, roadside farm stands and u-pick farms. This variety adds tasty nutrition to every day meals and picnics, and is cheaper when purchasing closer to home, eliminating extra transportation costs. It also takes the guesswork out of “what’s in season” by choosing produce that’s available in your area. This seasonal food guide provides information about which fruits and vegetables are in season each month in your state.
Tip #2: Farm to Table
Take an outing with friends or family to a “pick-your-own” farm or orchard in your area. When produce naturally ripens on the vine or tree and is harvested at the right time, the flavor and nutrition are at its peak. Incorporate the bounty into a picnic lunch after picking at the farm or at your favorite park. This is a great time to experiment with a new picnic recipe or rework old favorites to incorporate new and different fruits and vegetables.
Tip #3: Wash all Produce
Whether you’re buying local fruits and vegetables from the grocery store or a farm stand, and whether it’s conventional or organic produce, it all needs washing. Always start by washing your hands first. Using clean, cold tap water has been shown to be as effective, or more effective, than commercial produce washes, according to The Center for Food Safety. For thick-skinned produce like melons, you can use a vegetable brush to be certain they’re thoroughly cleaned. Soaking vegetables, such as kale, lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli, for 1 minute can help remove dirt and microbes in those hard-to-reach spots.
Tip #4: Limited on Time
Try a local produce delivery service or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in your area. Having fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to your doorstep can help expand the variety of produce you eat and support local farmers at the same time. If you’re trying a vegetable you haven’t prepared before, delivery companies often provide recipes or do an internet search to find quick and easy recipes.
Tip #5: Take Small Steps and Build Upon Them
It’s not always possible to eat locally and seasonally 100% of the time -- we get it! Incorporating one new habit to increase seasonal eating is a step in the right direction. Mark the date of your farmer’s market on your calendar, allow a few extra minutes to stop by the road side farm stand or add specific fruits and vegetables to your grocery list to increase the amount and variety of seasonal produce you buy.
Share Your Story
We want to know about your experiences shopping local on a Paleo-Friendly diet. Share your seasonal eating finds with us by tagging us on social media or using #bettereveryday.
Seasonal Produce Guides: