Seasonal Produce Offers Your Taste Buds and Mealtimes Some Alternatives

Bored with meal planning? Do you buy the same foods week in, week out? It’s time to shake things up! Check out what’s in season – and freshest – in the produce aisle of your supermarket. Or get inspired by making an excursion to your local farmer’s market. Seasonal produce is a great way to add variety to your diet and stretch your grocery dollars! Fruits and vegetables that are at the height of freshness right now can ignite your culinary imagination. Prepare them with Carotino Red Palm & Canola oil, and you’ll add even more nutritional goodness to your table.

Each fruit or vegetable contains different nutrient combinations. And the fresher the produce, the more nutrition it retains. Consuming different foods each season can give your body a valuable blend of nutrients to help support your good health. Plus when you buy fruits and veggies that are in season, you can also save cash! Buying produce out of season frequently means paying for crops to be shipped to your supermarket from other parts of the world. Eating seasonally enables you to choose foods that are grown in their natural climate conditions, and that are often grown locally (or relatively locally).

Here’s some ideas of new ways to add seasonal diversity into your weekly menus with healthy Carotino cooking oil:

Sweet potatoes: Contain iron and calcium

• Slice potatoes thinly and toss in a mixture of salt, pepper and Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil before baking

• Brush potatoes with Carotino then place on a kabob and grill

Apples: High in fiber and low in carbohydrates

• Add apples to salads, and create a dressing using Carotino and your favorite seasonings

• Marinate chicken in a mixture of Carotino oil, vinegar, soy sauce and your favorite seasonings, reserving about 1/2 cup of marinade. Cook the chicken for about five minutes. Add apples and reserved marinade, and cook until chicken is tender.

Butternut Squash: Good source of magnesium and vitamin C

• Slice squash thinly and sauté in Carotino

• Cube squash, brush with Carotino and roast in oven until tender

Pears: Contain phosphorus and vitamin A

• Sauté pears with Carotino and a little honey

• May also be prepared using the same cooking tips as apples

Brussels sprouts: Contain potassium and carotenoids

• Sauté Brussels sprouts in Carotino and garlic until caramelized. Use to top off a plate of your favorite pasta

• Remove yellow outer leaves and brown ends from Brussels sprouts. Mix in bowl with Carotino, salt and black pepper. Roast on sheet pan in oven until outside of Brussels sprouts turn crisp.

Has this list sparked your creativity yet? Make dinner a family occasion and have everyone pitch in with fresh ideas; or try several new dishes and vote for your favorites. Get more hands in your kitchen, and don’t be afraid to make a few messes. Challenge yourself to cook using only fresh produce, and get excited about sitting down to meals again.