Email Post to a Friend: How To Make The Most Of Seasonal Produce This Winter

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Improving your cooking can be as simple as buying the right ingredients. Here's how you can create great dishes with in-season produce.

If you like to cook and occasionally garden, you probably already know that there's nothing better than cooking with super fresh, seasonal produce. But the benefits don't stop there! Our real estate agents recommend buying and cooking with local, seasonal produce for the good of our South Bend community, just as much as for our physical health and our culinary enjoyment. Here is everything you need to know to make the most of seasonal produce this winter.

  • Advantages of Buying Seasonal and Local Crops
    You may have already noticed that fresh produce that comes straight out of your garden is invariably better tasting than what you get at the grocery store. This is sometimes because of the strains you're planting, but also because produce that ripens on the plant has more flavor and more nutrients. In addition, when you buy local, seasonal produce, you get to support your community, keep your dollars local, and also minimize your carbon footprint by buying produce that hasn't been shipped halfway across the world to reach you.

  • Seasonal Produce to Try
    It might seem like there wouldn't be much growing in the winter, but in reality, there are a lot of crops that are planted earlier in the year and harvested in late fall, winter, and early spring. For instance, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, beets, and winter squash are harvested in fall and winter and often keep in winter storage all season long. Some other surprising winter crops include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, celery, and kale. Many of these are actually sweeter or at least less bitter when grown and harvested in cooler temperatures. For herbs and seasoning, try cooking with onion-y winter produce such as leeks and shallots, and seasoning with winter herbs such as fennel and horseradish. You can even get seasonal fruit, although winter harvest fruits such as clementines, kiwifruit, and grapefruit are typically brought into South Bend from warmer climates, so they aren't local.

  • Where to Buy Seasonal Produce
    Not all South Bend homes for sale are set up for large gardens, and even if they were, most of us don't have the time and space to grow all of our produce. Fortunately, you can still enjoy more flavorful produce by shopping from farmers' markets and specialty grocery stores that source their produce from local growers. South Bend Farmers Market is the most famous and is open year-round. Matthys Farm Market also offers a selection of winter storage potatoes, cabbage, and onions in the winter. For a specialty market known for its locally sourced produce, check out Shelton's Farm Market in nearby Niles.

Part of the joy of living in a place like South Bend is the variety of fresh food and specialty eateries available to us. To start the search for your dream home in our wonderful community, contact us today.

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