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Save money and buy produce in season in March

March marks the beginning of the end of winter (yay!). It might not feel very warm when you walk outside your door, but spring is coming. March is also an interesting month for produce as many winter fruits and veggies fall out of favor and we see the start of sweet fruits we associate with summer (hello, pineapple!). Come April, you’ll be planting your own seedlings and start to see more local variety, but for now, you’ll have to purchase ripe produce from the southernmost states. Get more bang for your buck by buying fruits and vegetables that are in season. They cost less because they are more plentiful — and they’re tastier, too! A big win, win. Here are 10 fruits and veggies ready for your plate right now: Artichokes Artichoke season runs from March through June (and then again in the fall), and most artichokes in the United States…

The Best Broccoli salad for dinners, potlucks

This creative broccoli salad combines veggies, fruits, nuts and dairy with a crumbling of turkey bacon for a delightful side dish that everyone will enjoy. It’s the perfect make-ahead meal that can store in the fridge for up to three days — and I swear, it gets even tastier with a little bit of time. What really makes this broccoli salad great is the tart and sweet Greek yogurt dressing brightened up with a splash of apple cider vinegar. And, of course, crunchy turkey bacon takes any dish to the next delicious level. If you wanted to make a more decadent version, feel free to use mayonnaise and real bacon instead, or save some time by using pre-cooked bacon bits — the kind usually found in the salad aisle. *Note: If you’re going to make ahead, hold off on adding the bacon, apple chips, and almonds or you’ll lose the…

This is the best way to wash pesticides off your fruit and vegetables, study shows

If you splash your fruits and veggies with a little water and consider them clean, you might want to step your game up. It turns out there is only one way that will get rid of the dangerous pesticides coating them. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, removal of pesticide residues from fresh produce is important to reduce the risk of exposure. Pesticides have been linked to a number of health problems in humans including everything from headaches to respiratory problems to cancer. So what’s the best way to rid your produce of these unwanted chemical residues? Scientists for the study applied three different washing methods to a bunch of Gala apples — Clorox bleach, baking soda, and plain tap water. They tracked the pesticide levels throughout the study and found that apples soaked in a baking soda and water solution for…

Foods you should avoid during the government shutdown

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know that the government is in a partial shutdown sparked by differences of opinion between the president of the United States and members of Congress over funding for Trump’s border wall. More than 800,000 federal employs have gone unpaid during this, the longest government shutdown in history. One of the affected departments is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.   You know — the ones who check to make sure our food is safe to eat. Without proper funding, FDA employees aren’t able to adequately carry out crucial tasks including publishing recalls and outbreaks. The absence of this vital information would be bad enough, but after 2018’s record number of FDA recalls, ranging from romaine to Goldfish crackers, its a bit unnerving what we might be missing in the wake of the agency’s absence. Before the government shutdown, it wasn’t unusual for the FDA to…

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I know, I know! Cauliflower isn’t exactly the most exciting vegetable to make, but it is having a moment — and for a good reason! If you haven’t tried this cruciferous vegetable in a while, now is a good time to revisit. Just like Brussels sprouts came back a few years ago with much fanfare, so too has cauliflower, thanks to tons of delicious new recipes and ways of preparation. Here is one easy recipe to get you back on team cauliflower and eating more veggies in the New Year. The roasted cauliflower adds a ton of flavor, and the finely diced carrots and celery give the soup even more texture. A big, hot bowl of this hearty cauliflower soup, served with crusty bread — that’s what winter days are all about. Roasted Cauliflower Soup Ingredients 4 tbsp olive oil, divided 1 small onion, diced 1 carrot, finely diced 1…

17 fruits and vegetables in season in December

It sure is cold outside! You’re definitely not going to stumble upon a strawberry outside anytime soon. But winter isn’t all bad. Thanks to modern methods of extending the growing season, farmers are able to produce fresh food well into winter. It can be easy to ignore what produce is actually in season come December when you can walk into any grocery store and it still looks like summer. Thanks to shipments from South America and beyond, we are spoiled, eating whatever we want, whenever we want. But if you want to eat food that hasn’t been picked before its prime, artificially ripened, and trucked thousands of miles, it’s worth considering making your selections from this list. Depending on where you live, these crops may continue to grow locally, or they’ll be trucked in from shorter distances. Plus, they’re naturally in season this time of year so they’ll taste best.…

Sweet and spicy glazed bourbon carrots

These carrots are simple to make but pack tons of flavor. All you need is a stove top and five easy ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and you have yourself a delicious side dish for any holiday meal. I like to use baby carrots because they save time and always look pretty, but feel free to clean and chop whatever else you have in the fridge. The whole dish can be ready in under 30 minutes. You’ll love this glaze so much, you’ll start imagining what else you can smother in it — salmon? Chicken? Swedish meatballs? Ice cream? But you’ll have to make more, but there is no way you won’t want to lick the bowl clean. Make sure you choose a liquor you like, because the flavor combo comes across pretty strong — in a good way. The sweetness from the sugar and the heat from the cayenne…

Produce: What’s in season in October?

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh produce when it’s perfectly in season — an apple pulled straight from the tree or greens pulled right from the garden. Knowing what is at its peak during the month of October can help you make your shopping list and plan your meals accordingly. Thankfully, October is full of all sorts of fruits and vegetables worth savoring. From delicate figs, to hearty squash, there are all kinds of fun flavors to explore.  So take this list to your local market and get shopping! 1. Apples Of course you know apples are in season — they’re everywhere! But certain types of apples peak throughout the month. Apples stay good for a while, so all varieties are still considered fresh, but for a just-picked variety, go with Fuji, Suncrisp, Pink Lady, Rome, Cameo, Sundance, Blushing Gold, Melrose, or Enterprise. 2. Beets These deep crimson beauties…

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole makes perfect late summer side dish

At this point in the summer, you’re probably still picking lots of zucchini and squash from your garden. Or if you’re lucky, friends are trying to offload their extras. This zucchini casserole is a great way to use up all the zucchini and squash you have laying around. It might be the end of summer, but the warm weather means it’s still solidly squash season. This recipe is rich and creamy and made perfect by a melty blend of Gruyere and Parmesan cheese. You’ll love this as a late summer side dish. Cheesy Zucchini Casserole Ingredients 4 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick 1 half of a medium onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tbsp butter 1/2 cup heavy cream 5 ounces Gruyere cheese, roughly shredded 3/4 cup fresh Parmesan, grated salt and pepper Directions Preheat oven to 450ºF. Grease an 8×8 inch casserole dish and set aside. In…

How to: Easy method for roasting beets can’t be beet

After years of being banished to the back of the salad bar, beets are having a resurgence. The popularity of the bright red taproot comes as part of an overall increase of interest in health and nutrition. A study published in the American Medical Journal in 2016 found that the number of Americans with poor diets fell from 56 percent to 46 percent between 1999 and 2012. For many health conscious consumers, beets have been enjoying their rightful place center-stage of a balanced diet. They’re chock-full of essential nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium and manganese, and have all kinds of positive impacts on the human body. Consuming just one glass of beet juice per day has been found to lower systolic blood pressure by several points, while also lowering chances of heart disease and artery damage overall. Nitric oxide found in beets relaxes and dilates blood vessels, increasing blood to the brain and…