3 things to keep in mind when shopping seasonally: March edition

Photo of Trader Joe's
Jasmany Flores/Staff
Jasmany Flores/Staff

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Why is it that strawberries taste so refreshing and sweet during the months of May? Or maybe the butternut squash you wanted for your summer salad doesn’t taste as flavorful as it did in your fall soup? Buying produce that’s in season can make a huge difference in your dishes and can possibly save you a bit more on your next grocery bill. Here are three things to keep in mind when grocery shopping in March!

Keeping track of what’s in season

Many grocery stores already do this in their layout. You walk in, and the produce in peak season is directly in front of you, making it easier to shop. But this isn’t always the case or you might not want to assume a fruit or vegetable is in season due to its placement. Working around this minor issue can be as easy as searching “seasonal produce” on Google. For me, I like following #seasonalproduce on Instagram so that I get reminders at the start of each month on what’s in season. 

March produce: Artichokes, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chicories, fava beans, green peas, lemons, parsley, parsnips, rutabaga, swiss chard, watercress and mushrooms  

Navigating the farmers’ market

Going to the farmers’ market can feel a bit overwhelming at first. With so many stands of fruits and vegetables alongside other products, such as cheese and pastries, it can get chaotic. Not to mention, the layout is different from that of your typical grocery store. However, my biggest tip that has helped me integrate farmers’ market shopping into my monthly schedule is to engage in conversation with those selling the product. Asking questions can be as simple as “What’s your favorite apple in season right now?” or “Do you have a favorite recipe for these artichokes?” Next time you find yourself in need of produce, grab your reusable shopping bag and head to Martin Luther King Jr. Way for the Saturday morning farmers’ market or Shattuck Avenue on Thursday evening.

Planning out seasonal recipes

Maybe you’ve been wanting to try out new dishes instead of your same old dinner. Perhaps roasted cauliflower or a creamy rutabaga soup? Picking out exactly what you want to cook during the week not only saves you time but also allows for your freshly picked produce to shine through. In their peak ripeness, the fruits and vegetables taste their best and will give rise to the best version of your chosen dish. Choosing just one or two new dishes to incorporate seasonal produce into can allow you to expand your recipe repertoire and enjoy March’s freshest produce.

With these things in mind, shopping seasonally will no longer be a scary endeavor of circling around the produce section, but instead, turn into a fun trip to the farmers’ market. This month of March is filled with a delicious variety of fruits and vegetables, so you are sure to find the perfect spring dish to make.

Contact Isabel Espinoza at ie[email protected].