Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season naturally assists the body’s nutritional needs and supports a climate-friendly diet too.
Making a commitment to eat with the seasons, not only reconnects us to the earth but supports a sustainable lifestyle and a healthy state of mind. As you feel more connected to the world around you, you will also feel more connected to yourself, both supporting physical and mental wellbeing.
Different varieties of fruits and vegetables thrive in different conditions and seasons. Fresh, seasonal produce not only tastes better, but offers more nutrition, costs less and is more environmentally sustainable. Find out why and what to eat this summer.
Three Reasons To Eat With The Seasons
1. In season produce contains more nutrients.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables that naturally ripen in the sun contain more nutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Once harvested, produce loses nutritional value the longer it is stored or transported. Eating locally grown, seasonal produce that has been recently harvested is going to offer the most nutritional value.
2. Nature provides our bodies with what it needs.
Fresh, seasonal produce provides the minerals and vitamins that best suit the bodies needs, at that time of the year. What amazing timing!
The warm summer weather allows fruits and vegetables to ripen fully and naturally, providing a boost of nutrition during our most active months. Summer produce also tends to have a higher water content, which helps keep the body cool and hydrated.
3. Support your commitment to sustainability.
Seasonal produce thrives naturally in the correct elements, requiring less pesticides and fertilizers. Local, seasonal produce has fewer food miles and supports local farmers and communities. This reduces environmental impact by cutting resource use for transportation and refrigeration.
Purchasing organically grown produce supports climate action (learn more here) and is often cheaper in season too.
Summer is the season of abundance.
Summer vegetables are deliciously crispy, and full of flavour. Capsicums are at their peak, along with an abundance of courgette, cucumber, radish, sweetcorn, aubergine, and tomatoes. New season potatoesare amazingly flavourful and fennel, peas, and beans are welcomed back to the table.
Summer fruit always brings a smile. There is an abundance of fresh berries including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Cherries arrive for Christmas, and stone fruit follows. Sun-ripened apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums are sweet, juicy and just as popular.
A Boost of Antioxidants
During summer, our bodies have greater exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, which can increase free radical production in the skin. Antioxidants play an important role in helping to protect cells from damage caused by these free radicals.
Seasonal berries are not only delicious, but an important source of antioxidants. They’re high in fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidant polyphenols called anthocyanins, which can help reduce oxidative stress.
For those looking for a local hero, New Zealand organic blackcurrants are famous for extremely high levels of Vitamin C, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. If part of a healthy, varied diet, Vitamin C can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Did you know, blackcurrant bushes grown without pesticides have been shown to contain higher levels of Vitamin C than those treated with common pesticide applications?
We love Viberi’s NZ grown, organic blackcurrants. Choose from powder, dried berries and a delicious range of chocolate coated blackcurrants. And yes, these count as a double dose of healthy goodness!
Refreshing Summer Dishes
With the long, hot days, we are often more active, and spend more time outside and being active. Summer fruit and vegetables tend to be light, easily digestible and provide hydration.
Summer is the ideal time for crunchy, cooling foods such as smoothies and fresh salads. Here is a list of our favourite summer recipes.
- This low-carb Butterbean & Veggie Noodle Salad features spiralised carrot and courgette, tossed with butter beans for a plant-based protein.
- Watermelon and feta are a fresh and tasty combo in this Summer Salad, topped with spiced chickpeas and candied walnuts.
- The mixed beans add a boost of plant-based protein to this tasty Greek Salad.
- Soup may seem out of place in this salad list, but this Green Veggie Coconut Soup uses summer veggies to make a delicious soup that is light and revitalising. It’s a really lovely change when you need a break from salads.
- This raw Broccoli & Lentil Salad is deliciously crisp, refreshing, and dairy free. The tahini dressing takes it to another level!
- Roasted summer veggies make this Mediterranean Lentil Salad deliciously divine. The lentils add a plant-based protein, and the feta adds a pop of flavour.
- Check out our latest summer smoothie collection. Choose from a red, yellow, green or purple smoothie – all super yummy!
Eating seasonal packs a punch of health benefits, while reducing the load on your grocery bill. Keep an eye out for seasonal vegetables at your local farmers market, produce shop, and even the supermarket.
To receive monthly recipes and sustainable living inspiration directly to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.