Seasonal Produce: A Celiac’s Best Friend

Posted On: October 6, 2014

Buying seasonal produce is tricky. In a world where things are technically available fresh year round, how does one really know what’s “in season” and what’s being grown out of season?

There is a slew of benefits – from economic to nutritional – to making sure what you put on your shopping list is what’s really meant to be eaten. Getting in the habit is the hardest part! Luckily, we’ve got the info you need to get started.

The Benefits

Ever heard that the food you eat should be “colorful?”

A focus on purchasing seasonally introduces natural variety into your diet. Produce that is picked when it is supposed to be is guaranteed to both taste better and contain a much higher concentration of its natural nutrients and antioxidants. For those with celiac, this can be vital in ensuring you don’t suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

The fact is, produce grown in season is both healthier and more affordable. Fruits and vegetables bought during their natural peak season in the region that they thrive in not only promises a fresher product, but is more likely to support your local growers.

What You Can Find & When

The following list breaks down popular produce by season (in the U.S.). It’s fairly general, but should provide a good idea of what you should be adding to your grocery list!

Fall
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Cucumber
Eggplant
Beans
Onions
Peppers
Peas
Pumpkins
Sweet corn
Tomatoes
Turnips
Pears
Plums
Melons

Winter
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Onions
Leeks
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Radishes
Greens (arugula, spinach, kale, collards)
Turnips
Winter squash

Spring
Asparagus
Beets
Celery
Spring onions
Peas
Peppers
Rhubarb
Strawberries

Summer
Artichokes (regionally)
Okra
Zucchini
Apricots
Cherries
Apples
Currants
Figs
Berries
Watermelon

To find a more specific list of what’s best, freshest, and most readily available in your region/state, check out these great interactive search guides from Epicurious & Sustainable Table.

What To Make

Sure, things like strawberries are delicious, but can you really say they hit the spot in the dead of winter the way roasted squash can? The beauty of seasonal bounty is that it’s also exactly what you need to make comfort dishes fit for every time of year. Making a meal plan in advance that incorporates these foods heavily into your weekly rotation is a great way of guaranteeing you don’t fall into the same pattern of purchasing year round.

Branch out, try something new! If complicated isn’t your thing, think about pan roasting an array of seasonal veggies to add on top of salad greens or roll up in one of our gluten-free tortilla wraps. So fast! Also think about buying an immersion blender for soups (both hot and cold). They’re genius tools that submerge directly into your soup pot and blend your broth/roast veggies up into a smooth liquid without requiring you to risk life and limb transferring molten liquid to an upright blender. Great for fall and winter cooking!

There are more creative and comforting seasonal recipes from Eating Well and Martha Stewart that are easy to search and promise delicious results. And of course, don’t forget you can search by season and ingredient on our own database of over 5,000 personally tested gluten-free recipes!

Got any seasonal tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!

Happy eating!

Lilly B's Glutenfreeda