It may sound counterintuitive, but as someone who writes about food and develops recipes for a living, I often have a really hard time deciding what to cook and eat. I spend so much time thinking about and handling food that when it actually gets to be mealtime…I’m sick of everything. Something that helps to counter my chronic food fatigue is making an effort to eat as seasonally as possible. I’m much more likely to get excited about a food when I only eat it for a few months of the year, as opposed to just eating everything year-round. Plus, in-season produce usually tastes better, and it’s probably better for you.
“If you’re eating a tomato on your salad in February it most likely wasn’t grown in your backyard or by a local farmer,” Jessica Beacom, R.D., cofounder of The Real Food Dietitians tells SELF. Rather, it was probably imported to a distribution center near you, “where it may have been force-ripened using ethylene gas before being trucked to your local supermarket.” Here’s why that’s bad: “A tomato picked before it has been allowed to naturally ripen in the sun on a living plant is far less tasty than one you grow yourself or pick up at the farmers’ market,” says Beacom. And, she adds that the longer a vegetable or fruit sits on the shelves, the lower its nutritional value. When a food ripens or matures for too long, it loses valuable vitamins and minerals.
Whether you’re trying to add more seasonal produce to your diet, or you just want to shake up your routine with some fun new recipes, here are some (pretty seasonal) recipes I love, that you should totally try in April.