April Seasonal Produce
A helpful guide to the fruits and vegetables that are in season throughout the month of April (depending on your area and the time of month).
Are you interested in eating more seasonally throughout the year? Would you appreciate a guide every month giving you an idea of what's in season around that time?! Well, let's start with April! When you eat in season, you are choosing fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of flavor and freshness. They will taste so much better! Not only does this make for more flavorful dishes, but its also easier on the environment especially if you choose to source your produce locally, which also helps develop a more sustainable food system. Think about all of the small farmers in your area that would benefit from you purchasing your produce from them throughout the year. Also, when produce is at its peak freshness, it can have more nutrients and be better for your health.
As mentioned above, its best to try to source locally grown produce as often as you are able to. During farmer's market season, work to build relationships with the local farmers that you are fond of. See if they grow produce year round and if you would be able to purchase from them during the off-seasons (of the farmer's markets).
Now, a lot of produce will start to come into season in the next few months, as the weather gets warmer and spring brings with it all of its showers. April is the start of all of it! Try to incorporate seasonal produce into each of your dishes and meals this month. If you are not familiar with any of the produce mentioned, just search Pinterest for easy recipes. Once you've cooked with it once or twice you will be much more comfortable. I hope you will join me in eating more seasonally this month, I don't think you'll regret it.
- Artichokes | One of our favorite restaurants we go to serves roasted artichokes with a delicious garlic, dipping sauce. Try boiling your artichokes and serving them warm with garlic butter or homemade mayonnaise.
- Asparagus | We just had asparagus the other day for dinner with friends. My cousin cooked for us and she seasoned the asparagus with olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and a little bit of butter. It was SO. GOOD.
- Broccoli | I often use broccoli as a quick side, boiled, drained, and mixed with heavy cream, sharp cheddar cheese, and salt/pepper. Or, try a broccoli salad! My grandma makes a delicious broccoli salad, with bacon, onions, sliced almonds, and a sweet sauce that its all mixed in. Would you guys like the recipe?!
- Cabbage | Cabbage pockets anyone?! My grandma also makes really yummy cabbage pockets. I have never made them before, but maybe I will sometime this month! You can also chop cabbage up with your salads, throw it on top of fried fish tacos, or boil and season it with salt and pepper for a quick side.
- Carrots | There are so many great uses for carrots; you can make homemade vegetable, chicken, or beef broth, roast them in the oven with a honey garlic sauce, or enjoy them fresh with hummus.
- Celery | Again, celery is also perfect for making homemade vegetable, chicken, or beef broth, served fresh with crunchy peanut butter, or chopped up in your favorite, brothy soups.
- Garlic | Oh garlic, one of my favorite additions to almost any meal! Try buying your garlic fresh (not the pre-minced kind) as it will have a lot more flavor! We use garlic salt a TON, so it has always been on my 'cooking wish list' to make homemade garlic salt. Has anyone tried this before?!
- Green Peas | Caleb does NOT like green peas, so I don't cook with them very often ha. My grandma (gosh, she needs to write a cookbook!) also makes a yummy, pea soup. It has I believe a ham hock in it, and the peas are cooked through and mashed until they are a smooth consistency. It is very good!
- Kale | Kale chips, kale salad, Italian sausage soup with kale, sauteed kale, kale mixed in with your morning eggs, kale smoothie... need I say more?!
- Apples | Don't make things complicated, just enjoy an apple as your afternoon snack; top it with almond butter or sprinkle it with cinnamon. You can also slice your apples and add them to your salads.
- Avocados | I am sure you have heard of the breakfast crave, avocado toast, but have you tried it?! When Caleb and I were first married I ate avocado toast almost every morning. Here's the trick, you need good quality bread, toast it, smear some smushed avocado over top, place a soft poached egg on the avocado, and top it with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. YUM!
- Bananas | These days my go-to breakfast is oatmeal, with a little bit of cream and REAL maple syrup mixed in, and topped with crunchy peanut butter and sliced bananas. I also have a delicious banana bread recipe that is from my Nana (great grandma) that maybe I will share soon!
- Citrus | Fresh orange juice or lemonade anyone?! Last year I tried to make fresh lemonade using honey. It didn't work out too good, but I am excited to try it again this year! Lemon is also great with chicken and fish, in salad dressings, and as a sprinkling on most sides. Slice up some lemon, grapefruit, lime, and orange in a big pitcher with water and enjoy the fruit infused water throughout your day.
- Pineapples | Pineapples always remind me of vacation!! I think pineapples are best fresh, as a juicy pick-me-up during your day. You can also try grilled pineapple. My brother and his wife make the best grilled pineapple whenever they grill steaks. She marinates it in a brown sugar concoction and just throws it on the grill with the steaks.
- Rhubarb | I have never actually cooked with rhubarb before! But, I have had rhubarb pie and I loved that. Last year, Chloe over at Boxwood Avenue (one of my favorite sites) shared a really fun article for tips on growing rhubarb as well as 9 different rhubarb recipes. You can check that out here!
- Strawberries | If eating them fresh isn't enough, you can try strawberries with a homemade angel food cake and topped with fresh cream. Or, you can add them to your favorite salad, on top of your morning oatmeal, or frozen and blended in your smoothies.
Living in Colorado , some of these fruits and vegetables won't start growing until May, depending on the area you are in. But, all the better to know and be prepared so that you can start planning all of your favorite dishes! Also, if you aren't able to source locally, your supermarket will most likely have all of this produce that is in season elsewhere and has been shipped to your state, if you do go that route. So convenient! For all of my Coloradans, here is a fun graphic showing what is actually in season here all month long. This is helpful if you are able to purchase from local farmers. Like I said though, your supermarket should have produce that has been shipped from elsewhere, and when you know what's in season you can ensure that you're buying fruits and vegetables at their peak freshness. But do try to source locally if you can!
One of my favorite things to do is to just purchase what I can and what I know is in season, and then to challenge myself to try new recipes, even if I have never cooked with it before or am not familiar with that particular fruit or vegetable. Don't be afraid to try new things... and Pinterest is your FRIEND! Just search for recipes that use whatever you are cooking with. I am not always that great at it, but I am trying more and more every month to incorporate fresh, seasonal produce into my cooking repertoire. I hope you will too!
Happy seasonal eating, friends!
Pin this image so you can refer back to it throughout the month!