Why We Love Seasonal Cooking

Seasonal cooking is as simple as cooking and eating with the fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready for harvest near you now. Here in the Pacific Northwest, most people get into seasonal cooking during spring and summer. These are the most abundant growing seasons and bring with it a variety of lovely fresh produce— What better way to appreciate and take advantage of such than by cooking with the seasons?

Seasonal Cooking

As we move into spring and summer, it’s easy to practice seasonal cooking. Farmers markets are launching and the increasingly shining sun just might inspire more people to crawl out into spring and try something new— We can’t help but feel motivated to shop around for spring produce to celebrate the season. With each season comes a whole new crop of delicious fresh produce to experiment with and enjoy. That’s one reason why seasonal cooking is so fun and rewarding. It helps you stay connected with the community and climate in which you live, too. When you shop locally for seasonal foods, you’re supporting your local economy and green-thumbed neighbors. It’s also more environmentally friendly as goods have to travel fewer miles to get to you. 

This Seasonal Food Guide explains a bit more about why we eat seasonally and leads you to what’s likely to be available near you now.

Spring Recipes to Appreciate

Creating food with the seasons means we’re getting into spring recipes with seasonal produce. 

As the seasons change, you can make your favorite dish with whatever produce is ripe and ready. Right now in the Pacific Northwest, we’re working with veggies like asparagus, leeks, radish, and peas. Dishes like soups, salads, stir frys, and omelets are a couple examples of recipes that can change with the season: Keep the recipe the same and change out whatever vegetables are in season. Or, make spring recipes that let the produce shine on its own, like some of these ideas we might try:

Local Food & Farmers Markets 

Seasonal cooking and local food connects you to the ground beneath your feet and the farmers who harvest the produce. Every climate has something different to offer depending on the time of year and weather. And shopping for local food may get easier as more people are interested in seasonal cooking. Throughout the spring and summer months at least, farmers markets are a great way to directly access local food. And if you’re not sure what’s in season, you can simply shop around local farmers markets and grab what looks good.

When shopping at nearby grocery stores, it’s also helpful to look at labels and signs on produce that might indicate where it was grown and harvested. Delightful little markers that read something like “grown locally!” are a common sight if you take a close look. 

One of the first spring recipes we went for this year was a simple frittata cooked with seasonal veggies like asparagus, peas, and broccolini: Take a peek here and maybe you’ll be inspired to whip up something seasonal yourself!