The Heart of New England
What's in Season in
New England?
A Year-Round Guide
to Eating with the Seasons


It's exciting when spring produce becomes available because it means the long
winter is really over. Enjoy eating lots of greens during the spring - they're very
healthy. Turnip and mustard greens are an excellent source of vitamin A and
calcium, as are oriental vegetables such as bok choi. Spring is the best time to
enjoy local rhubarb and strawberries.

Try the following ideas:

Stir fry bok choi (Chinese cabbage): separate the leaves from the stalks and chop
both coarsely. Cook quickly in a hot wok or frying pan with sesame oil, adding
the stalks first and then the leaves. Season with soy sauce and serve over rice.
For additional flavor and protein, try adding tofu, beef, pork, or chicken to the
stir fry.

Saute mustard or other greens with garlic, onions, salt, and pepper. Serve as a
side dish or over pasta or rice.

Enjoy fresh salads made with many greens. Lettuce, spinach, mustard, arugula,
tat soi, mizuna, and dandelion can all be mixed together (sometimes called
"mesclun") for a healthy and tasty spring salad.

Savor the first peas of the season raw at lunchtime or as a snack.

Many local herbs are at their peak in spring - use them in salad dressings and
seasonings and in sauces for meat, fish, or poultry.


Summer is the peak of the season for northeastern fruit such as peaches,
cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and melons. Many of our favorite vegetables
such as tomatoes and sweet corn are best when picked at the peak of ripeness
and eaten while still very fresh. This is a great time of year to visit a farmers
market, roadside farm stand, or U-pick farm.

Summer treats:

Eat fruit salad for breakfast, or for a dessert treat top it with nonfat vanilla

Try a salad of fresh local tomatoes sliced and topped with chopped fresh basil
and pressed garlic, or one of chopped peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions,
and crumbled feta cheese.

Grill fresh sweet corn in the husk with your summertime barbecues. If the corn
is very fresh, it needs very little cooking and can even be eaten raw.

Steam summer squash and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for an easy
summertime side dish.

Add fresh vegetables - onions, peppers, tomatoes, squash, and eggplant - to
kebobs, or try all-vegetable kebobs at summer picnics and barbecues.

In very hot weather enjoy gazpacho - cold soup made from tomatoes and

Make pancakes with buckwheat, an important northeastern grain, and top with
fresh northeastern berries for breakfast.


Fall is the peak time for broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Broccoli thrives in
the cool weather and is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Fall is also a
good time to enjoy many northeastern fruits such as grapes, pears, and apples.

Savor fall produce:

Warm up with leek and potato soup.

Roast pumpkin seeds in a hot skillet, adding a little salt. But beware - this tasty
treat is very high in fat and calories. So even though these seeds contain some
important vitamins and minerals such as folic acid and iron, enjoy this snack
only in moderation.

Cut fat from apple pie by avoiding fat-laden crust - make apple crisp instead.
It's quicker, too.

For an easy meal saute chopped broccoli with garlic (add thinly sliced beef or
chicken if you like) and toss with pasta.

Toss steamed cauliflower with chopped parsley and a little vinegar.
Drink hot apple cider for a real treat on a cool fall day.


Winter vegetables grow during the summer, are harvested in the fall, and can be
stored for use throughout the winter. Some fruits, such as apples and pears, also
store well during the winter. Many winter vegetables are old standards such as
potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, beets, and winter squash. But many more that
may be less familiar are nutritious and can add variety to your winter diet. Have
you ever tried Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, burdock, kohlrabi, celeriac,
turnips, or rutabagas?

Winter vegetables are nutritionally important. One whole potato supplies
one-third of the RDA for vitamin B6 and vitamin C. One cup of cooked beets
supplies one-quarter of the RDA for folic acid. One-half cup of baked butternut
squash provides nearly 100 percent of the RDA for vitamin A, 50 percent of the
RDA for vitamin C, and is a good source of potassium. One cup of raw
Jerusalem artichoke provides 5.1 mg of iron, which is 50 percent of the RDA for
men and children and 33 percent of the RDA for women. With good planning, it
is possible to eat a nutritionally adequate diet by eating seasonally, even during
the northeastern winter.

Winter vegetables are easy to use:

Cut winter squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place upside down in one inch of
water in a baking pan, and microwave for 10-15 minutes on high or bake in a
conventional oven at 350¡ for 30-45 minutes until soft. For a real treat, drizzle
maple syrup over baked squash.

Shred carrots and red cabbage for a colorful winter salad - no lettuce necessary!

Cut root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and rutabagas into half-inch
rounds and steam or roast together for a tasty - and healthy - side dish. Season
with dried rosemary for a real treat.

Combine potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and onions with chicken, beef, or beans to
make a wonderfully nutritious and hearty stew.

Saute garlic and onions, add cubed carrots and turnips, and season with thyme
and oregano for a delicious winter side dish.

Bake potatoes and top them with nonfat yogurt, chopped red onions, and
shredded cheese for a quick and easy light meal or side dish.

Boil beets, peel them, then marinate in vinegar and garlic or try shredding raw
beets into a salad for a healthy and colorful addition.

Use canned tomato paste or puree as a good source of vitamin C during the

Peel and slice kohlrabi to replace broccoli (which is not harvested in the
Northeast during the winter) in most recipes. Kohlrabi can be used cooked or
raw and is excellent with carrot sticks at lunchtime or as a snack.

Replace celery, a summertime crop in the Northeast, with celeriac, a closely
related root vegetable, as a seasoning in soups.

Blend fruits frozen from summer with low-fat yogurt to make a refreshing treat
in the winter.

This guide provided by the Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Click here to order
Northeast Regional Food Guide.
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
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