by Shay Smith, contributing writer
It’s spring! That means it is time for some of the best and most flavorful fruits and vegetables are back in season. Take advantage of the freshest produce and make the most of what local grocery stores have to offer.
What does it mean when someone says that a fruit or vegetable is “in season?”
When a fruit or vegetable is in season, it is the time of year that a crop ripens and is harvested for people to eat. Unless there is a problem with the crop, it is the time of year when a fruit or vegetable is most readily available.
Wondering how you can work fresh produce into a healthy meal that also tastes good? Check out cachevalleyfamilymagazine.com/recipes for meal ideas!
Want to get more for your money?
Buying in season often helps! “Prices usually come down when a fruit or vegetable is in season,” said Jarom Bernhardt, produce manager at the Smithfield Lee’s Marketplace.
“In addition, the quality of the produce (taste, texture, freshness, etc.) is at its best. When you buy produce that is out of season (for example, buying berries in the winter), you are likely buying food that has been shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles.”
So what are the best picks for Spring produce? Jarom says beginning now, guests can look forward to the best mangoes, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, sweet bell peppers and lettuces for great salads.
“One of my favorite things to make with my kids this time of year are small vegetable kabobs that include a grape tomato, a slice of mini cucumber and cube of string cheese on a toothpick,” Jarom, a father of eight, said. “My kids love helping put them together.”
Freshness is a top priority in the Lee’s produce departments. “We have six produce deliveries come in each week, and our team goes through all of the produce on the floor multiple times each day to ensure freshness” said Jarom. “Our standard is to remove anything that we wouldn’t be proud to buy and take home to our own families.”
All of the Lee’s Produce Departments, work together to find the best prices on in-season produce and pass the savings on to guests.
“We usually have an in-store special,” Jarom said. “So keep your eyes open and watch the ads that come in the Tuesday mail.”
Additionally, if Lee’s doesn’t carry an item you would like, they are happy to make custom orders and add to the variety they carry at your request. “I love meeting new people and helping them learn how to enjoy healthy produce,” Jarom said. “You definitely have a friend in the Lee’s produce department.”
Robert Price, produce manager of the Logan Lee’s Marketplace agrees. “What makes Lee’s produce department different is the special effort we put in the finding a good variety of fresh, quality produce at a fair price.”
A great way to get the most out of your produce purchase is to buy our fresh-cut options, Robert said. “We have a trained team to select the most prime produce to cut and get the most out of every piece so there is not waste at all in the package you bring home.” Lee’s has recently expanded their fresh cut sections in all their locations, allowing guests the option of buying pre-cut fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat and will stay fresh for up to seven days.