Ready to explore some great new fruits and vegetables? May has a fantastic colorful array of fresh seasonal produce try! Learn how to properly pick and store each, along with easy family-friendly recipes to use! Your family will learn to be adventurous eaters one month at a time!
Why it is important to Eat Seasonal.
Focusing your meals around eating foods that are “in season” might seem like a trend, but there are some awesome advantages to eating this way! Not only will this help you save money on your groceries (because we all know strawberries in January are super expensive!) but the produce you do buy will be at its peak season – meaning it tastes better, it’s cheaper, and it has the best nutritional value.
How to incorporate new foods into your meal plan.
For some, adding new and different foods into your meal plan can seem stressful. Learning to cook a new recipe or with a new ingredient can seem so daunting, especially if you don’t know where to start, if your family is picky, or if you aren’t even sure what to do with a new ingredient.
The best place to start is the simplest – you don’t need a ridiculously fancy and overly complicated recipe. Incorporating a new ingredient or seasoning into the types of foods your family already eats will help ensure that they are more likely to try it. That way it seems like a trusted, well known “safe” food and not something scary and alien.
For more information on how to make meal planning easy, read my post about How to Meal Plan Like A Boss (and download the awesome free printable workbook!).
How to get kids to try new foods.
Knowing how your kids respond to food is super important here. Do they tend to love roasted or grilled vegetables but won’t touch them if they have been steamed? Will they eat anything if there is something to dip it in? Will they eat anything covered in cheese, or baked into a casserole? Knowing this information and incorporating it into your new food experiences is seriously key!
Getting your kids involved in this experience is really important, too. Have them help you pick out a recipe to try, take them to the store with you to find the ingredient, and have them help you prepare it. The more involved your family is in the entire process of trying a new food, the more likely they will be to try it!
For more information on how to get your kids (and spouses, too, maybe!) interested in trying new foods, read my post on Raising Adventurous Eaters.
Below you will find just a few of the peak May Produce, in a rainbow of colors. I challenge you to try ONE new food this month!
How to Pick Strawberries
When you pick a plastic container of strawberries at the store, make sure you flip it over and check all the berries. If you see the slightest sign of mildew, keep on looking!
How to Store Strawberries
The way to keep your strawberries freshest for longest is to wash as you go – only wash what you intend to eat RIGHT NOW. Strawberries are like little sponges – they suck up moisture like crazy, which means they are really prone to turning mushy and moldy fast. They store best in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Remove them from the plastic container and store in a partially-closed container in a single layer on a paper towel.
- Roasted Strawberry Brown Butter Pancakes – these pancakes are the perfect weekend treat, or a great way to celebrate a weeknight brinner!
- Easy Strawberry Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella – This easy strawberry balsamic chicken with mozzarella is a delicious and fresh dinner recipe with sweet strawberries, juicy chicken and melty mozzarella cheese!
- Strawberry, Avocado and Bacon Salad – This salad is how you do dinner on a hot night! Its filling yet light and SO flavorful!
- Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Salsa – Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Salsa – a light and refreshing strawberry and jalapeno salsa with cilantro lime marinated grilled chicken, perfect for summer!
- Strawberry, Almond and Goat Cheese Salad – Enjoy this light and sweet strawberry, almond, and goat cheese salad that has a bright and zingy strawberry vinaigrette. The almonds give it a great crunch!
How to Pick Apricots
Pick apricots that have a golden color and are firm to the touch.
How to Store Apricots
Ripen your apricots in a paper bag for 2-3 days on the counter. Ripe apricots can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to a week.
- Brandied Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin – Make any meal feel like a special occasion with this simple to make Brandied Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin! Drizzled with a sweet and spicy apricot glaze and filled with brandy-soaked apricots, fresh spinach, & salty prosciutto, you’ll be sure to impress family and friends alike with this deliciously decadent dinner.
- Sheet Pan Honey Apricot Chicken and Asparagus – This Sheet Pan Honey Apricot Chicken and Asparagus is a healthy and fresh Spring dinner that cooks entirely on one tray! The easy weeknight meal requires just 10 minutes of prep for a simple, family-friendly dish that will make your tastebuds sing
- Moroccan Salmon and Apricot Couscous – This flavorful meal will transport you across the ocean without having to pack tour bags – or wash a ton of dirty dishes!
- Chicken with Apricots and Coconut Milk – This fragrant chicken dish is super delicious!
How to Pick Gooseberry
Pick gooseberries that are brightly colored, firm, and without soft spots.
How to Store Gooseberry
Store gooseberries unwashed in the fridge for 5-7 days. Wash just before use.
- Gooseberry and Corn Salad – Cape Gooseberry and Corn Salad is a complete meal in itself and is so delicious that you just can’t stop at one bowl!
- Herb Crusted Fish with Gooseberry Sauce – Herb Crusted Fish with Cape Gooseberry Sauce is one of those dishes which will make you go wow! An amazing way to use those fresh cape gooseberries which are in season
- Gooseberry Pico de Gallo – Enjoy it with tortilla chips or crunchy whole grain crackers, or on top of eggs. If you’ve ever been curious about this interesting little fruit, give this one a shot and we think you’ll agree – they’re definitely not just for decoration.
How to Pick Swiss Chard
Pick bunches of swiss chard that are dark green with brightly colored stems.
How to Store Swiss Chard
Store in the fridge, unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. Pat dry with a paper towel to make sure you remove excess moisture.
Swiss Chard Recipes
- Cauliflower and Chard Fritters with Yogurt Cilantro Sauce – A tasty recipe for vegan cauliflower and Swiss chard fritters! With an optional yogurt sauce that makes the best of a tangy-spicy mix. Easy enough to make for a quick lunch!
- Swiss Chard and Pinto Bean Burritos – These Vegetarian Swiss Chard and Pinto Bean Burritos are the ultimate in meatless meal Tex-Mex comfort food. Stuffed with brown cilantro rice, lots of melty cheese, diced avocado, and a smokey chipotle swiss chard and pinto bean filling, they are super satisfying for even the most avowed meat-eaters!
- Sweet Sausage with Garlic Swiss Chard – Quick dinners are a necessity. Sausage with garlic Swiss chard over penne is a quick and simple recipe that can be put together in under 30 minutes.
How to Pick Figs
Pick figs that are soft and give a little with slight pressure, but not mushy or hard. Wiggle the stem a little – if it is really wiggly, its a giveaway that the fig is mushy and no good.
How to Store Figs
Fresh figs are super perishable. Store in the fridge in a shallow bowl or on a plate and cover with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out (If you have a cardboard egg carton on hand, that is the absolute perfect way to store them!). Use within 2 days of buying them for best results. Wash and pat dry before using.
- Balsamic Fig Chicken Marsala – Balsamic Fig Chicken Marsala | This delicious chicken is seared brown, cooked in a sweet wine, fig, and mushroom sauce, then drizzled with a little reduced balsamic. It’s pretty enough for a special dinner party yet easy enough to make during the week.
- Sheet Pan Fig Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Vegetables – Sheet Pan Fig Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Vegetables: Simple one pan meal featuring tender pork tenderloin with roasted Brussel sprouts and asparagus with a Maple Fig glaze.
How to Pick Ginger
Select ginger that has a smooth skin and firm texture. Avoid pieces that feel soft, wrinkly, or look moldy.
How to Store Ginger
Store the whole ginger in a resealable bag with no air, in the crisper drawer of the fridge. If you have cut or peeled part of the root, blot it dry with a paper towel before storing.
- Honey Garlic and Ginger Pork Meatballs – These Honey Ginger and Garlic Pork Meatballs are baked, not fried, and the sauce they are baked in makes a great sauce for pouring over some noodles and veg when you are ready to serve up.
- Ginger Orange Scented Quinoa –Aromatic ginger and garlic feature with orange and a touch of cilantro, making this healthy and hearty Ginger-Orange Scented Quinoa a delight for the senses!
- Slow Cooker Sesame Ginger Beef – This slow cooker sesame ginger beef is topped with crisp snap peas for an easy take-out alternative! Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
And now, my friends, I have a challenge for you! If adding new fruits and vegetables to your meals is important to you and your family, you are totally going to want to join in on this monthly challenge! I challenge you and your family to try ONE of these peak (MONTH) Produce items this month!
Will it be something you have never attempted before? Will it be something you once tried & didn’t like?
Whatever the case, I challenge you to get your whole family on board and try something new!
HOW TO JOIN:
- Pick one of the produces highlighted above and make something delicious with it by the end of May!
- Post a photo on social media (for example, Facebook or Instagram) and tag me (@GingeredWhisk) and use the hashtag #ProduceAdventurers.
- At the end of each month, I will go through the submissions (they HAVE to have the hashtag so I can find them!) and I will randomly pick a winner for a PRIZE! (Note: Everyone in the world can join in the challenge, but prize winners will need to be in the USA! Sorry to exclude people, but shipping is expensive!).
Leave a comment below telling me what you are going to try!