From immune boosting citrus fruits to beautiful crunchy carrots, this seasonal produce guide is full of HEALTHY recipe ideas that will inspire you to eat fresh and seasonal throughout the month MARCH.
I’m a big supporter of a healthy diet and for me eating healthy means eating seasonally and locally grown foods. Eating seasonal produce rewards me with many benefits – from savings in the family budget to high quality produce packed with nutrition. To make easier for you to plan your meals as well as make grocery list, I created this seasonal produce GUIDE. It’s here to inspire you to eat healthy throughout the whole month.
March marks coming of beautiful Spring and with Spring colours returning to farmers market. Colourful citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes, and earthy beets, leek and young potatoes. Market is bursting with veggies and fruits. Here’s what’s in season in the month MARCH. Check out the linked fruits and vegetables for recipe ideas. Enjoy! 😉
- IMPORTED PRODUCE
- What’s in season in March?
- Looking for ideas of how to meal plan this month?
- A FEW FAVORITE RECIPES
- What’s in Season in March March 1, 2019 BACK TO MARKET BUZZ
- Fruit and Vegetables in Season in March
- Fruit in Season in March
- Vegetables in Season in March
- What Fruits and Vegetables in Italy are in Season in March
- 6 Fruits and Veggies That Are in Season in March (Have You Heard of #6?)
- 1. Florida: Strawberries
- 2. California: Cherimoyas
- 3. California (I know, I know): Asparagus
- 4. Washington: Leeks
- 5. Georgia: Green Peas (or English Peas)
- 6. Hawaii: Rambutans
- No More Winter Blues
- BOK CHOY
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH
- COLLARD GREENS
- SPRING ONIONS
- SWEET POTATO
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Today, I’m sharing my March Seasonal Produce List! Welcome, spring!
Every month this year, I will be sharing a seasonal produce list so that you all can have a handy dandy printable to save on your phones, or reference when making a grocery list. In addition, my website is organized so that you can look at my Ingredient Index for a specific ingredient, and find recipes based on what you might have in the fridge.
I’ve had a fun day last week making my own Meyer lemon curd to take advantage of the end of their season, and loading up pasta with spring veggies for simple dinners. I meal prepped my wholesome grain bowls for lunches (pictured below), and will be using this week to perfect soup and curry recipes to share with you all soon, which will take us further into spring. Stay tuned!
I hope this gives you inspiration to eat with the season this month – and perhaps get creative in the kitchen with a new vegetable … and all the avocado.
What’s in season in March?
Looking for ideas of how to meal plan this month?
Check out the linked fruits and vegetables below for recipe ideas!
Citrus (Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit)
A FEW FAVORITE RECIPES
Tell me- do you try to eat with the seasons?
Anything you’ve made lately with these ingredients that you loved?
What’s in Season in March
March 1, 2019 BACK TO MARKET BUZZ
Farmers Market Favorites
While Idaho is obviously the main producer of potatoes in the United States, plenty of California farms, especially in the Bakersfield area produce potatoes, especially smaller, specialty brands. In March, we just can’t think of St. Patrick’s Day without craving some boiled potatoes.
We love this veggie for its versatility. You can bake it, boil it, mash it, fry it and even cook it twice, and when carefully prepared—i.e. not frying or loading it up with butter and sour cream—the potato is low in calories, a good source of vitamin C. and is known to help with digestion, heart health, blood pressure and even cancer prevention.
One of our favorite side dishes, French fries, were introduced to the United States when Thomas Jefferson asked his chef for “potatoes served in the French manner” for a White House event, which is apparently also the first time someone referred to this style of preparation as “French.”
The potato also has the distinction of being the first vegetable to have been grown in space. In October 1995, students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison developed a technique for creating a sustainable crop to feed astronauts on long space voyages, as well as providing sustenance for future space colonies.
Special Treat: Can’t decide how you like your potato? Request a half-and-half order of French fries and tater tots at Fritzi Coop. Or try an out-of-this-world Potato Piroshki (pictured below) at T&Y Bakery. This treat is so popular, T&Y shared it in the L.A.’s Original Farmers Market Cookbook, so you can also make it at home.
In 2013, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsome declared artichokes to be the official vegetable of the state of California. Nearly 100% of all commercially grown artichokes are raised right here in California. Packed with nutrients, one medium artichoke contains nearly 25% of your daily recommended fiber. Furthermore, one cup of artichoke hearts offers more antioxidants than the same amount of cranberries. They are also rumored to be an aphrodisiac.
Much of the state’s artichokes are grown in Monterey County, where the Castroville Artichoke Festival is an annual tradition. In 1948, the festival’s Artichoke queen was none other than a young Marilyn Monroe, pictured here at Farmers Market, albeit with cheescakes not chokes.
Special Treat: On your next visit to Farmers Market, enjoy a roasted artichoke with remoulade sauce from Monsieur Marcel Bistro. It’s the perfect way to start your meal!
When March rolls around, we know that a tasty bunch of asparagus can’t be far behind. The veggie, said to date back to 3,000 BC, is believed to have been called the “Food of the Gods” by Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Asparagus has so many health benefits, it’s hard to know where to begin. The National Cancer Institute says asparagus is the highest-tested food containing glutathione, which is one of the body’s most potent cancer fighters. And, after a long night of St. Patrick’s Day celebrating, some research has shown that the minerals in asparagus are believed to alleviate the effects of hangovers.
Special Treat: The perfect complement to asparagus is a carefully roasted salmon filet. The two come together at Marmalade Cafe, in the Salmon and Asparagus Farfalle, which is prepared with a tasty lemon Chardonnay cream.
Seasonal Veggies Harvested in March
Seasonal Fruits Harvested in March
Clementines, Grapefruit, Kumquats, Lemons, Lime, Mandarins, Oranges, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines
Looking forward: Learn more about What’s in Season in April at our Market Buzz blog now.
Fruit and Vegetables in Season in March
Hello March! You’re looking mighty fine! I don’t know if it’s all the snowdrops and crocuses in bloom right now, or the fact that every florist and corner shop around here is dripping in daffodils but I’m beginning to feel a little spring in my step, even if the weather isn’t quite matching my mood yet!
I’ve put together my monthly guide to what fruit and vegetables are in season in March, and again put together a free printable (image free) that you can print out and pin to your fridge door or take with you on shopping trips. I don’t know about you but I’ve been finding this printable insanely useful! You can download this guide to what’s in season in March here .
Fruit in Season in March
Vegetables in Season in March
Cabbage – Savoy and Spring Green
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
And there we have it! I’m particularly excited for rhubarb season – I’m going to be making this cheeky boozy rhubarb cordial for sure – it’s a good recipe to have up your sleeve and great for jazzing up cava or prosecco! Oh, and don’t forget to download the guide!
What Fruits and Vegetables in Italy are in Season in March
It’s a well-known fact, produce is of better quality and taste when in season.
Though Italians have cooking and eating seasonally radicated in their DNA, lately mass distribution and globalization have confused these rhythmic, natural guidelines, making the calendar distinction on our plate a little fuzzy.
Here is a list of what fruit and vegetables are in season in Italy in March.
Sorrel’s sharp, vinegary flavor – the Italian name acetosella derives from the Italian word aceto for ‘vinegar’ – can be served in soups, sauces and to give some kick to spring salads, soups, or cooked in butter with fish and egg dishes. Sorrel is best from mid March to September. It’s easy to grow from seed in your garden too, or in a large pot.
The wonderful artichokes Rome is best known for are here and we are making the best of it! Roman Romaneschi and violetti from Puglia varieties – the former being the large, round globes with more choke, while the latter have more tapered, coriacous leaves – are everywhere, market stalls are spilling with them and restaurant menus (especially in Rome) feature artichokes cooked in many ways. The sensational mammole bloom in April/May but, given the extraodinarily warm winter we’ve been having in Italy, we’re experiencing the peak of the season earlier this year. Take advantage of the carciofo, as this is the absolute best time to employ them in the kitchen.
Brussel sprouts are related to cabbage – they even look like a miniature, compact version – but they boast a sweeter, more delicate, nutty flavor. They make their appearance on market stalls between October and early April and grow in multiple rows along a thick central stalk. A true autumn and winter staple, the sprouts can be mixed with fried guanciale (cured pig’s jowl) and maple syrup and black pepper as a nice seasonal kick that keeps the cold season at bay.
Different varieties of cabbage are available all year round. The cabbage, or brassica, family is huge, and includes everything from the familiar red, white or green varieties with heavy heads of tightly packed leaves, to cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts as well as bok choi, popular in Asian cookery. Cabbage itself comes in many forms, and shapes can be flat, conical or round, the heads compact or loose, and the leaves curly or plain. The round, crinkle-leafed Savoy cabbage is considered culinarily superior. Essential to good soups or a bollito misto (boiled meats and veggies), cabbage lends a nutty, rich flavor to all it comes in contact with.
At its best from mid December through to mid April, cauliflower comes in many other colors besides creamy white, various purple shades, dark brown and bright yellow. In Italy we have several varieties, the round white head, whose stalk and green thick outer leaves are discarded, and the unique pointy green Romanesco head, perfect example of fractal imagery in nature, with its branched floret making a logarithmic spiral, repeating itself in self-similarity at varying scales.
Super food par excellence, cavolo nero (lancinato kale, Tuscan kale, black kale or dinosaur) is the popular loose-leafed cabbage from Tuscany whose leaves are a very dark green, almost black, with pleasantly tangy, bitter flavor and a sweet aftertaste. It is a popular ingredient in many classic Italian soups like Ribollita or Zuppa di Magro and is essential for Minestrone.
The unsung hero of the vegetable world is available year round but is at its best from September to April. Knobby, odd-shaped celeriac is recognizable on the market stall as the weird root with rhino-tough skin. The surprise is the subtle, celery-like flavor, with nutty overtones. Try it as mash, in big-flavored, slow-cooked stews, or in its classic form, and as they do en France, as a remoulade.
Also known as endive, or Belgian endive, chicory is a forced crop, grown in complete darkness, which accounts for its snow white, yellow-tipped leaves. It has a distinctive, tapered shape, about 4 inches long, and the crisp leaves have a mildly bitter flavor. Available all year round, but the Italian season is from January to mid March.
At its best from November to March, this vegetable is not truly an artichoke but a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that often resembles a ginger root. Contrary to what the name implies, this vegetable has nothing to do with Jerusalem. Its name is rather a distortion of the Italian word “girasole” – sunflower, a variety of which the topinambur is the root. The white flesh of Topinambur as we call it here, is nutty, sweet and crunchy and is a good source of iron. The Piedmontese peel it, cut it in chunks and brown it in butter or dip it raw in bagna càuda.
Although more closely related to garlic, leeks taste (more) like a mild onion but with a hint of sweetness. Available all year round, but at their best from September to March, leeks are very versatile and work well cooked in various recipes or as a side dish.
Lettuce is available all year round in a vast number of varieties, either crisp or floppy. Mainly eaten raw in salads, though Italians add lettuce to soups or braise them as a side dish. Among the most commonly available lettuces in Italy during winter are curly endive (Frisée), Escarole endive, and Catalogna endive (in Rome called puntarelle).
Radicchio’s distinctive red and white leaves are a true hallmark of winter in Italy. Either tapered or shaped like a small cabbage, radicchio in Italy is used both raw in salads, or grilled, braised or cooked in risotto. Radicchio comes in several varieties, the most famous being Rosso di Treviso, which can be either ‘Precoce’, fleshy red leaves with white ribs that form a compact bunch, or ‘Tardivo’, harvested in the later part of winter, which has much more pronounced ribs and splayed leaves, is more flavorful, with stronger bitter accents.
Technically rhubarb is a vegetable but its thick, fleshy and watermelon-colored stalks are treated as a fruit. Tart flavored, rhubarb should be cooked with plenty of sugar, and is perfect in pies with both ginger and strawberries. Note: Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which is poison, so should never be eaten; so be sure to cut them off and discard.
Popeye’s favorite greens have leaves which can be either flat or slightly ruffled, and are a bright green when young, deepening to a more intense forest green when older. The bitter flavor is distinctive and particularly complements dairy products and eggs. The milder, young leaves, locally called ‘spinacino’ can be eaten raw in salad, while the older ones are usually steamed, but careful, spinach has one of the shortest cooking times of all vegetables.
You can buy winter turnips all year-round, although peak season is from October to mid February. Creamy-white with lovely purple, red or greenish upper part where the taproot has been exposed to sunlight. Before the arrival of the potato, turnips were one of the main sources of sustenance for Italian peasants. Turnip leaves or ‘greens’ (locally called cime di rapa) can also be eaten boiled, steamed, stir-fried. Orecchiette with Turnip greens are a typical Puglia specialty.
Available all year round, Italian apples are at their best from September through April. Cinnamony flavored and ugly-looking Annurche apples are a delight, and gourmands await winter months in order to indulge in these little mouthfuls of happiness. Ugly food is often the best tasting food… Just a reminder.
Better catch them while they last, which is a small window between November and early April. This sweetest variety of tangerine is sweet and tangy, contains seeds and is recognisable by its loose, baggy pale orange skin. Mandarin orange segments can be eaten on their own or dipped in melted chocolate. The zest can be candied or used to make “mandarinetto” liqueur, a close relative of limoncello. Mandarins originated in China.
At their best between January and April, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits around, and contain high levels of Vitamin C. The best lemons for juicing or using for wedges are those with a smooth, thin skin, while the best for zesting are those with thicker, knobbly skin, which tend to be larger. Always buy unwaxed lemons (shops should state this clearly), especially if you’ll be using them for zesting. If you can’t find unwaxed produce, scrub the lemons thoroughly with sodium bicarbonate before zesting. Tip: to extract the maximum amount of juice, make sure lemons are at room temperature.
One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges are at peak season between January and the end of April. Sweet varieties include the Navel orange, which is named after the navel-like bulge at one end, which contains a tiny, baby fruit inside. They are seedless, easy to peel, and have a juicy, sweet orange flesh. Valencia oranges have smooth, thin skins, with very few pips, and are particularly juicy. The skins of sanguinelle (blood oranges) are blushed with red, and the flesh ranges from golden to a deep ruby, and they are juicy and aromatic. The tarocco orange variety – another blood orange – is one of the world’s most popular oranges because of its sweetness and juiciness. It has the highest Vitamin C content of any orange variety grown in the world, mainly on account of the fertile soil surrounding Mount Etna where it is originally from.
Pomegranates have always been highly prized for their flavor, but their recent emergence as a highly nutritious superfood, packed with antioxidant vitamins, has made them even more popular. Available as the colder months set in, pomegranates appear in Italian markets in November in their shiny orbs, blushed with red or yellow. Inside, scores of edible tiny white seeds are held in jewel-like ruby sacs of sweet, juicy flesh. The sacs themselves are packed tightly in a bitter, pale yellow pith.
What fruits and vegetables are in season where you live?
6 Fruits and Veggies That Are in Season in March (Have You Heard of #6?)
March is here, which means we’ve officially survived another winter. For some, it was pretty brutal. For others (that’s us here in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida!), it was a little less so. Whatever your winter looked like, though, we all had one thing in common: a lack of fresh, yummy produce in our kitchens.
But with the beginning of spring — I see you March 20 — comes the beginning of a glorious onslaught of bright berries, tender veggies and juicy fruits, and the reopening of farmers markets across the country.
Below you’ll find six fruits and vegetables in peak season in March. Remember, peak season means lower prices, Penny Hoarders — so keep an eye out the next time you head to your local grocery store!
1. Florida: Strawberries
Let’s kick things off with my favorite produce in my favorite state: March is peak season for strawberries in Florida. And apparently, we really want the world to know it. Which might be why we even have a 10-day festival devoted to strawberries where you can munch on strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry kettle corn, strawberry dessert pizza and even a strawberry hamburger. (And no, that last one’s not a dessert — it’s a real hamburger patty topped with strawberries.)
And that’s not the half of it. I’m telling you, we really like our strawberries.
And if you’re curious about how a strawberry burger tastes, wonder no longer. Try this summer burger with strawberries from In My Red Kitchen. (The recipe is paleo, but you could easily add a bun if you feel a burger is just not a burger without the bread.) It’s perfectly balanced with the sweet strawberries, the salty bacon and the bitter red onion.
Sure, California out-produces Florida in strawberries by, well, a lot, but I like to think we here in Florida just value the strawberry a little more. Come at me, California.
2. California: Cherimoyas
Alright, alright, so California does some cool stuff sometimes.
And these heart-shaped, scaly looking fruits might be one of the coolest. Mark Twain famously called cherimoyas the “most delicious fruit known to men.” And since it’s often described as a combination of coconut, mango, banana, strawberry, pineapple and papaya flavors, he might be right. It’s pretty much all the tropical fruits rolled up into one creamy little treat.
To get the full flavor experience, many people say it’s best to eat cherimoyas right out of the skin with a spoon, but they’re also a perfect smoothie add-in. If you really want to dress it up, try this raw custard recipe from Unconventional Baker.
3. California (I know, I know): Asparagus
I promise, guys, the interior states will start seeing more local variety in April. But for now, your friendly neighbors on the coasts have got you covered.
March is prime time for asparagus, and California is one of the top producers of this weird little spear-shaped veggie (in the U.S., anyway). The year-round asparagus you find in grocery stores is imported mostly from China and Peru, and it lacks the earthy tenderness that is indicative of fresh, local asparagus.
As for how to prepare asparagus, nothing beats a little olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and a quick roast to bring out its unique flavor. But that sounds like a cop out, so here’s my new favorite way to use asparagus (second only to the aforementioned roasting), courtesy of The New York Times Cooking. The extra perk here is that it’s all made in one pan — less dishwashing always gets the stamp of approval in my book!
4. Washington: Leeks
wmaster890/ Getty Images
Lookie here! The northern states are starting to get some green! (I mean, it is still a coastal state but you gotta take what you can get.)
Leeks are in the same family as onions and garlic, but they taste different enough that you don’t want to use them interchangeably — even an average palate (raises hand) can tell the difference. But leeks are supposed to be really good for you, so you can give yourself a smug little pat on the back after you eat.
While cooks don’t use leeks exactly like onions, they do work really well in creamy soups, and alongside potatoes and pastas — and also in a lot of really fancy (read: pricy) dishes I added to my “maybe I’ll try these someday when I’m feeling adventurous” list — the one that I’ll probably never actually get to. But I prefer to stay optimistic. However, I did stumble upon this little gem from How Sweet It Is. And with just four inexpensive ingredients and one pan, it might end up in my weekly rotation.
5. Georgia: Green Peas (or English Peas)
To me, spring hasn’t started until there’s talk of peas. It’s just their time to shine, and it makes me wonder why I only ever used to eat them around the winter holidays. I grew up eating the canned variety pretty exclusively but have since discovered fresh green peas are where it’s at. Unlike their canned cousins, right-off-the-vine green peas are almost refreshing — which is weird for a veggie.
But it’s true: You can use peas without all the creamy, cheesy goop on top — in my humble opinion, they’re even tastier this way. Try this recipe from My Recipes. Bonus points: It includes asparagus — another March favorite.
6. Hawaii: Rambutans
nameinfame/ Gettty Images
I know, I know. Hawaii is really far away from the rest of us. But remember, produce is shipped in at lower prices during peak season, so this might be the only time of year that rambutans even make it to certain parts of the continental U.S.
Now rambut– wait, what was that? Are you telling me you don’t know what rambutans are?!
(Just kidding, I didn’t know before this either. But now, I’m a little obsessed.)
Folks most often describe rambutans as “the fruit from Mars.” They’re part dragon egg, part sea urchin and wholly alien. However, these spiky little red orbs taste familiar — they’re similar in taste and texture to lychees or maybe even a peeled grape. They’re a common snack in Asia and are becoming increasingly popular in tropical countries, and the best place to find them is your neighborhood Asian market.
And because you’ve made it through my attempt at describing these weird little fruits, here’s your reward: a recipe for a rambutan cocktail from Honest Cooking. Grilled fruit, tequila and some smoked finishing salt make for a perfect cozy-yet-fresh transition into spring.
No More Winter Blues
And just like that, we’ve entered the time of year when everything seems bright and new compared to the gloomy chill of winter.
Up north, people are transitioning from their heavy wool coats to their lighter trenches. (At least I think that’s what’s happening. All I know about the north is what I see on TV.)
Down south, people are just trying to decide which swimsuit to wear to the beach next week.
But across the country, we’re all just glad to have some color and flavor back in our kitchens.
Your Turn: Did I leave out your favorite March fruit or veggie? Let me know in the Facebook comments!
Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Born and raised in Florida, she really has no notion of that thing called winter.
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