Baking innovation and preserved fruit must go hand in hand with the search for the freshest fruit and veg, which is why it is important to have a seasonal calendar. Here we will find out which produce belongs to which time of the year and when they should be used. Get your notebook ready!
Why is it best to preserve fruit and vegetables when in season?
Although we are all used to going into supermarkets and finding all the fruit and veg we want throughout the whole year, buying seasonal produce has many advantages such as:
- By doing so we reduce energy consumption and contamination as we are buying locally-produced fruit and vegetables which is in season rather than transporting it thousands of miles to reach its destination.
- It is picked when ripe and thus has more flavour which means that the preserved fruits will be of a higher quality. When produce is transported it is usually picked when green and artificially ripened in fridges.
- By doing so we are supporting the local economy and small businesses
- Mother Nature provides us with what we need, when we need it. For example, just when we most need vitamin C, during winter, to protect us from the common cold or flu, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits and kiwis are in season.
- Buying fruit and veg in season encourages sustainability because it means that intensive plantation farming is avoided – plantation farming exhausts natural resources. Sustainable farming uses less water for irrigation.
- Contributing towards reaching Sustainable Development Objectives..The second objective in this list is to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, support access to sufficient food and nutrition throughout the whole year and support sustainable farming.
A seasonal calendar of fruit and veg
Now that the benefits of eating seasonally are clear, it is time to look at our fruit and veg calendars to find out what we should be eating at each time of the year and what preserved fruits are the ones to best make at each moment.
Below is a month-by-month calendar for seasonal fruit:
- January. In the month of January avocados, strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, kiwis, lemons, tangerines, apples, oranges, pears and grapefruit are all in season.
- February and March. The winter fruits mentioned above are still in season and we begin to see loquats too.
- April. Avocados, raspberries, strawberries, lemons, tangerines, loquats, oranges, bananas and grapefruits can all still be found in the month of April. We also start seeing apricots, cherries and nectarines. There are lower yields of kiwis, pears and apples.
- May. This month finds apricots, cherries, strawberries, lemons, peaches, oranges, loquats and bananas in season. Avocado, tangerine and grapefruit season ends but we begin to see the first plums, melons, flat peaches and watermelons of the year.
- June. This is the time of year when we will find a wide range of summer fruits and our fridges are filled with apricots, cherries, plums, peaches, melons, nectarines, black figs (which are only in season for 2 months), flat peaches, bananas and watermelons. The first figs begin to appear too.
- July. Summer fruits continue to reign and we can keep on enjoying apricots, black figs, cherries, plums, figs, mangoes, nectarines, flat peaches, pears, bananas and watermelons.
- August. During the summer heat, it is best to keep cool eating apricots, plums, figs, mangoes, peaches, melons, quince, nectarines, flat peaches, pears, bananas and watermelons.
- September. This is the season for figs, mangoes, apples, quince, peaches, nectarines, pears, bananas and grapes.
- October. This month sees the arrival of persimmons, cherimoyas, raspberries, pomegranates, kiwis, tangerines, mangoes, apples, pears, bananas and grapes.
- November. This is the time of year to find avocadoes, persimmons, cherimoyas, raspberries, pomegranates, kiwis, lemons, tangerines, mangoes, apples, oranges, pears, bananas and grapes.
- December. We end the year with avocadoes, persimmons, cherimoyas, raspberries, kiwis, lemons, tangerines, apples, oranges, pears, bananas, grapefruits and grapes.
When it comes to greens and vegetables, these are the ones to look out for:
- All year around vegetables include: garlic, eggplant, zucchini, courgette, onions, lettuce, cucumber, peppers, radishes, tomatoes and carrots.
- Other vegetables can be found every month but in smaller quantities at certain times of the year, such as chard which is less abundant in June or July, artichokes which have lower production rates between June and November, broccoli which is less available between July and September, squash (lower production between April and August), red cabbage (fewer yields between March and September), cauliflower – which disappears between the months of May and August – and chicory escarole which cannot be found between May and August. Asparagus are only available from March to June and again in the month of September, whilst spinach is unavailable from July to September and cabbage yields less from April to August.
- Finally there are a few types of vegetables that you only find in the market at certain times of the year: cardoons are only available in December and January; endives are only on sale from September to November, peas appear only from May to June, fresh fava beans are found from January to May, green beans from September to October, parsnips from October to December and beetroot from August to October.
Why choose preserved fruit prepared by Lazaya?
Our aim is to provide our customers with the highest-quality produce, which is why we make a concerted effort to select the best variety of fruit trees and pick fruits when they are ripe so as to conserve their natural properties. Our objective is to keep the fruit undamaged and fresh before being transformed into preserved fruits (candied fruit or fruit in heavy syrup)