It is a fact that, compared to winter, summer’s variety of fruits and vegetables is much greater. There is so much seasonal produce we miss and cannot enjoy all year round. Who doesn’t love fresh strawberries, watermelon, and so many other types of summer produce? Fruits and vegetables grow and ripen during a certain period each year. When ripe, they are at their best, both nutritionally and in taste. For example, cherries are ripe and juicy in June, so that’s the right time to eat them “in season”.
Of course, we can also buy fruits and vegetables out of season, and this is possible either because they are grown in greenhouses, or because they come by air from warmer countries, where they are picked before their harvest, and so ripen by the time they reach our country. However, you can’t compare the taste and smell of a delicious August tomato with its greenhouse equivalent that you eat in winter.
There are several ways to preserve produce without compromising nutrients. Growing and preserving our food is one of the most important aspects of sustainability. Using salt, sugar, oil, vinegar and alcohol are all methods our ancestors used to preserve their crops.
The easiest way to ensure your fruits and vegetables will last a longer period of time is to freeze them. Freezing works best with fruits and vegetables picked at their peak ripeness and freshness. But keep in mind that freezing does not kill bacteria, but rather stops their growth.
Many people don’t know that frozen food can be just as nutritious as fresh. We freeze our food so we don’t have to use additional preservatives, keeping it fresher for longer. Fresh produce loses its vitamins in storage over time, but freezing it locks in its vitamins and nutrients.
Another preservation method is drying. Foods can keep for a long time when dried, and, if the process is done correctly, then they lose almost none of their valuable vitamins. For those who don’t know, drying is a very old food preservation technique, which entails removing the moisture contained in food, allowing it to be kept for a long time.
In this context, Lidl Cyprus, which has been an advocate of ecology for many years, has created Lidl Eco Hacks, its new green initiative. Lidl Eco Hacks is a series of useful videos eco tips that we can all apply daily, on the way to a better tomorrow. In the latest episode, clinical nutritionist and author of VeganLicious cook book Chara Odysseos shows us easy ways to enjoy our favourite seasonal foods all year round!
Globalisation and the mass distribution of fruits and vegetables worldwide allows us to consume a wide variety of produce, any time of the year. But eating more seasonal fruits and vegetables is definitely more environmentally sustainable. Watch the latest Lidl Eco Hacks video for insights on how to store seasonal fruit and veg to enjoy 365 days a year!
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