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Shop Local, Eat Seasonal: Dietitian's Mediterranean Diet May Produce Guide

Shop Local, Eat Seasonal: Dietitian's Mediterranean Diet May Produce Guide By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN

May is here and it's officially farmer's market season! I'm pretty sure I'm not the only foodie who gets super excited when the local farmers market starts resuming operations, and in Chicago, most of my favorite markets open back up this month.

Nothing brings me more joy than going to the farmers market without plans, then picking some seasonal fresh produce to take home and experimenting with new recipes!

I'm such a spring/summer person that I'm typing this article with a huge smile on my face.

In this guide, I'm taking a stroll through May's bounty, celebrating the flavors and textures that make this month so special. From crunchy greens to juicy fruits and everything in between, I'm dishing up a simple list of what's freshest and tastiest right now.

So, whether you're a seasoned chef itching to try out some new recipes or just someone who loves a good, flavorful meal, join me as we explore the best of May's seasonal produce. From farm stands to backyard gardens, let's embrace the flavors of spring and get cooking!

Shop Local, Eat Seasonal: Dietitian's Mediterranean Diet March Produce Guide By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN

Why you should Shop locally and eat Seasonally?

Optimal Nutrition: Seasonal produce is harvested at its peak ripeness and packed with maximum nutrients. By choosing locally grown fruits and vegetables, you ensure that they spend less time in transit, preserving their freshness and nutritional content.

Environmental Sustainability: Supporting local farmers and purchasing seasonal produce reduces the carbon footprint associated with food transportation and processing. By minimizing the distance your food travels from farm to table, you contribute to a more sustainable food system. Embracing seasonal eating not only benefits your health but also helps protect the planet for future generations.

Economic Benefits: When you buy from local farmers and businesses, you invest in your community's economy. Moreover, purchasing seasonal produce often means lower prices, as an abundance in supply leads to more competitive pricing. By prioritizing seasonal and local ingredients, you can enjoy high-quality, affordable foods that support both your health and your community. This will also stretch your grocery budget further and allow you to splurge on other items with a higher price tag like animal protein or your favorite ice cream!

Now, let's delve into the seasonal produce February offers for your Mediterranean diet grocery list:

The Greens:

  • Asparagus

  • Artichokes

  • Spinach

  • Peas

  • Lettuce

  • Bok Choy

  • Leeks

  • Cucumbers

  • Arugula

The Herbs:

  • Parsley

  • Cilantro

  • Chives

  • Mint

  • Dill

  • Microgreens

  • Basil

  • Spring Onions

  • Tarragon

  • Rosemary

The Roots:

  • Carrot

  • Radish

  • Turnip

  • Potatoes

  • Parsnips

The Fruits:

  • Pineapple

  • Apricot

  • Mango

  • Rhubarb

  • Strawberries

  • Figs

  • Cherries

  • Blueberries

  • Kiwi

  • Raspberries

Bonus Tip: Drizzle your dishes with extra virgin olive oil for healthy fats and added flavor. 🫒

Ready to embrace your culinary creativity?

Explore these recipes' inspirations featuring these seasonal gems!

  1. Artichoke and Spinach Chicken Dip: Dive into a creamy dip loaded with artichokes, spinach, and chicken—perfect for parties or cozy nights in.

  2. Bok Choy and Tofu Stir-Fry: Enjoy a flavorful stir-fry featuring crisp bok choy and tofu tossed in a savory sauce, served over rice for a satisfying meal.

  3. Pineapple and Basil Salsa: Refresh your taste buds with a tropical salsa of juicy pineapple, fresh basil, and tangy lime—ideal for topping fish or tacos.

  4. Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Rosemary Croutons: Cozy up with a creamy soup of carrots and parsnips, topped with crispy rosemary croutons for a comforting meal.

  5. Minty Pea and Feta Salad: Elevate your salad with sweet peas, tangy feta, and fresh mint in a zesty lemon dressing—for a burst of flavor.

  6. Rhubarb and Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes: Start your day with fluffy pancakes infused with tart rhubarb, sweet blueberries, and creamy ricotta—a breakfast treat.

  7. Cucumber and Mint-Infused Water: Stay refreshed with cucumber and mint-infused water—a cool and invigorating beverage for hot days.

  8. Fig and Prosciutto Flatbread Pizza: Indulge in gourmet pizza topped with figs, prosciutto, goat cheese, and honey—a perfect balance of flavors.

  9. Cherry Sleepy Mocktail: Wind down with a soothing mocktail of tart cherries, herbal tea, and citrus—a relaxing beverage before bedtime.

  10. Glazed Carrots with Spring Herbs: Elevate glazed carrots with fresh spring herbs—a colorful and flavorful side dish.

  11. Salmon and Kale Salad: Enjoy a hearty salad with kale, salmon, avocado, and tangy vinaigrette—a nutritious and satisfying meal.

  12. Tunacado Toast with Microgreens: Elevate avocado toast with savory tuna salad and microgreens—a fresh and satisfying meal option.

  13. Tempeh Lettuce Wrap: Savor a protein-packed lettuce wrap with marinated tempeh, crunchy veggies, and tangy sauce—an easy and delicious meal offering a delightful contrast of textures and a burst of fresh, peppery flavor.

On The Blog Mediterranean Diet Recipes using May Seasonal Produce:

Arugula :



Shop Local, Eat Seasonal: Dietitian's Mediterranean Diet May Produce Guide By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN

Mayazbites Word of Encouragement and Call to Action:

As you start to embrace seasonal and local eating, remember that every small choice you make can have a meaningful impact. You don't have to go all out along as you are trying! This can be by trying out a new seasonal veggie or opting for a seasonal favorite. Whether you're browsing your neighborhood farmer's market or selecting produce at your local grocery store, try to prioritize seasonal ingredients that reflect the abundance of each season. By nourishing your body with the bounty of the earth and supporting local food systems, you're not just enjoying delicious meals – you're contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future for yourself and generations to come. Start incorporating seasonal and local foods into your diet today, and experience the countless benefits they have to offer.


Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN


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