Citrus is incredible right now. Though oranges, tangerines, tangelos, satsumas, blood oranges, clementines, pomelos, kumquats, and the like might seem like edible sunshine, they’re at their peak in the winter months, and you should be enjoying the hell out of them. Honestly, this is the way nature intended us to live, savoring fruits and vegetables while they’re at their very best—just until we almost tire of them—and then moving on to the next fresh thing. If you form one habit this year, make it this: Eat what’s in season. It’ll make your mouth, brain, body and planet happier. Here’s a month-by-month guide to starting the day off fresh at breakfast.
Eat citrus segments, make marmalade, and drink oceans of freshly-squeezed juice. Potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes (a.k.a. sunchokes), and celeriac are especially excellent and make a fantastic hash or home fries. Don’t sleep on pineapple, passionfruit, pears or pomegranate, either. They’re a perfect addition to your brunch fruit cup or daily smoothie.
Citrus remains a shining star, and those root vegetables are still rocking out. Consider plopping a poached egg atop a bed of sautéed kale or melted leeks, or dipping steamed asparagus into the hollandaise you’ve already whipped up for your Benedict. Broccoli, cauliflower, and other brassicas are top-notch right now, and add excellent flavor and texture to your vegetable omelet.
Chives come alive this time of year and work perfectly in almost any egg dish, baked into biscuits, or worked into compound butter. Beets blend gorgeously into smoothies, or grated into savory pancakes. Rhubarb should find its way into as many of your sweets as humanly possible, and spread the word—avocados are pretty fantastic at this time of year.
Aw, shoot! As in pea shoots, which are tender, flavorful, and elegant alongside eggs right now, not to mention the perfect garnish for your bloody mary. And strawberries, we’ve missed the heck out of you. Slice them onto waffles and pancakes, bake them into biscuits, and eat them up plain or with a dollop of cream. Mangos should definitely make their way onto your fruit plate and show off in smoothies all month long.
Make plenty of room for all kinds of mushrooms, young garlic, and garlic scapes in omelets, frittatas, scrambles, and hashes. Stone fruit like nectarines and peaches, as well as blueberries, should be all up in your overnight oats, and atop every carb, yogurt, and bowl. Slice radishes and crunch into them atop buttered, salted bread every morning until you’re sick of them.
Cherry season is so painfully brief, you should pit and pop them into everything: muffins, smoothies, fruit salads, pastries, parfaits, and even juice. Greens are extra great right now, especially blended raw into shakes or cooked into quiches, frittatas, and omelets. A watermelon or cucumber agua fresca is the ideal complement.
Stick as many tomatoes into your face as you possibly can while they’re in season. Upgrade your bloody mary from canned to fresh, layer them on toast and atop every egg dish, make tomato gravy to slather on biscuits, and fry green slices to stack into your Benedicts. While they’re still so abundant (along with strawberries, peaches, plums, blueberries, and figs), don’t forget to put them up in preserves, jams, and pickles to enjoy in chillier weather. Cantaloupe is a must on every fruit plate.
Blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, raspberries—all the berries are in full effect this month and should be liberally staining your pancakes, yogurt, overnight oats, grain bowls, and fingers. Basil, chiles, rosemary, cilantro, scallions, and cilantro make this the most savory month of the year and ought to be deployed throughout your egg dishes and biscuits with abandon.
How about them apples? They’re ideal in compotes, fresh slices, and baked goods aplenty, while new potatoes should be simply roasted and served as a side with everything. Pumpkin is back (along with the ubiquitous spice) and is a must in pancakes, muffins, and quick breads.
Grapes have been hanging out for a while now, but along with pears, dates, and persimmons, they’re at their peak of sweetness. Combine them in a fruit cup, make preserves, bake them into every single pastry and coffee cake, or simply enjoy them one by one. Sweet potatoes and winter squash are ready to be shredded into hash or chopped into home fries.
Now is the time to go crazy for cranberries in your muffins, smoothies, compotes, pancakes, granola, and coffee cakes. Root vegetables are also in peak season and ever so swappable for any breakfast potato preparation you can imagine, plus sumptuous quick breads. (Think carrot cake, and then get creative.)
Well look at that, it’s citrus time again. This go-around, candy the peels to top all your breakfast baked goods, and make curd to give away in jars to friends and family at the holidays. Sautéed mustard greens add a kick to Benedicts and a pop of color to frittatas and quiche. Passion fruit and papaya on your fruit plate just might keep you going through to 2018.