All posts by Jeff Fidler

iced coffee sugar free

Sugar Free Iced Coffee Drinks

Cool and Refreshing Sugar-Free Iced Coffee Drinks to try this Summer

When you roll out of bed in the morning, if you’re anything like us, you probably head straight for the kitchen to start the day off with your favourite cup of coffee. On those hot and humid summer days though, you may not be overly keen on sipping on a hot beverage and would prefer something cold and refreshing instead. For those of us who need their daily shot of caffeine but are in the mood for something cool to chill out with, this collection of sugar free iced coffee drinks should be exactly what you’re looking for.

Iced coffee drinks are really gaining in popularity and are now available at most major coffee chains. Unfortunately, many of the options available at these places are loaded with sugary syrups to sweeten and flavour their drinks. This is no good for low carb dieters, but don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered with these awesome drink recipes that you can make at home. Plus, we’ve picked a few coffee brewing products that you’re going to want to add to your kitchen. Let’s go!

Basic Method for Cold Brew Coffee

For starters, let’s keep things simple and go with your basic cold brew coffee. One of the common complaints that come from people who are just starting to learn to make their own iced coffee is that it can come out watery or bitter. Most of this is due to the fact that taking regular hot brew coffee and simply chilling it in the fridge or adding ice doesn’t give the best results.

There’s a proper method for cold brewing coffee, which is very much like making iced tea, so it’s pretty easy. Starting with coarsely ground coffee, you simply add water and let it steep for a period of time, which is usually around 10-12 hours. Then, you just need to strain out the grounds and you’re ready to serve.

This method has a few specific benefits to be aware of. First, the slow steeping process gets all the great flavour out of your beans, so the flavour is much more robust. Second, it has an inherent but subtle sweetness to it, meaning most people don’t even need to add any sweeteners to it. Third, the bitterness that typically comes with hot brewed coffee is reduced, making it very smooth and easy to drink.

Once you’ve got your cold brew coffee ready to go, you can drink it straight away and add milk, cream, or your favourite sweetener to customize the taste. Many people like to make large batches so you always have some handy in the fridge for any time you want a fresh, cold pick-me-up.

Sugar Free Iced Coffee Recipes

Sugar Free Caramel Mocha Iced Coffee

We’re going to kick off the list of recipes with something truly decadent! This delicious iced coffee creation features some of the most popular flavours that adorn the menus of fancy coffee shops all over the world. Infused with mocha and caramel flavour drops, and sweetened with Stevia, this amazing treat truly is a dessert in a mug! If you want, you can make it even more impressive by topping it with sugar-free whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed coffee beans for some added flair.

Healthy Instant Iced Coffee

Sometimes when you’re running short on time, it helps to have a quick and easy alternative to making a great iced coffee, and this one definitely fits the bill. Using your preferred brand of instant coffee, all you need is some ice cold filtered water, your favourite coffee creamer, and a few ice cubes to make this tasty and refreshing iced coffee. It’s just that simple!

Sugar Free Nutella Iced Coffee Frappe

Blended coffee drinks like this are exactly why iced coffee is gaining such widespread popularity. This recipe uses a homemade version of the classic hazelnut chocolate spread to bring the distinctive taste without the sugar, adds cold brew coffee, unsweetened almond milk, and a few drops of hazelnut stevia. Blend it all with some ice and serve for a frosty treat on a hot summer day.

Skinny Hazelnut Iced Coffee

This simple recipe is a great example of how you can take a basic batch of cold brew coffee and add in some flavoured creamer to bring some variety and new tastes to your coffee routine. This particular recipe calls for a hazelnut flavoured sugar-free creamer, but you could easily use whatever your favourite flavour may be, such as French vanilla or Mocha, for example. You can always mix things up and make it your own!

Iced Coffee Brewers

Brewing your iced coffee at home is a lot easier with the right equipment. Here are a couple of iced coffee brewers you should check out.

Primula Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker – For making big batches of cold brew coffee, this brewer from Primula has a 50oz carafe, making it perfect for keeping your fridge stocked up with fresh iced coffee.

Cool Gear BRU Single Serve Iced Coffee Brew System – Just need a single cup of iced coffee? This is the brewer for you. Comes with its own double-wall travel tumbler so you can just brew and go with ease.

Mugs & Tumblers for Iced Coffee

Once you’ve got your drink ready to serve, why not serve it with some style? Here are a couple of products that will keep your drink cool, and definitely have enough class to accompany even the fanciest iced coffee creations.

Asobu Insulated Gladiator Tumbler, Black & Copper – Now here’s a sophisticated travel mug that has as much durability as it does cool style. It’s double-wall stainless steel construction will keep your drinks cool from start to finish, and it’s big enough to hold a very generous serving of your favourite iced coffee drink.

Bodum Pavina Double-Wall Coffee Glass Set – These beautiful coffee glasses bring elegant styling and practical functionality to your coffee table. The double-wall glass construction provides plenty of insulation to keep things cold, and the crystal-clear glass shows off the layers of your fancy iced coffee drinks for all to see.

Keep Your Cool with Iced Coffee

With these recipes, tips, and tools at the ready, we’re sure that you’ll definitely enjoy sipping on some delicious iced coffee drinks this summer. These drinks are a great way to change up your morning coffee routine, especially on those hot and humid summer days. Now, go brew up something cool, and enjoy!

lobster low carb recipes

Amazing Low Carb Lobster Recipes

Tasty Low Carb Lobster Recipes You’ve Got to Try

When it comes to seafood, lobster is definitely revered as one of the finest of all. It has a way of adding a sense of sophistication to many types of cuisine, and for low carb dieters it also fits perfectly as part of any weekly meal plan. In this article, we’ve gathered together a collection of the finest lobster recipes we could find, all made the low carb way.

Cooking with lobster may make some inexperienced chefs a bit nervous, but there’s no need to be apprehensive about trying these lobster recipes. Preparing lobster the right way is actually quite simple, and once you give it a shot we’re sure you’ll be eager to try it again and again.

Before we get to the recipes, we need to go through some helpful tips to buying a nice, fresh lobster, since it all starts with the type, and freshness of the Lobster.

How to Buy Fresh Lobster

When choosing a live lobster, there are a few key things that you’re going to want to watch out for to make sure you get a good one. Here are the essentials that you’ll need to check when choosing your fresh, live lobster.

Get a Feisty One – Lobsters that are active and move around are going to be fresher than those that are sluggish and slow. In general, the feistier they are, the better they will be.

Shell Hardness – As lobsters grow and mature, their shells harden. A simple squeeze on the sides of the main body will tell you how hard the shell is. If it is firm and solid, the lobster is more mature and will have a higher meat content.

Time of Year – Lobster season generally peaks about twice a year. You’ll find the freshest and best tasting lobsters for sale in the late spring and late fall, most of which tend to be caught in Canadian waters.

For a complete guide on how to buy a fresh lobster, we recommend checking out the great Lobster Buying Guide resources at LobsterAnywhere.com. They’ve put together a wealth of detailed information for lobster shoppers that is sure to be very helpful.

Now that you’re prepared to buy your lobster, let’s get right to the recipes! We’re going to start this list off with a recipe for making classic broiled lobster tails, which are probably one of the most recognizable dishes in the entire world of seafood cuisine.

Easy 10-Minute Lemon Garlic Butter Broiled Lobster Tails

This is perhaps the dish that you picture when you think of a lobster dinner. Two big lobster tails, with their bright red shells bursting with tender meat, it’s just about as good as it gets for seafood. This particular recipe ups the ante with a delicious lemon garlic butter for dipping that is just like the stuff you’ll find at the finest restaurants.

Low Carb Lobster Roll

If you’re familiar with the types of seafood dishes that are popular on the east coast of North America, then you likely know about the classic lobster roll. It’s a delectable creation that takes fresh lobster salad and piles it on a soft roll to create one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever taste. In this recipe, you’ll find a great low carb version of classic lobster salad that will go perfectly with your favourite low carb buns.

Easy Low Carb Lobster Bisque

A signature dish at many seafood and steak restaurants is lobster bisque. This hearty, rich soup is made to fit the low carb, keto, and paleo diets making it a perfect option for a wide range of meal plans. It can be ready in just 30 minutes and has an authentic taste that even the most discerning of seafood lovers will simply love.

Low Carb Lobster Alfredo

This list wouldn’t be complete without a beautiful low carb pasta dish, so we’ve found this recipe for low carb lobster alfredo that is super yummy and very low in carbs. It’s a rich and flavourful pasta dish that’s perfect for fancy or romantic dinners, and low carb and keto friendly.

BLT Lobster Roll Salad

Rounding out the list of amazing lobster recipes is this tasty twist on classic lobster salad. This recipe takes things to the next level by adding bacon in to the mix, and serves the whole thing nestled in fresh, crisp lettuce leaves. This recipe is low carb, keto, and paleo friendly, and also free of dairy, nuts and gluten, so it’ll fit in almost anyone’s low carb or keto diet.

Come Out of Your Shell with Lobster

While cooking with lobster isn’t something that you’d normally find in your average Canadian kitchen, there’s no reason for it to be reserved only for special occasions.

We’re pretty sure that once you start making recipes like these as part of your low carb meal plan, it’ll start becoming a much more common part of your lifestyle. Experiment with these recipes, try new things, and get creative.

Come out of your shell and have some fun with lobster this summer!

great bbq sauce from guys

Great Sugar-Free Taste of Guy’s BBQ Sauce

Guy’s BBQ Sauce Delivers Authentic Taste, Big Flavour, and No Sugar

In the world of barbecue sauces, it seems like every brand makes statements that they’re the best, most authentic, and world-renowned sauce that money can buy, but very few actually offer a taste experience that delivers on those claims. Most seem to be loaded with extra unnecessary sugars or are pretty weak in the flavour department. However, the days of settling for mediocre sauces are over because Guy’s BBQ Sauce is everything that low carb dieters could want.

In this article, we’re going to showcase some of the amazing flavours of sauce from Guy’s, as well as provide a quick history lesson on the journey that took them from a secret family recipe to an award-winning sauce loved by BBQ enthusiasts around the world.

The Story of Guy’s Award-Winning BBQ Sauce

It all started in a small town in Ohio, where summertime barbecues and great homestyle cooking inspired Guy to add his own twist to a secret family sauce recipe. The result was an instant success with family and friends, and quickly gained a reputation in the local area as the best sauce around.

From there, what became known as Guy’s Award-Winning BBQ Sauce had a very exclusive audience and supply just couldn’t keep up with the growing demand. Manufacturing of Guy’s special recipe began to ramp up with new facilities and expanded capacity, and retailers were quick to jump on this amazing new sauce that had the added benefits of being sugar-free and gluten-free.

Flavours of Guy’s BBQ Sauce

For anyone who’s cutting sugar out of their diet, such as those living the low carb lifestyle, Guy’s BBQ Sauce is a welcome addition to their kitchens. All of Guy’s sauces are sugar-free, but you’d never know it from the fantastic taste that they bring to your cooking. For healthy, low carb barbecue, Guy’s sauce sets the standard.

Original BBQ SauceThe sauce that started it all. It’s got a sweet and tangy flavour that is perfect for ribs and chicken or use it as a pulled pork sauce in your slow cooker. Any way you use it, the flavour is second to none!

Spicy BBQ Sauce – For those grillers who want a little more zip in their sauce, give Guy’s Spicy BBQ Sauce a try. It takes all the great taste of the Original sauce and adds just a bit of heat to wake up your taste buds.

Hot BBQ Sauce – If the Spicy sauce isn’t quite hot enough for you, then this is the sauce for you. It’s got a great kick to it that makes the bold flavour of the Original sauce even bolder.

Smokey Garlic BBQ Sauce – This delicious sauce brings the unmistakable taste of garlic to your barbecue, with just a hint of smokiness to create a wonderful blend of flavours that is perfect for all kinds of grilled meats.

Bacon BBQ Sauce – You can’t go wrong by adding bacon to anything, and this barbecue sauce just proves that point. This tasty sauce has just a hint of smoke in it, and definitely delivers an authentic bacon flavour that you’ll love.

Time to Get Grilling

Now that you’ve got a great selection of tasty sugar-free sauces from Guy’s to use, it’s time to plan your next big backyard barbecue! We’ve got some great resources you can use to plan a fantastic barbecue that the whole family will love, and your friends will rave about for years to come.

First, start with our Guide to the Perfect Low Carb Backyard Barbecue for all the essential tips and tricks you’ll need to put on a great low carb meal that everyone will enjoy.

Next, take a look at our handy collection of Low Carb Summer Barbecue Recipes for even more inspiration that you can use to expand your menu and try some fun new things that are a perfect fit for the low carb diet.

Finally, get your grilling game up to the next level with this awesome list of Great Barbecue Tools and Gadgets that you can use to make sure that everything you cook comes out perfect, each and every time.

It’s All About the Sauce

When it comes right down to it, making great barbecue is all about the sauce. Whether it’s ribs cooked low and slow or fresh grilled chicken on a bun, you’ve just got to have that finger-licking sauce to make the experience complete. For low carb dieters, Guy’s BBQ Sauce is the answer you’ve been waiting for.

It’s about time you discovered just how good sugar free sauce can be, so check out the full selection of Guy’s BBQ Sauce today here at The Low Carb Grocery.

gourmet spices and sauces from hot mamas

Spices & Hot Sauces from Hot Mamas

Turn Up the Heat with Hot Mamas Amazing Hot Sauces & Spices

Spicy food lovers are always on the lookout for the next big flavour, the next fiery hot sauce, and the next amazing spice rub. However, when you look at the giant wall of sauces and spices at your average grocery store, it can be almost impossible to pinpoint the products that have the right flavour balanced with the right heat level.

For low carb dieters, they also need to find hot sauce and spices  that aren’t loaded with carbs,sugar and salt like most hot sauces and spices are. But fear not, because Hot Mamas gourmet spices and hot sauces are the answer.

For those of us living in, and around the GTA – or anywhere in Ontario for that matter, it’s important to mention that Hot Mama’s is a local company, so in addition to creating high quality, unique food products that you’re going to love, you’d also be supporting a local Ontario business, and as always, when you can buy local, buy local.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how Hot Mamas started, as well as explore some of their incredibly popular products that are available at The Low Carb Grocery. Let’s get started!

Who is Hot Mamas?

In the city of Orillia, Ontario on the north side of Lake Simcoe, the founding family perfected their recipe for red pepper jelly that originated in Jamaica and has been passed down for generations. Originally made in very small batches and given to close friends and family, the red pepper jelly became such a hit that it was decided to ramp up production and make it available to everyone.

Since the company began in 2005, Hot Mamas has introduced many other products made using traditional recipes and only the finest ingredients, such as their signature ingredient, fresh Scotch Bonnet Peppers. The family grows these hot peppers themselves from heirloom plants, and also imports fresh peppers regularly from Jamaica. When you choose Hot Mamas, you can be sure that the taste is authentic, and the ingredients are guaranteed to be top-quality.

Jellies

The product that started it all is Hot Mamas Low Sodium Red Pepper Jelly. This spicy jelly is simply delicious and is perfect for a wide range of uses such as appetizers, dips, basting sauces, and more. Hot Mamas also makes a Spiced Apple Pepper Jelly, bringing the distinctive heat of Scotch Bonnet Peppers to pair with the sweetness of apple jelly.

Low Carb Hot Sauce

You can’t go wrong with these awesome hot sauces, no matter what foods you are looking to heat up. Hot Mamas hot sauces come in many different flavours and heat levels, such as Caribbean Gold Splash, Jerk N Hot Splash, and Mango Pineapple Splash, just to name a few. These hot sauces are great for adding some kick to things like eggs, burgers, nachos, chicken, and pretty much anything else that strikes your fancy.

BBQ Spices & Rubs

Before you get grilling, you’ve got to get that meat seasoned up with the right spices and rubs, and Hot Mamas is up for the challenge. Their line of spice rubs includes all the classic flavours like Cajun Spice, Jerk N Hot, BBQ, and more. Or choose from their wide range of no-salt spices like Island Jerk, Ultimate Steak, and Garlic Lovers to turn an ordinary burger or grilled chicken in to a totally new flavour experience.

Low Carb BBQ Sauce

If you’re making ribs or wings, you know that you need a great sauce with just the right amount of sweetness and heat. Hot Mamas has you covered with their line of spicy BBQ sauces featuring flavours like Garlic BBQ, Pineapple, and Cranberry Pepper that are sure to have you licking your fingers once you’ve finished off the last rib or wing on your plate.

Gourmet Mustards

You’ve never had a mustard like the ones from Hot Mamas. These original creations take the great taste of a classic gourmet mustard and add some serious heat with Hot Mamas signature Scotch Bonnet Peppers. The most adventurous eaters will want to try their XXX Hot Mustard for the biggest and boldest flavour.

Experience the Heat

Making a great hot sauce or spice rub is much more than just how hot it is. True spice artists know that you need to balance that heat with other flavours to provide a really enjoyable taste experience that will keep you coming back for more. That’s why fans of spicy foods simply love Hot Mamas. They’ve got the heat you want and the flavours you crave, all made from the best quality ingredients.

Check out the wide selection of hot and spicy Hot Mamas sauces, rubs, spices, and more right here at The Low Carb Grocery. It’s time to fire it up!

coffee drinks from around the world

Coffee Drinks from Around the World

Discover Exciting Coffee Drinks from Around the Globe

It’s time to travel the world and explore the wide range of fascinating coffees and coffee-based drinks that come from all corners of the globe. With a history stretching all the way back to the 10th century, coffee is well-established as one of the most popular and universally loved drinks around the world, and it’s not hard to see why.

Aside from the energizing effects of the caffeine in coffee, the flavour of the drink can be altered and customized in nearly countless ways. Many coffee lovers enjoy it in its simplest form, with just hot water and ground coffee. Others prefer their coffee mixed with other ingredients like milk, cream, sugar, syrups, cocoa, cinnamon, and many other signature flavours. The different methods for making coffee are just as diverse as the ingredients. In this article, we explain some of the most common methods for making coffee, as well as some of the most popular coffee drinks that come from a diverse range of cultures.

Common Methods for Brewing Coffee

Drip Coffee Maker

This is the standard coffee maker that you’ll find in almost every kitchen, hotel room, and restaurant across North America. It consists of a water reservoir, basket-style filter for holding the ground coffee, and a glass or metal carafe to hold the brewed coffee. In a drip coffee maker, water is heated and then dripped in to the basket filter to mix with the ground coffee. The brewed coffee then drips down in to the carafe and is then ready to serve.

Espresso Machine

Invented in Italy back in the late 1800’s, espresso machines use steam pressure to force the hot water through firmly-packed fine-grind dark roast coffee, producing a single ‘shot’ of rich, espresso coffee. Espresso machines often include a milk steaming wand to aid in the creation of steamed and frothed milk for drinks such as cappuccino. Operation of an espresso machine requires a bit more experience than some of the other coffee brewing methods, as you need to learn how fine the coffee grinds should be, and how tightly to pack them, without being too fine or too packed, to make a good quality shot of espresso.

French Press

Also known simply as a coffee press, the French press was invented in the early 1900’s. This simple device looks like a simple pitcher, in which coarsely-ground coffee is placed in the bottom and boiling water is then used to fill the pitcher. The lid of the French press includes a plunger with a metal filter screen affixed to the bottom. The coffee is usually steeped for about 4 or 5 minutes, at which time the plunger is pushed down to contain the ground coffee at the bottom of the pitcher and the coffee can then be served.

Turkish Method

This method originates in the Ottoman Empire, making it one of the oldest known methods for making coffee. It uses coffee that is ground very finely and, unlike the other methods we’ve shown here, the grounds are actually left in the coffee when it is served. Often, some sugar is added to the coffee and water as it is boiled in a special type of coffee pot called a cezve. Once the mixture of water and ground coffee begins to boil, about 1/3 of the coffee is poured in to the cups and the remainder is then returned to the heat to boil again. Once the remaining coffee in the pot boils, it is used to top off the cups and is ready to serve.

Popular Coffee from Around the World

Drip-brewed Coffee

Drip coffee can be served black, without any additional ingredients, or can be customized with sugar, milk, or cream to suit individual tastes. Drip coffee is available in many different styles of roast ranging from very dark to very light, as well as in nearly countless flavours like hazelnut, French vanilla, and caramel.

When sweetening their coffees, low carb dieters should ensure to only use sugar-free sweeteners to help keep their carb counts low as they enjoy a morning pick-me-up.

Espresso

The majority of espresso drinkers take theirs without any additional ingredients in either a solo (single shot) or doppio (double shot). Because of the way espresso is brewed, it has a higher concentration of caffeine than other brewing methods, but is usually served in smaller portions, making the caffeine content generally on par when looking at individual serving sizes. One of the distinguishing characteristics of espresso is a slightly frothy layer on the top called the ‘crema’, which is the result of the brewing process. Sometimes, a bit of whipped cream is added to espresso to create a variation called espresso con panna.

Cappuccino

This popular Italian coffee drink starts with a fresh double shot of espresso and tops it with steamed and foamed milk. Some cappuccino lovers add sprinkles of cinnamon or chocolate powder to the top of the milk foam for added flavour. Cappuccino is very popular around the world, especially thanks to the rapid global expansion of major specialty coffee shop chains.

Café au Lait and Caffè Latte

While these two drinks may seem like the same thing, there is a slight difference between them. Both are made with hot milk, but Café au Lait generally uses strong drip-brewed coffee while Caffè Latte will use shots of espresso. Much like cappuccino, these drinks are extremely popular and trendy around the world. These drinks are also often mixed with flavoured syrups like vanilla, peppermint, mocha, hazelnut, pumpkin spice, and many others. Low carb dieters should take care to choose only sugar-free syrups to add flavours like these to their coffee drinks.

Irish Coffee

Although the term ‘Irish coffee’ has become rather generalized and commonly refers to any coffee drink with alcohol, the traditional Irish coffee is a specific type of coffee cocktail with defined ingredients. It begins with hot, black coffee and then adds Irish whiskey and brown sugar and is finished with a topping of thick cream.

Frappé

This interesting creation originates in Greece and is served cold, either with cubed ice or blended. This is the most recently developed coffee drink on our list, and was the invention of an instant-coffee representative during a trade fair in Greece during the late 1950’s. It uses instant coffee, water, and sugar and is then shaken or blended with ice to create a rich, frosty coffee drink that is wonderful to enjoy on a hot summer day. Much like lattes, frappés have been heavily modernized by major coffee chains and are available in a wide variety of flavours and styles.

Conclusion

Coffee is the way people around the world start their day, and it’s been so for hundreds of years. As you can see from the wide array of coffee making devices and methods, as well as the diverse range of coffee drinks that have been crafted over the years, coffee lovers take their passion very seriously.

For low carb dieters, coffee is perfectly suitable as long as you take care to choose alternative sweeteners to traditional sugars and syrups. Fortunately, there are plenty of sugar-free sweeteners to choose from so you can have your coffee exactly the way you want, any time you want.

We hope that you’ve found this article interesting, and that it gives you some fun facts to share with friends the next time you meet up at your favourite coffee shop!

find veg at the right time of year

Find Seasonal Veg at the Right Time of Year

The Easy Guide to Finding Seasonal Vegetables

Have you ever been frustrated in the produce aisle of your grocery store because you just can’t seem to find a good quality head of lettuce? Or maybe the green beans are not looking as fresh as they did last month? This is due in large part to the fact that as the seasons change it affects the quality and freshness of the vegetables available across the country. Although you can always find the basic vegetables like lettuce and carrots year-round, there are always times of the year when you’ll find them to be at their freshest and highest quality.

In order to ensure you’re getting the best vegetables to stock your kitchen, there are a few things that you need to know. First, it’s important to know the types of vegetables that are sourced from local farmers, since these will always be the freshest due to the short distances they need to travel before they hit the shelves. Of course, this also means that they aren’t going to be available from those same farms all year long, especially in Canada. While southern farms in North America can easily grow crops 365 days a year, Canadian winters prevent it and greenhouses can only do so much.

Because of this, it’s helpful to know the best times of year for vegetables at your grocery store so that you can find those that have traveled the least amount of distance and have been stored for the shortest amount of time. In this article, we’ve gathered together a list of the most common and popular vegetables that you’ll find at supermarkets across the country and categorized them by the season in which they are harvested and shipped for maximum quality and freshness.

This information should help you find the best vegetables and assist you as you plan your weekly meal schedules. However, it should be taken as a general guide, as the freshness of the produce at your local supermarket may differ from those in other parts of the country.

Spring Vegetables

Once the snow melts and things start growing again, your local market will likely see a vast improvement in the freshness and quality of a wide range of vegetables that they stock year-round. These are generally some of the fastest vegetables to grow, and as such can start growing in northern climates much earlier in the year.

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Artichokes
  • Fennel
  • Radishes
  • Watercress
  • Chives
  • Rhubarb
  • Green onions

Summer Vegetables

Once summer hits and the growing season is in full-swing across the country, the breadth of fresh vegetables provides a lot more choice and variety at your local market. During the summer season, you’ll find that all the greens are much fresher, as well as a wide range of root vegetables, herbs, and stalks.

  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Rutabaga
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini
  • Mustard greens
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Bok choy
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes

Autumn Vegetables

After the long, hot summer, the vegetable selection will once again shift at your local markets to include those that require a longer growing season. Generally, these include gourds and squash, potatoes, and other larger and more dense vegetables.

  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Chili peppers
  • Corn
  • Leeks
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Onions

Winter Vegetables

While it may seem strange to list vegetables that are ‘in season’ in the winter, there are many vegetables that are still being harvested until late in the year, especially in the southern parts of Canada that experience more temperate climates.

  • Sweet potatoes and yams
  • Rutabagas
  • Pumpkins
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Turnips
  • Winter squash
  • Parsnips
  • Beets

Other Factors to Consider

While this guide is intended to provide a helpful basis for you to understand when the optimum time of year is for certain types of vegetables, the reality is that there are many unpredictable factors that determine the freshness and quality of the produce that you’ll find at your own local market. Unexpected snowstorms, heatwaves, or droughts can drastically affect these trends across the country or in specific areas. Also, the larger supermarket chains will likely be sourcing their produce from a wide range of suppliers that can be located all across the globe, based on who has the best price, the largest supply, or the best quality at any given time.

Due to these other factors, there are a few things to keep in mind when at the supermarket that can help account for some of these unpredictable elements. Most produce sections will list where the vegetables were sourced, either on the pricing placard, with stickers on the vegetables, or on the cartons that hold the different vegetables on the shelves. Check the location on them and you’ll be able to see how far they traveled to get to your shelf. Chances are that a bag of grapes sourced from California is going to be fresher than those that came from somewhere in South America.

Again, it bears repeating that these are not rules that are set in stone. If your supermarket keeps Ontario vegetables on the shelf for three weeks and then gets a shipment from Texas that was picked last week, sometimes travel distance matters a lot less. Nevertheless, these tips should help provide a good foundation for your vegetable hunting trips through the produce aisle.

If you’re hungry for even more tips, we’ve also compiled a list of vegetables that are the best choices for low carb dieters, due to their low carb counts. Check out our article on the best fruits and vegetables for low carb diets.

Conclusion

When it comes to cooking delicious and healthy meals for your family, we know that you’ll always get the best results from the freshest ingredients, and that includes the vegetables you use. We hope that with this information, you will be better equipped to track down fresher and better-quality vegetables on your next trip to the grocery store. After all, a little patience and persistence when you’re moving up and down the aisles can really pay off once you start peeling, chopping, slicing and dicing to help you create a wonderful meal full of fresh flavours.