Thursday, June 18, 2015

Eating for the Seasons

Also known as eating seasonally, "eating for the seasons" is an idea that promotes eating and cooking foods that are harvested and available seasonally, rather than eating things that are available year-round. In addition, a special emphasis is placed on foods that are locally grown.

Need some ideas for seasonal eating and cooking? Read on.

Why is eating for the season important?

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is important to your health. Experts believe if you’re eating seasonally, you are more likely to be consuming your daily share of fruits and veggies.
Eating locally grown foods may offer you more nutrients, while supporting local farmers. It's a win-win!
 Eating seasonally supports your body’s changing seasonal needs. Ayurvedic medicine supports the idea that your body’s needs change seasonally. There’s a reason you’re drawn to lighter foods during the warmer months, while you crave heartier meals during colder months.
Eating seasonally can result in cost savings, too, if you grow your own produce.

What are some examples of eating for the season?

1. Fresh salads are popular during the warmer summer months when a variety of salad greens and vegetables are plentiful.
2. Root vegetables such as beets, turnips, and carrots are great for you during the transition from warmer to cooler weather. These veggies are harvested during the fall months.
3. Soups, chili, and stews are hearty meals that offer you the warmth and nutrients you need during the damp, chilly months.

How can you include seasonal foods in your family’s meals?

Check out your local farmers' market to see what’s in season.
Refer to food charts for help determining what food items are available when.
Find ways to add seasonal ingredients to basic recipes. For example, seasonal berries make a nice addition to a salad in the summer months, while apple slices and cranberries are a nice supplement in the fall.

Recipe ideas

Looking for some delicious recipes for seasonal favorites?  Check out these ideas:

Want to try a hearty pumpkin soup?

Interested in making a tasty kale salad?

Here are some interesting ways to use asparagus in your meals.

Find other unique ways to use veggies on our blog.

Where can I learn more?

Check out Sustainable Table, which allows you to find foods in season in your particular area. There are listings for local farmers, too.
Cookbooks offer recipes and ideas for cooking for each season.
Visit CUESA for seasonal recipes and ideas.

Eating and cooking seasonally can be a healthy way of eating for your family, great for the local economy, and a fun lifestyle to adopt.  Experiment with new foods, new recipes, and enjoy all that seasonal eating has to offer!

Do you have your own ideas or recipes for season eating and cooking? Feel free to share!

Live Healthy. Live Smart.

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