With the convenience of modern grocery stores, we are blessed with an abundance of fresh produce year-round, but do you pay much attention to what's "In season" in your area? For our recent Zoom chat we are discussing the importance of eating seasonally and some important points to remember when planning your menus in the weeks ahead. We recommend hitting the farmers markets whenever possible, but there are usually local produce sections in your grocery stores also.
Cheaper: Simply supply and demand. When there’s abundance of a product, such as watermelons in the summer, the prices go down. Seasonal food is much cheaper to produce for the farmers who would rather sell their products for a lower price, than not at all. Cash in on the seasonal bounty. (The above photo shows our farmers market haul for only $25!!!)
More nutrients: Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil. Seasonally fresh produce is picked when ripe and fully developed. The plant has had more sun exposure, which means it will have higher levels of antioxidants! And that also means there is less transit time because it’s local, thus having more vitamins. The longer it sits on a shelf the less nutritionally dense it is. The natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to support our health. Apples grow in the fall and they are the perfect transition food helping the body get rid of excess heat and cool down before winter. In the spring the abundance of leafy greens help us alkalize, detox and lose some extra pounds after a long winter of heavier foods. In the summer we need to cool down and stay hydrated by eating more fruits, berries, cucumber, watermelon etc. Building a lifestyle around seasonal food facilitates the body’s natural healing process.
Flavor: Produce that has been allowed to fully ripen in the sun tastes amazing! Freshly picked produce has the optimal flavor – crispy, fragrant, juicy and colorful. Those summer heirloom tomatoes make all other tomatoes seem inferior. You can eat it like an apple; raw, warm from the sun and straight from the vine.
Support Local Economy & Get Cleaner Food: Food grown outside of their season or natural environment need a lot more human assistance in forms of pesticides, waxes, chemicals and preservatives to grow and look appealing to us consumers. By choosing local and seasonal food, you are also more likely to get a cleaner product! Many small family farms cannot afford to go through organic certification but still follow very natural and healthy growing practices. So when shopping at the farmers market you don’t have to be as carful about finding the “organic” produce as you are when shopping at the super market.And that also means there is less transit time because it’s local, thus having more vitamins. The longer it sits on a shelf the less nutritionally dense it is. Getting to know where your food is coming from, who is growing your food and how they do it also makes you feel more connected to that whole process. CSA's and farmer's markets create communities around food that encourage us to share our knowledge, ask questions and engage in our own local environment. Together we are more powerful and big change can happen.
Inspires Creativity: Whether you shop at the market or you’re part of a CSA, eating seasonally keeps challenging your creativity to come up with new, fun and delicious dishes based on what you find. Maybe you choose to google a recipe, look through some cookbooks or go on Pinterest to find new inspiration and ideas about what to do with all that kale. Variety is also healthy for our bodies; by changing our menu according to what’s available you are also less likely to develop food intolerances.
If you're interested in what's in season in your area, check out this link: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/california/early-september
Here's the Autumn Apple Breakfast Shake recipe we mention in this episode:
- 1 apple (cored and cut into chunks)
- ½ frozen banana
- ¼ cup almonds
- ¼ cup oats
- ⅔ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon (or other Fall spices)
(ice if needed)
(blend oats, almonds and milk first, then add apple, blend, then banana and cinnamon last)