Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do for your body and eating seasonal foods is a great way to improve your eating habits. Building a lifestyle around eating seasonal food speeds up the body’s natural healing process. The seasons are a source of natural food diversity, if we eat within them. Gone are the days when the only fruits and vegetables available are what is in season right now. Today’s consumer knows that the bounty of produce in their local supermarket is just as likely to include broccoli in July as it is in December.
[ctt template=”4″ link=”4S8W7″ via=”yes” ]Fruits and vegetables in season are much more supportive of your health and the health of the planet. @TheHolisticates[/ctt]
The natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to support our health.
When fall is in the air, the summer tomatoes are about done and the cucumbers and peppers are giving it their last push before frost. Yet, the turnips, carrots, beets and sweet potatoes are flourishing and at their peak for picking. Apples, pears and winter squash are lining up at farmer’s markets and the pumpkins are ready to pick.
[ctt template=”4″ link=”88Au1″ via=”yes” ]In the fall, apples are the perfect transition food to help the body get rid of excess heat and cool down before winter. @TheHolisticates[/ctt]
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.
Eating seasonally may seem simple—you eat foods that are “in season,” or being grown and harvested at the time of the year when you buy and cook them, but there’s more to it than just a trendy food movement. There are real benefits to eating foods that are available at their peak each season. By eating freshly harvested produce, you get a much higher antioxidant content than non-seasonal foods. Plus, as you will be rotating your foods, you’ll keep your body from developing intolerances to over-indulged foods and reaping all the health benefits of a diverse diet that is naturally detoxifying.
Seasonal Eating is Green
Before global transportation was as common and fast as it is today, eating seasonally and locally were just what everyone did. No one assumed you could get peaches in the winter, or pumpkins in the summer. Today produce sometimes needs to travel well over 1,000 miles to get to our local supermarkets. Seasonal and local foods travel much shorter distances than non-local fruits and vegetables.
Plus, seasonal foods typically have fewer chemicals. Foods that have been picked too early and travel long distances don’t look as pretty as the seasonal ones that were picked at peak ripeness. So, to make them look more appealing, they’re often given chemical ripening agents, wax coatings and other preservatives. Seasonal eating greatly reduces the need for this, giving you healthier food and reducing your carbon footprint.
Seasonal Food Tastes Better
Seasonal food is significantly more delicious than food grown out of season. Foods that have had the chance to fully, naturally ripen before they’ve been picked will taste the way they’re supposed to – delicious! And if you’ve ever compared the sweetness of a tomato in February to one in August, you know what allowing food to fully ripen means to your taste buds.
As I’m writing this post in the fall, the growing season is drawing to a close in many parts of the country and people are harvesting their summer and fall crops. This is a great time of year to taste the bounty of fresh, delicious food of this season. Here is one of my favorite Fall recipes. Give it a try.
Roasted Beets ‘n’ Sweets
6 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar (I used 1 Tablespoon agave nectar)
3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 large sweet onion, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a bowl, toss the beets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag.
Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture.
Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet.
Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Yum!