CHANGING OUR FOOD CHOICES WITH THE CHANGING SEASONS: WHY WE WANT TO EAT FOR THE SEASON + SOME SIMPLE

With the changing of the seasons also comes a change in the availability of fresh local food items. Not all foods will be available to us in every season but that’s ok because when we choose our foods according to the season we will be giving our body what it needs most for that particular time of the year.

FALL EATS

We have just entered the Fall (Autumn) Season and with this will come a pretty drastic change in the weather; our days become cooler and our nights start to become cold enough for the furnace to switch on. We no longer have as much direct strong sunlight and our days start to become shorter and shorter. I don’t know about you but I find myself chilled for about the first 2-3 weeks of the Fall Season and I start to want more warming, hearty foods like homemade soups and casseroles; and as luck would have it the foods being harvested right now are perfect for these dishes… it’s really not luck at all but rather “Nature Knows Best”

The Fall Season gives us those richer, denser foods like hearty squashes and pumpkins, whole grains and legumes; food items that require more cooking and that tend to have more calories, fats and proteins then the much lighter water-dense Spring and Summer foods.

Some of the great Fall food selections include:

Potato

Sweet Potato

Yam

Squash (acorn, buttercup, butternut, spaghetti)

Turnip

Rutabaga

Onion

Bell Peppers

Brocolli

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Apples

Dates

Figs

Pears

Grains (barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, rye, rice)

Nuts and Seeds (almond, brazil, cashew, flax, pumpkin, sesame)

Beans (black, kidney, lentil, lima, navy)

WINTER EATS

Winter will be here before we know it (Sorry to all of those who are not a lover of this Season) but it is on its way!

Winter means COLD days, COLDER nights and very little direct sunlight; it often gets dark before we even sit down for Supper, which can leave us feeling tired and unmotivated. I find that meal planning and preparation can be very helpful for people who are negatively affected by the lack of sunshine/daylight; it’s a great way to make sure that we are eating healthy meals and not just grabbing a “quick fix”

Winter is a time when we need more cooked and warming foods like soup, chilli, stew and pasta to help protect us from the cold temperatures; our body is in need of more heat at this time of year and these foods will help provide us that.

Winter food selections are not really all that different from the Fall (Autumn) selections and include items like:

Potato

Sweet Potato

Yam

Squash (acorn, buttercup, butternut, spaghetti)

Turnip

Rutabaga

Onion

Bell Peppers

Broccoli

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Apples

Dates

Figs

Pears

Grains (barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, rye, rice)

Nuts and Seeds (almond, brazil, cashew, flax, pumpkin, sesame)

Beans (black, kidney, lentil, lima, navy)

SPRING EATS

Spring is a time for warmer and longer days with more direct sunlight and a lot of growth and newness. It is that time of year when everyone just seems to have a little more “pep in there step” and it is also that time of year when we get our gardens ready for growing us big beautiful flowers and tasty, fresh foods!

When Spring arrives we start wanting lighter meals; we trade in those delicious soups, stews and pasta meals for grilled chicken and fish or a tasty cold soup or a great salad.

Some of the great Spring food selections include:

Green onion

Green peas

Kale

Leek

Dandelion greens

Lettuce (red leaf, green leaf, romaine)

Radish

Rhubarb

Spinach

Avocado

Grapefruit

Orange

Strawberry

Lemon

Lime

Plum

Grains (barley, buckwheat, Rice, Corn)

Beans (fava, lentil, mung, sprouts)

Seeds (sunflower, alfalfa)

SUMMER EATS

Summer means much warmer, longer days with plenty of direct sunlight. Summer is a time for plenty of outside time; swimming, boating, hiking and camping. It is also a time when we have to ensure that we are hydrating ourselves well and finding ways to cool ourselves down on those hot days.

Summer is a time for lighter eating with more water-dense foods, more raw and fresh fruits, vegetables and salads that will help to keep us well hydrated.

Some of the great Summer food selections include:

Beets

Bell peppers

Cabbage

Celery

Cucumber

Eggplant

Green peas

Green and yellow beans

Sprouted beans

Spinach

Summer squash (zucchini)

Radish

Tomato

Lettuce

Avocado

Berries (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry)

Grapefruit

Lemon

Lime

Melons (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon)

Orange

Peach

Tropical fruits (banana, mango, pineapple)

A few tips for enjoying great, nutrient-dense out-of-season food items:

  • Freeze plenty of fruits and vegetables that you have grown in your garden or purchased from your local food market to enjoy throughout the Fall and Winter months.

  • Make preserves (jams, pickles, beets etc.) to enjoy throughout the Fall and Winter Months

  • Make great vegetarian chilli and spaghetti sauce and freeze them to enjoy throughout the Fall and Winter months

  • Purchase great frozen organic vegetables and fruit to enjoy in the Winter months

FIND GREAT GUIDES THAT WILL HELP YOU SELECT FOOD ITEMS THAT ARE IN-SEASON IN YOUR AREA…. FOODLAND HAS DEVELOPED THIS GREAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AVAILABILITY GUIDE FOR ONTARIO!

Check your local food food stores/marts to see if they have developed useful Guides like this one…. They really do help when it comes to choosing good quality, fresh, local and in-season food items.

You can check the Guide out here

Sending A Wish Your Way For A Well BALANCED Day

Jenny

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