SEASONAL EATING | WINTER
What does it mean to eat seasonally?
Eating in season means that you eat foods that are grown in the current seasonal climate. To do this 100% is nearly impossible but making a small effort to eat more seasonal foods can be more sustainable and nutritious. Why? you may ask… When you eat foods that can be grown locally in the current climate they most likely do not need to travel as far cutting down on transportation emissions. For example, the fresh berries you are eating in the dead of winter most likely must travel quite a long way if you find yourself in the Northeast like myself. Eating seasonally can also be more nutrition because they do not need to be stored as long and can be more nutrient dense as they are grown in their desired climate.
What is in season right now?
While this truly depends on your location and climate some hearty winter produce includes squash, potatoes, yams, swiss chard, onions, brussel sprouts, turnips, oranges, collard greens, kale, etc. I like to use this guide to look for my specific state. You can also find out what your local farms are growing currently or look at the produce in your grocery store and read the sticker about where it is grown. Just try to pick foods grown closest to you, organic if possible.
What about preserved foods?
Preserving foods in the summer months is a great way to get around eating seasonally as you literally preserve nutritional quality of the foods while they are in season to eat them at a later date. This can be done with fresh tomatoes that overpopulate your summer garden or peaches, cucumbers, etc. If you are purchasing your preserved foods be on the lookout for extra additives, excess salt, or sweeteners that you should avoid. If you are jarring or canning yourself make sure to follow instructions clearly to avoid harboring any potentially harmful bacteria.
What are some non-seasonal staples?
Some of my favorite foods that I have year-round mainly include dried goods, such as; whole grains, dried legumes, nuts, & seeds. These are easy to get anywhere, are shelf stable, nutrient dense, and cost effective. Frozen fruits and veggies are also a great, cost-friendly option to get non-seasonal produce into your diet. They are picked a peak freshness and are well preserved. The only reason why I don't always go straight to frozen options is the excess plastic. Try freezing your own surplus from summer growing seasons instead!
What are some good seasonal recipes?
Sweet Potato Corn Chowder- This recipe uses mainly frozen veggies and hearty potatoes for a complex carbohydrate!
Shepard's Pie- This can be made with just about anything you have on hand. Turnips, celery, brussels, potatoes, onions, greens, etc. Not to mention it is the perfect veggie packed comfort food for colder months.
Peanut Stew- This hearty stew is made with canned tomatoes, nut butter, sweet potatoes, and beans. All easy to find and well preserved during the winter months. It can be served over warm whole grains and is very cost friendly.
Stuffed Squash- Squash is in season from fall through winter packed with vitamins and minerals. Stuffing it with grains, tempeh, and veggies can make a great easy weeknight meal.
Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup- Soups in general are wonderful this time of year. This soup in particular is a creamy mushroom packed soup made much more filling with some whole grains.
Find more of my favorite recipes here.