WHAT DOES SEASONAL EATING MEAN AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
In today’s convenience is a major issue, we all want to eat watermelon in the middle of December and enjoy a nice orange on a hot summer day.
The concepts of eating seasonality seem dated and passe. However, eating seasonally has so many health and taste advantages.
1. Environmentally friendly: One of the most salient but yet important benefits of eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy.
2. Reduces your pesticide intake: When we eat out of season there are more food engineering and technology that gets involved to bring us that beautiful grapefruit in the middle of the summer.
Pesticides and preservatives are a part of the modern food system and some of these intruders will make their way into our diets.
However, by buying seasonal produce and locally grown, we can minimize the intake.
3. Better nutrition: When produce is picked before it’s ripe, the nutrients do not fully develop in the flesh of the fruit. Plants need the sun to grow and picking them before they are ripe cuts off the nutrient availability. When you eat seasonally, you are guaranteed to consume the maximum amounts of vitamins and minerals intake
4. Richer flavor: Produce that is picked when it’s fully ripened tastes amazing. If your products were picked 2 weeks ago and arriving from the other side of the country, it is picked before it’s ripe. As it travels to your local grocery store, it ripens in a cardboard box, often after being sprayed by chemicals to prevent it from ripening too quickly.
So here are some of the favorite seasonal recipes for the season:
Brussel Sprout Salad
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, shredded (on a box grater or in a food processor)
- 1/2-1 green apple, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 lime, juiced
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and add brussels sprouts. Cook for a few minutes.
- In a small bowl combine remaining olive oil, mustard and lime juice.
- In a bowl combine brussels sprouts, apples, and dressing.
- Toss and serve.
Makes: 5 servings
Nutritional info per serving: calories: 168 / fat 10 grams / carbs 19.2 / sugar 7.2 grams/ protein 5.5 grams
Chicken with Lemon and Artichokes
- 3 lemons
- 2 shallots sliced
- 2 tablespoons ghee/ coconut oil/ avocado oil
- 2 cups frozen artichoke hearts
- ¼ cup capers drained
- 2 pounds’ chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Juice 2 of the lemons and cut the third into rounds or half-moon slices.
- In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons avocado oil, then add shallots and sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts, capers, mustard, and lemon juice and stir to combine.
- Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Move the vegetables to the side of the skillet and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Place chicken in the center of the skillet and sauté chicken on both sides.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, move the vegetables back over the top of the chicken, and place the remaining lemon slices in the pan. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked all the way through, about 5-8 minutes.
Makes: 6 servings
Nutritional info per serving: calories: 250 / Fat: 9 g / Carbs: 11 g/ Sugars: 2 g / Protein: 32 g
Roasted Asparagus with Hazelnut Gremolata
- 1 lb. asparagus
- 1-2 TBSP avocado oil, or hazelnut oil
- ¼ cup roasted and skinned hazelnuts, chopped*
- 2-3 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 1-2 cloves minced garlic
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Trim off the woody ends of the asparagus (if you aren’t sure where to cut, bend one spear until it snaps. Line it up with the rest of the asparagus, and trim them all to about the same length) and spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Drizzle with oil, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and roast for 7-9 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
- Meanwhile, chop the hazelnuts and parsley, garlic, and zest the lemon into a bowl. Stir to combine.
- When the asparagus is done, sprinkle the hazelnut mixture over top. Serve as is, or with lemon wedges to squeeze over.
Makes: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 220/ Fat: 19 g / Carbs: 11 g/ Sugars: 4 g / Protein: 7 g