Seasonal

I wrote a blog a while back about seasons, I was asked to do some healthy eating tips for a friend of mine for her newsletter, the first topic that came to mind was seasonal. In my "season" blog I talked about all the different seasons and the produce that went along with each season, but, I didn't share the benefits of eating produce that is in season. So stay with me here, and I will share the why behind eating seasonally.


This is the season of everything pumpkin, root vegetables, soups, apples....Eating seasonal produce has greater health benefits than eating a peach in the middle of December. Although we have access to a lot of produce year round that doesn't mean that the flavor or nutritional content is the same. Factors such as the quality of soil, amount of sunlight, and climate contribute to the nutrient composition of foods. One study that examined vitamin C content in broccoli found that broccoli grown in-season during the fall had twice as much vitamin C as broccoli that was grown out of season in the spring.


Most people will agree that nothing tastes better than fresh strawberries in the spring and early summer and that most fruits and vegetables have the best flavor when purchased from the local farmers’ market. With the global demand for fresh produce on the rise, many producers have had to turn to post-harvest treatments to control ripening, spoilage, and quality during transportation, which oftentimes can mean a decrease in quality through the use of heat, irradiation, and edible coatings. For example, as one of the most consumed crops in the world, bananas have been shown to be significantly affected by ripening agents in terms of quality such as color, texture, and flavor.

It is no surprise that eating seasonally and locally is easier on your wallet. We know how expensive it is to purchase strawberries from the grocery store compared to the farmers’ market stand. When fruits and vegetables are in season, there is more supply available, resulting in lower prices.


Choosing seasonal produce means not only supporting local agriculture, but it also gives you the opportunity to connect with the people growing food in your local community. Looking around farmers’ markets, connections are everywhere you look. Visiting your local farmers’ market may also encourage you to eat more fruits and vegetables, and that's great thing!!!


Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine that originated in India, supports eating with the seasons as an essential component to health and disease prevention. This concept is known as ritucharya. According to Ayurvedic principles, diet should vary as the seasons change, allowing the body to get the specific nutrients it needs to thrive in a changing climate. I will share with you a table of seasonal produce, I hope this helps you so that you can get the most nutrients from the produce you eat and support your local farmers. This chart is a start, if you have questions or if there is produce you like that isn't on the list, you can always look it up. There is so much information out there, or you can ask me!!



Drunken Noodles


Ingredients:

2 tbsp Sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp Oyster sauce

1 tbsp Thai fish sauce

2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey

1/3 cup coconut aminos or liquid aminos

1/3 cup water

2 Carrots, grated or ribbons

1 Fresno peppers or red jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (if you cannot find either then green jalapeños will fine)

3 cloves Garlic, minced

4 Green onions, chopped

1 Red bell pepper, cut into thin slices

2 Shallots, sliced thin

1 cup Thai basil or regular basil, chopped

8 oz Wide rice noodles


Directions:


1. Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain.

2. Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, honey, and 1/3 cup water in a bowl.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, Fresno peppers, and green onions. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until the shallots are soft and the garlic is fragrant. Add the bell peppers, cook another 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the noodles, carrots, and basil. Toss to combine, cooking another 3-5 minutes until the sauce coats the noodles. Serve the noodles warm.








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