Eating seasonal is getting back to the basic foundation of how people used to eat when they grew their own food. It focuses on consuming foods during the time of year that they’re grown and harvested. This allows you to eat the food when it’s at the freshest, tastiest and most nutrient prime. Unfortunately, with technology and grocery chains making foods available year round, we have lost touch with our roots and how nature intended for us to eat.
Let’s look at some of the key benefits of eating with the seasons:
More nutrients: Seasonal foods are picked at the peak of their freshness, and provide higher nutritional content than foods that are out of season. This means you will be getting more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes which will all contribute to richer tasting food.
Less toxins: Seasonal foods are going to have less toxins compared to foods being grown out of season that need to be sprayed with an array of chemicals for them to survive growing in nature at a time they essentially shouldn’t be.
Eat how Mother Nature intended: Seasonal foods not only align with the seasons, but also with your own body’s needs. By eating how nature intended you to eat, you are connecting with it on a deeper level and your body will become in-sync with the seasons. You’ll notice there are more warming foods associated with the colder months, and more cooling foods with the warmer months – nature doesn’t miss a beat.
Saves money: There are an abundance of foods that are in season. These foods are going to cost less to purchase because they are more affordable to the farmers to harvest and transport to your local food market.
Better for the planet: When you eat with the seasons and purchase these foods locally, it helps to protect the planet by reducing pollution, because food doesn’t have to travel as far to get to you or be sprayed with as many chemicals, compared to foods growing out of their season.
A great place to find and even discover new seasonal foods is at your nearby Farmer’s Market. A lot of the foods offered are local and organic, making them an overall better choice for your body and our planet.
Now that the leaves have started to change colors, below is a list of some of the foods for you to incorporate into your diet this Fall season:
• Apples, Arugula, and Asian Pears
• Beets, Broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts
• Carrots, Cauliflower, and Collard Greens
• Cranberries, Cucumbers, Fennel, and Garlic
• Grapes, Green Beans, Kale, Leeks, and Red and Yellow Onions
• Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, and Radishes
• Raspberries, Scallions, and Spinach
• Squash, Sweet Potatoes, and Tomatoes
Aim to focus your meals around these seasonal ingredients to reap the benefits mentioned above. To get started, why not try these seasonal Fall recipes:
Roasted Brussel Sprouts serves 4-6
6 cups of Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half (seasonal)
1 cup extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil
1/3 cup organic maple syrup
1 tablespoon tamari
2 garlic cloves, minced (seasonal)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
1. In a blender or food processor, blend/pulse the olive oil, maple syrup, tamari, apple cider vinegar, garlic cloves, and sea salt
2. In a glass bowl, spread the glaze over the Brussel sprouts making sure each is covered well. Place on parchment paper in an oven-safe bowl and drizzle the Brussel sprouts with 1/4 cup of water
3. Bake at 330 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until well-cooked and caramelized
4. After 10 minutes of cooking time, turn the Brussel sprouts so they are cooked evenly
5. May add walnuts or pecans once cooled, and serve
Spiced Apple Coconut Oats serves 1
For the apples
1/2 organic honey crisp apple (seasonal)
1/2 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp. cinnamon and cardamom
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
For the oats
½ cup organic oats
¾ cup coconut milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts (seasonal)
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Wash and cut ½ of your apple and cut into thin slices and place them into a baking dish and spread coconut oil evenly. Save the remainder of the apple in the fridge.
3. Next, add the vanilla, spices, and sea salt. With a spoon, mix the apple slices so that they are all well coated and seasoned
4. Cook for 25-35 minutes in the oven or until tender
5. While the apples are cooking, on medium heat warm 3/4 cup of coconut milk on the stove
6. Once warm, lower heat and add in ½ cup of oats and mix well
7. Stir occasionally until desired texture and heat is reached- About 3-5 minutes
8. Take off the stove and place the cooked oats into a serving bowl and add in the walnuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt
9. Mix well and next add the cooked apple slices (once cooled)
10. Top with cashew butter, bee pollen, cashews, and raisins or your favorite oatmeal toppings
Easy Sweet Potato Pancakes serves 1-2
1 large sweet potato baked (seasonal)
2 pastured, organic eggs
¼ cup ground chia seeds
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Extras: Dash of sea salt, 2-4 drops of stevia, 1 tsp. of cinnamon, and 1 tsp. vanilla
1. The night before, wash a sweet potato, pierce it with a fork and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until tender
2. Let cool and store in the refrigerator
3. In the morning, cut the sweet potato into 4-6 pieces, removing any skin (or leaving some on for more fiber and potassium), and add to a food processor or blender with the eggs, coconut oil, chia seeds, and extra listed ingredients
4. Pulse on low until ingredients are well mixed and a pancake batter forms- This should not take more than 20-30 seconds. If needed to get it going, add in 1 tbsp. of filtered water.
5. Once you have your batter, on medium heat cook ¼ sized pancakes in a stovetop pan (in a little coconut oil) on the stove like you would a regular pancake. Cook on each side until golden brown. Top with warmed berries or your favorite pancake toppings.
Get back to your roots this season and make a habit of keeping up with foods that are in season, or you can go a step further and see what foods are specific for each month of the year. Either way, eating seasonal foods is a great way to nourish your body, connect with nature, and benefit the planet. It’s a win-win-win.
Britt Martin is the founder of Fitbrittnutrition, a Holistic Nutrition Consulting company based in LA. She is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Yoga Teacher who is passionate about teaching her clients and community how to nourish their bodies and live more holistic lifestyles. She considers herself a health-foodie who aside from holistic nutrition and yoga, loves hiking, cooking, her dog-child Logan, and traveling as much as possible. Follow her on Instagram: @fitbrittnutrition