When our days are managed by routines, calendar notifications, and constant to-do’s, it’s not hard to overlook our place in the natural world. We hate it when the sun starts setting earlier in the day. This seasonal adjustment might not just be reflected in the available sunshine. It can also be seen in our eating patterns.
In the time before instant gratification of food delivery, people consumed produce based on its seasonal availability. We even invented dishes such as strawberry gazpacho to help handle the summer heat, or a nice sweet potato and kale stew to help warm the heart on a cold, blustery, day. Even though the globalization and commercialization of food has introduced technological advancements that enable us to enjoy produce from across the globe year-round, we still have intuition to gravitate towards seasonal offerings. Even when we are surrounded by a vast selection of locally brewed craft beers, it’s still common to see Shipyard’s smashed pumpkin beer when September comes around.
There are definitely benefits to consuming seasonal produce. For example, seasonal produce is more likely to be more local to you, and therefore has spent less time in transit across the country (or continents!). Consumers that choose to consume seasonal and local produce, such as at Farmer’s Markets, are reducing the carbon emission attributed to shipping the goods across great distances, and enjoying the food at its highest nutritional peak.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy the magic of seasonal eating:
Refreshing vegetables such as cucumbers, watermelon, and celery are summer classics. These produce are packed with water and natural sugars to help you stay light and fresh to get through the blistering heat. It’s not a coincidence that when we released our Quetzalcoatl Quinoa salad this summer, we packed it full of delicious European cucumbers!
When our bodies naturally adjust to colder climates (#sandiegoproblems) and shorter days, harvest-ready apples or pomegranate totally hit the spot. You can get your autumn on with our pairing of dark leafy spinach with granny smith apples and dried cranberries. Don’t forget that healthy fats found in natural nuts and seeds such as walnuts and pecan will help your body prepare for the upcoming cold season.
This season is when your body natural gears itself to store energy (#winteriscoming) and fight off the cold. Look for starchier root vegetables (might we recommend a sweet potato and kale stew?) and foods heavier in plant-based protein and fat such as the organic lentils found in our Tarragon Lentil salad.
Many people like to “cleanse” their body in preparation for the hot summer months, but there really is no magic to it. Springtime calls for the aptly name spring mix, found in our founder’s favorite Chopped Chinese salad. Find produce heavy in citrus and kickstart your metabolic engine!
It turns out mother natural had it figured out all along, and seasonal produce is already designed to keep you in sync with her. Now if only someone would just bring you those delicious healthy meals…