Think of “seasonal” food this time of year and images of sugar plums dance in one’s head. Ironically there’s no actual plums contained in sugar plums… which are really pieces of hard candy coated with the s-word.
The true treasures of the winter season aren’t baked in an oven. Instead of buying frozen veggies and fruits in bulk this winter, consider trying fresh seasonal staples. Sure, you could get your hands on an organic plum in December, but chances are it will be flown in from Cali and won’t taste the same as one grown in a local orchard. Unless you are lucky enough to live on the West Coast, consider eating in season. Your body and your wallet will thank you for it.
As soon as vegetables are plucked, pulled or picked, they begin to lose nutritional value. Buying produce out of season has traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles to get to your table. By the time you bite into it, it is very likely lost some key nutrients.
This winter season, be sure to check out kale, sweet potatoes, cabbage, onions, beets, leeks and brussel sprouts. Even kale can be cool when you add bacon! Try this kale and bacon stir fry from our friends at Nom Nom Paleo. Thousands of great paleo recipes are just a google search away using these winter faves, so consider adding them to the line up! For the great taste of kale all year round, try our KaleoKrunch.
Winter fruits include grapefruit, pomegranates, and clementines. Who doesn’t love the juicy goodness of a good clementine? If you’re hungry, grab a few, they are easily gobbled up fast.
Opting for seasonal produce can also be kinder to the local landscape. Long distances and fuel costs add up to you paying a pretty penny for produce that’s been grown in a greenhouse. Supporting local farmers committed to sustainable practices that don’t add to pollution is a win for everyone.
Spring into action once March hits and grab some popular favorites like asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, swiss chard and green beans. You’re only limited by your imagination when using spring vegetables. Load your favorite frittata with broccoli or consider adding three cups of spinach to your favorite fruit smoothie to start the day. Kids and adults alike will be thrilled with spring fruits like bananas, strawberries and mango. Of course you can enjoy these all year round with dried fruit options from Steve’s PaleoGoods. They taste ALMOST as good as the real thing!
Speaking of taste, your buds will be happier enjoying produce in season. Peel an out of season orange or bite into peach in the winter, and you won’t need a napkin. Celebrate the juicy peaches, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes and watermelon in season during the warmest months of the year. Your wallet will celebrate too, so stock up! There’s nothing like a summer lettuce salad with cucumbers, bell peppers and ripe red tomatoes. Easily toss with some PaleoChef to keep your meal squeaky clean. Dressings without sugar and additives are hard to find and even harder to make. Let us help you.
You won’t fall short of options in autumn, but you may need to get more creative. If you’re not familiar with butternut squash, don’t let that scare you, it is so versatile. It can be easily stir fried or used a great soup base, as our friends from Paleo Cupboard have done here in a slow cooker. Cauliflower, pumpkin, cranberries, pineapple and jalapeno peppers are also on the fall line up.
Enjoy (a few) seasonal cookies this week, and when the New Year hits, commit to adding more seasonal, sustainable and local options to your menu planning. When summer hits, ditch the sugar plums for the real thing… there’s nothing like the juicy tart taste of a seasonal favorite!