Monday, September 24, 2012

Seasonal Eating: Fall

I held out as long as I could, but has Summer faded away...sigh.

Swooping in to take it's place - Fall.

I can't fight it anymore and I need to revamp my eating habits.  With the change in season comes a shift in seasonal eating.  Fall is the time to store energy & build immunity and there are Fall specific foods designed to achieve this.

To eat seasonally, means to consume foods that are grown in your region for the current time of year.  It does not mean consuming a fresh tomato in the dead of winter, just because it's in you grocery store.

Yes, you can get anything you want year round, but that's not the way we were designed to eat.  And doing so tends to throw us out of balance.  "The body naturally needs different foods during specific times of the year—foods that protect us from the effects of seasonal changes—say experts such as Elson M. Haas, MD, author of Staying Healthy with the Seasons (Celestial Arts, 2004)."

“Fall gives us immune-building foods rich in beta carotene, like pumpkin, squash, and kale. Those foods also provide extra sweetness while stabilizing blood sugar, to keep us energized as the days get shorter.” - Terry Walters, author of the seasonal cookbook Clean Food (Sterling Epicure, 2009)

If you listen to your body, it's probably already steering you away from salads and other lighter food and more towards soups, stews and hardier food in preparation for Winter.

Another bonus to eating seasonally, is getting food when it's at it's peak in flavor & nutrient value.  Plus, you won't get bored with your food but rather look forward to strawberries in the Spring, zucchini in the Summer, pumpkin in the Fall and sweet potatoes in Winter.  If you were to eat these foods year round, they would lose their pizzazz.

Here's what to look for until Winter hits.

Fall Foods in Ohio
  • Apples 
  • Broccoli 
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage 
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower 
  • Chard
  • Corn 
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Grapes 
  • Kale
  • Lima Beans 
  • Okra 
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Potatoes 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Raspberries 
  • Sprouts (homegrown)
  • Snap Peas 
  • Tomatoes
  • Winter Squashes

Check out the NRDC Smarter Living website to see what's in season for your state!


Download the free NRDC Eat Local App from iTunes to help you figure out which foods are in season for your state when you're out & about!

One more thing...

Try to adapt your cooking style as well; focusing on these Fall friendly methods: stir-frying, sautéing, steaming, and braising.  These methods will add heat and water, preparing the body for the cold, dry winter months lurking ahead.

Keep it Seasonal!
The Hoff


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