OK, I'll admit it. One of the big reasons I moved to California was for the produce (although there are seasonal treasures I miss from New Jersey!). Every March I really get to taste why. Fresh, sweet spring vegetables and fruits begin popping up in grocery stores and at farmers' markets! Check out Local Harvest to find a market, farm or store near you.
Benefits of seasonal eating:
- You are more in touch with the world around you, the time of year, the changing weather.
- Keeps your body fit for the season (you eat more heavy foods in the winter to keep warm and lighter foods in the spring and summer to cleanse and cool you).
- Produce is fresher and more nutritious! Food simply tastes better right off the vine or straight from the soil! It's also at its peak of nutritional value (and living enzyme activity) when it is freshly picked. This means more energy delivered right to you!
What's in season now?
It depends where you live, however some of my favorites you can find 'most anywhere are:
- Rhubarb (at the same time? how perfect!)
- Green garlic (an early milder version of the garlic plant, before the bulb has formed: see my all-time fav. recipe below)
- Asian greens like bok choy and tatsoi
- Spring onions
Spring foods tend to be light, energizing and naturally cleansing, which is important after our more dormant living, and heavy winter foods. It's a time of year when many people participate in spring cleanses, food-based detox programs that usually last a few days to a week. If you missed my post-New Years one-day "mini cleanse" ezine, stay tuned later this week for a reposting!
The best news is that if you focus on celebrating spring with as many spring foods as you can, your body will experience a natural cleansing. There's not much better than greens, garlic and onions for cleansing and detoxing your body.
Try my all-time favorite greens and garlic recipe complete with step-by-step pictures and instructions! It's an amazing flavor combination for any dark leafy greens, but also amazing with broccoli and asparagus.
A really fun, community-oriented publication and website that celebrates local seasonal food is EdibleCommunities, featuring farms, events and restaurants specific to your area.
How do YOU celebrate the seasons through food? What are your favorite recipes?