The month of June has come and gone, bringing a fresh supply of seasonal fruits and vegetables to our table. Whether you grow some of your own produce, purchase items from a local farm stand, co-op, or grocery store, seasonal eating is a great way to get the most nutritious food. Seasonal food is fresh, tastes better, and is even better for the environment.
What is seasonal food?
Seasonal food is produce that is purchased and consumed around the time it is harvested. Purchasing local food items such as fresh greens, strawberries, artichokes, and peaches, for example, in May and June will provide you with a nutrient-dense food choice because the fruit has been picked at its ripest. Fruits and vegetables ripen at different points throughout the growing season and while they are available in our local grocery store year-round, they are at their best and the best price when purchased during their growing season.
Why is it important to eat food that is in season?
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are grown on local farms, are fresher, and do not require early picking to accommodate long travel for re-sale. These foods are picked and sold to consumers at the peak of ripeness, providing us with the highest nutrient content and full flavor.
Why is eating local food important?
Purchasing local food supports your local economy. The money spent on products from local growers stays in the community and is reinvested. When food is grown, harvested, and distributed locally this generates jobs and helps to grow local economies. Purchasing local food also helps support smaller farmers when purchased at farm stands, co-ops, or subscriptions to CSA programs. Supporting these efforts also maintains farmland and open space in the community for agriculture. Finally purchasing local gives you the consumer the opportunity to buy directly from the farmer and ask questions about how the food is raised.
What foods are in season?
Knowing what foods are in season can be confusing, so checking out a food guide can be helpful. While there are many available online, I like https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide. Here you will be able to see a variety of produce by season.
AIP Friendly Seasonal Recipe
Smoky Brussels Sprouts Hash with Shallots from “The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen” by Mickey Trescott, FNTP
- 4 tablespoons solid cooking fat
- 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- Cilantro leaves, optional
- Melt 2 tablespoons of fat in a heavy skillet ( I use duck fat or tallow). When fat is melted, add shallots and cook until translucent.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add the rest of the fat along with the sprouts. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally while allowing the bottom layer of the mixture to brown.
- Turn off the heat, add the salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pan, stir to combine. Serve with cilantro if desired.
I love this recipe and eat this for breakfast weekly. It’s a great option and versatile. I often add ground pork with sage, ginger, and sea salt.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to expand your AIP recipes, adding texture and flavor. Taking advantage of spring and summertime freshness increases the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals necessary for performing hundreds of roles for a healthy body. Plus, you get to enjoy the tasty gifts each season has to offer