Image courtesy of While Out Riding.
There’s nowhere that conscious consumption can be expressed more than in the choices we make when we eat. Many of us are time-poor and looking for quick and nutritious options. The best way to increase the nutrition of your meals, while enjoying a range of other benefits, is by eating seasonally. But knowing you should eat seasonally and actually doing so are two different things. Here’s why and how to change your habits to put the knowledge into practise.
It just tastes better
It’s the simplest reason and one of the most important when it comes to food. Seasonal produce tastes better. Eating well doesn’t need to be about compromising on flavour. Seasonal cooking means you’re welcoming more flavour into your meals without adding fake flavour enhancements.
It’s nutrient rich
Seasonal produce means it’s more often than not, coming to you from local farmers. When you choose to eat food that’s out of season, it’s likely that food has been stored for months in freezer containers or travelled halfway across the globe to arrive on your dinner plate. This process depletes nutrients and flavour.
Eating seasonally is cheaper, because the produce is coming from locations closer to you and doesn’t need to be stored or transported over long distances. What’s not to love?
It’s sustainable and it’s good for the environment
By choosing to shop at organic farmers’ markets, you’re shopping local and from farmers who grow their produce with sustainability in mind. You put less toxic chemicals into your body and the method you’re supporting promotes greater environmentalism. Plus, you’re boosting your local community and supporting your local economy.
So you’ve read the benefits. You may have even already known this. What’s holding you back?
I don’t have time
Yes, you do. Shopping and cooking seasonally doesn’t need to take a lot of time. Don’t overthink things. Instead, focus on fresh flavours. Roast up a big batch of gorgeous colourful vegetables. Make a beautiful broth and nutrient-rich soup. Set yourself a goal to make a new meal or introduce a new ingredient each week and embrace your creativity. It doesn’t have to be hard.
I’m too tired after work
We know exactly how you feel, which is why setting aside a little time to plan your meals for the week on a Sunday evening or on a day that suits your schedule, is a great way to take the stress out of cooking. Even if it’s just a rough plan that allows you to choose whatever looks and smells best in season at your grocer to make the dish, do some prep and don’t allow those excuses to stop you from doing what you know will make you feel the best.
I don’t know where to go or what’s in season
Shop at local markets or green grocers and ask what’s in season. Farmers will be able to tell you where your ingredients have come from and what’s the best in season right now. You can easily search for local markets near your home online and we’ve outlined some winter seasonal favourites below to get you started.
Eating seasonally in winter
The fruits to look for in winter include citrus fruits such as beautiful oranges (find a recipe for Sicilian Orange Cake here), mandarins, lemons and limes, as well as bananas, avocados, kiwifruit and pomegranate.
For vegetables, look to leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli and cabbage and balance these with sweet potato, pumpkin, mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, beetroot and flavour favourites such as garlic and parsley.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to eating seasonally? What’s holding you back? Conscious consumption is a journey that we travel on too, and no one's perfect. Committing to small changes on a daily basis can help you create positive habits and live with simplicity, energy and joy.