Eating with the Seasons

Seasonal eating can actually mean MORE variety.

Think about it: We tend to get stuck in our food ruts, eating the same foods year-round. When you’re eating from a seasonal list of vegetables and fruits, you’ll be eating new things every season. This also makes things like strawberries really enjoyable when you know you’ll only find sun-ripened strawberries in the summer months.  You will be able to enjoy them to their fullest potential!

The chart below is an approximate times for Vegetables seasonally.  What is available in the northeast during spring will be different from those places that are more southern.  Also, it certainly does not include every vegetable that could be available at any time!  Fortunately, the variety of edible plants is immense.

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Artichokes
Asparagus
Beans, Fava
Beans, Green
Broccoli
Cactus
Chives
Endive, Belgian
Fennel
Greens, Collard
Greens, Mustard
Greens, Spinach
Greens, Swiss Chard
Lettuce, Butter
Lettuce, Red Leaf
Lettuce, Spring Baby
Mushrooms, Morel 
Onions
Pea Pods
Peas
Peas, Snow 
Radicchio
Rhubarb
Sorrel
Watercress

Beans, Chinese Long
Beans, Green
Beans, Lima
Beets
Corn
Cucumbers
Edamame
Eggplant
Endive
Garlic
Lettuce, Butter
Okra
Peas
Peas, Sugar Snap
Peppers, Bell
Peppers, Jalapeno
Potatoes, Yukon Gold
Radishes
Shallots
Squash, Crookneck
Squash, Summer
Squash, Zucchini
Tomatillo

Tomato

Beans, Chinese Long
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cauliflower

Corn
Daikon Radish
Endive
Endive, Belgian
Garlic
Ginger
Jerusalem Artichoke
Kohlrabi
Lettuce, Butter
Mushrooms
Peppers, Jalapeno
Pumpkin
Radicchio
Squash, Acorn
Squash, Buttercup
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Delicata
Squash, Sweet Dumpling
Sweet Potatoes
Swiss Chard
Turnips

Brussels Sprouts
Chestnuts
Collard Greens
Endive, Belgian
Kale
Leeks
Squash, Buttercup
Squash, Delicata
Squash, Sweet Dumpling
Sweet Potatoes
Turnips

Traditionally, as both hunter-gatherers and as farmers, people would hunt or slaughter in the fall months when fresh, seasonal foods were in decline.  Animal protein to consume during the colder winter months was practical when it could be kept easier and when fresh produce was scarcer. I have found many who eat seasonally, naturally eat more animal products in the colder months than the summer months when fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance.

I was fortunate enough to experience the farming cycle as I grew up.  There were many memorable summer meals that were created from whatever the garden yielded that day or week.  A table laden with cucumber slices, okra and tomatoes smothered under onions, fresh beans and corn on the cob was a common summer supper.  If one of the fresh berries were already out of season, there would at least be slices of cold watermelon for dessert.  A simple, seasonal meal that satisfied the palate and senses.

Simply put, eating according to Nature (seasonally available) we will find our bodies cycling in this way: Warm foods, heavier foods and root foods in the winter when our bodies need more warmth, as well as citruses when available for the vitamin C to keep us healthy, followed by salads and an increase in fruits and veggies in the spring, almost completely plant-based foods in the summer with a slow transition back into the colder months.

Are you curious about finding the most seasonal food for your area?  You may want to visit the website for the seasonal food guide or download their new app (https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/download-app ) for your smartphone.  Check your state out on the website here: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/

What are some reasons you enjoy eating with the seasons?  Please share with us!

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