This is an overview of an hour of fast and furious typing by a LOT of people. There are some really great ideas here about how to incorporate seasonal eating into your nutritional plan. Hopefully these suggestions will help you add more seasonal foods to your menu. I only list the first question here as the others all seemed to keep circling back to the idea of recipes, and food suggestions. There's a brief synopsis of the other questions at the end.
Winter is here for most of us, which brings new meal challenges. What seasonal foods are readily available in your area? The answers seemed to be pretty consistent (with the exception of at least one participant who lives in a tropical climate and so has no distinct tropical variation), most people talked about winter squashes, cabbages, sweet potatoes, some mention of root crops and some citrus. Recipe suggestions were great and I encourage you to use any and all of these:
- parsnips in spaghetti sauce - I plan to try this
- oven roasted butternut squash fries
- butternut squash soup
- grilled butternut squash
- using butternut for vegetarian soup base
- braised squash with lemongrass
- butternut squash salad with raisins and ginger
- risotto with winter squash and wild mushrooms
- kale chips (love these!)
- fermented cabbage (here's a great recipe from Nourished Kitchen)
- fermented carrots (another great recipe from Nourished Kitchen)
- use spaghetti squash or sauteed shredded cabbage instead of pasta
- using cranberries to make whole-cran-lemonade
- using cranberries for smoothies
- baby carrots roasted with rosemary
- roasted vegetables with herbs, acid (vinegar, lemon, etc) and olive oil
- growing herbs indoors all year round for fresh seasonal flavor
Discussion continued with talk about the use of Farmer's Markets, CSA's, and the use of freezers, canning/preserving, and dehydrating as a way to deal with an abundance of seasonal produce. These were seen as a great way to obtain seasonal foods. After all, and I believe it's true for most people, if you're going to go to the trouble of obtaining and eating food that is specifically in season, you probably also want to get food that is as local as possible. And if you have more than you can eat, you're smart to want to save some for a later time by preserving it through one means or another.
As the evening began to wind down the topic turned to cocktails. Specifically pumpkin martinis. Not sure that's going to be on my #gottatryit list. However I am really glad to have some new, wonderful ideas for recipes that all rely on the bounty of winter produce. The discussion of how to obtain produce from various sources year round reminds me to always be aware and alert for opportunities to source locally, seasonally, and, most important, to try to get to know my farmers. And the discussion of dehydrators reminded me that I need to learn more about how to use mine and to be more consistent in it's use.