Updated: Apr 22, 2020
Kebbie Stine, MNT
What does it mean to eat seasonally? It means eating food that is grown locally as it becomes available. Eating seasonally positively impacts the environment because food does not have to travel far. It impacts the local economy by putting money directly back into your community. Most importantly food grown locally positively impacts your health. Nutrients in food lessen over time, therefore freshly picked fruits and vegetables are more nutritious and tastier too!
With cooler temperatures and shorter days comes the fall harvest. Even though we are sad to say good-bye to corn on the cob, cherries, and Palisade peaches, fall brings many delicious options to satisfy our palettes! Right now in Colorado we have apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, salad greens, squash, zucchini, and a plethora of herbs just to name a few.
Here are some tips for enjoying the fall bounty:
Visit your nearest farmer’s market. This is a great way to learn about what is in season, meet the farmers that are growing your food, and stimulate the local economy! The farmer’s that frequent markets often use sustainable agriculture to grow their produce, which is more environmentally friendly and makes for healthier food on your table.
Take advantage of the many colorful fruits and veggies fall brings. Eating a variety of colorful foods is like taking a multivitamin; each color provides antioxidants to keep cells healthy and different nutrients to keep those cells working. Some easy ways to do this include adding berries to your oats, topping your salad with roasted beets, munching on carrots and celery, and sautéing squash and zucchini in olive oil at dinner.
Just when we think allergy season is over, fall brings all new triggers. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can help stave off these offenders. Luckily the fall harvest offers many options to quell inflammation. Onions, peppers, berries and parsley all contain quercetin, which can help to reduce histamine reactions. Raw local honey is made from pollen taken from flowers in the region and if consumed regularly may help to prevent seasonal allergies.
The high fiber content found in fall produce can help to stave off seasonal weight gain. As the days get shorter we tend to spend more time indoors and less time exercising. By filling up on fresh produce you are consuming low calorie, high fiber and nutrient dense food which will help to maintain weight during the colder months.
Get creative! Fall produce offer so many flavorful options that the recipe ideas are endless. Here are a few to get you inspired!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples
1 ½ pound Brussels sprouts
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim Brussels sprouts and chop apple. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well coated and spread onto a sheet pan. Roast for 25 minutes stirring once halfway through.
Immune Boosting Ramen
Courtesy of Clean Program
· 2-3 servings ramen noodles
· 1⁄4 purple cabbage head
· 2 large carrots
· 2-3 large mushrooms
· 3-5 green onions
· 4 cups vegetable broth
· 1 tablespoon ginger
· 2 cloves garlic
· 1 lime
· Ghee or oil for cooking
· 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
Cook noodles according to package directions. Be sure to rinse with cold water so that they don't continue to cook. Divide noodles evenly between two bowls and set aside.
Prep your toppings. Slice the cabbage. Julienne the carrots. Cut your mushrooms into bite-size pieces. Slice green onions, separating white from green parts. Peel and mince garlic. Peel and mince ginger. Quarter the lime.
Bring vegetable broth to a boil. While broth is heating, heat a teaspoon of oil or ghee over medium. Add white parts of green onion and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add ginger and sauté for another minute. Add to broth. Also, add coconut aminos to the broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee or oil over medium. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Move mushrooms to the side of the pan and add carrots. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes, then add to noodle bowls. Add another teaspoon of ghee or oil to the pan and lightly sautee cabbage for 4-5 minutes. Add cabbage to noodle bowls.
Once you're ready to serve your ramen, add hot broth (do not add until serving, as the noodles will continue to cook if they sit for an extended time). Serve with limes and green onions.
Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Peppers Salad
Courtesy of www.cookinglsl.com
· 1 medium or large eggplant
· 3 medium zucchini
· 12 mini peppers (or 3 medium red, or green peppers)
· 1⁄2 cup olive oil
· 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
· 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
· 1 tsp honey
· 1 tsp salt
· 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley
· 1⁄4 cup chopped dill
· 2 garlic cloves (, minced or pressed)
· cooking spray
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Wash zucchini, eggplant and peppers. Slice zucchini lengthwise and eggplant crosswise into 1/3-1/2 inch thick slices. Toss zucchini, eggplant and peppers in olive oil.
Grill until vegetables are charred and beginning to soften. Turn once. Peppers will cook faster. Zucchini usually need 5 minutes per side and eggplant needs 6-7 minutes per side. (Grilling time may vary depending on the thickness of the vegetables and the temperature of the grill.)
Remove from the grill. When cool enough to handle, chop vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes.
In a bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar, balsamic, salt, honey, parsley, dill and garlic. Pour dressing over vegetables and mix to combine.
Kebbie Stine is a Master Nutrition Therapist in the Denver area. She practices nutrition therapy at Washington Park Chiropractic and is the owner of Whole Choice Nutrition Therapy. Contact Kebbie at firstname.lastname@example.org