Autumn is an exciting time when it comes to food, especially for those who have been growing their own produce over the last few months. As the many harvest festivals suggest, lots of crops which have been growing over the past few months are ready for their harvest and this of course means lots of fresh fruits and vegetables available.
One of the easiest ways to start eating the seasons is to step away from the supermarket and non organic foods which have been imported or grown in controlled circumstances. There are many benefits of going local and eating seasonal when it comes to food, especially regarding your health and finances. If you shop at farmers markets you can get the most recently harvested food at its freshest, days or even weeks before it would reach the supermarkets. Not only does shopping as close to the source as possible save you money but as the food is fresh it will last longer than vegetable which have spent days in transit then in the supermarket, giving you a longer period to consume it resulting in a reduction of the potential wastage.
If you are looking for inspiration when it comes to the meals take a look at seasonal vegetarian recipes, these are perfect for those who want to explore their culinary options with what is currently available to buy. Typically you would find stews and casseroles for winter with root vegetables such as swede and parsnips whereas in summer you would have lots of salad options to experiment with the likes of asparagus, summer squash, shell peas, chillies, kale and lettuce. Fruit also follows a similar pattern with apples and pears being in season for most of autumn and winter in spring and summer these are replaced by berries such as raspberries and strawberries.
If you really don’t know where to start when it comes to eating seasonally check out a seasonal food calendar. As the seasons and climates vary across the world it is important to find one which is local to you. Alternatively, you could look into the new phenomenon of organic fruit and vegetable delivery boxes. These are typically run be organic farms close by to you and they deliver you a box of fruit, vegetables and other farm produce such as milk and cheese. You will receive your box on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis and it will be filled with recently harvested in season goodies, which you know are completely organic and grown just a few miles away from you.
There are foods that are available all year around, although there are some transitional periods depending on where you live where the food stocks may be lacking between harvests. Examples of such include spinach and beetroot. Although these foods are available all year around don’t forget to look for the location the food was grown in and whether or not it’s organic. You don’t want to be buying food with airmiles when you can pick something up that was grown closer to home.