If you’re really passionate about eating healthy and having a low environmental impact with your food choices, eating seasonally is the best thing you can do. Visiting a local farmer’s market is usually the best way to start building awareness of what is seasonally growing in your area. However, with a little beforehand research, you can also find seasonal produce in your closest supermarket. Every geographic area has specific fruit and vegetables growing each season, which are fully packed of the nutritional content we particularly need in that time of the year. I prepared for you a free printable Seasonal Fruit & Veggie Chart, which is mostly specific to Europe, but applies to many other countries in the northern hemisphere too. I hope you like it as much as I do, and will print it out and stick it to your fridge as a colourful daily reminder. Here are a few tips for making eating seasonally as easy as pie…
1. Make a plan
Strategic planning is crucial if you want to succeed. I know we are all busy, and having to think of an extra thing to do might sound overwhelming, but trust me…planning beforehand will save you so much time in the long run. Spend an hour or so on Sunday researching what is seasonal in your area, and craft your weekly menu around it. Pinterest is the perfect place to find yummy recipes for all budgets, abilities & time frames.
2. Keep it simple
Eating seasonally might introduce you to a whole new pantry of food, which you’ve never cooked before. Fear not, relax, and breathe. Some of the best recipes on the planet are also the easiest ones to make. Stick to simple recipes and easy preparation methods, until you feel confident to spice things up. Most seasonal veggies are delicious just roasted, sautéed, grilled, tossed into a salad, or made into a soup. There is really nothing complicated about that. Add some protein to your dish, a side of quinoa, pasta, rice or bread, and there you have your meal.
3. Make baby steps
When changing lifestyle, most people prefer transitioning into it through small achievable changes, rather than aiming for an overnight transformation. Eating seasonally, for most of us, will mean changing habits. You might be used to having a banana or an avocado on toast every morning for breakfast, and there is absolutely nothing wrong about that, but in deciding to eat seasonally, you might not have those things on your menu all year long. Prioritize. See what you are ready to give up immediately, and what you’d rather stick along with for a little longer. Healthier lifestyle changes take time, so don’t force yourself to rush into them overnight.
4. Buy fresh
When considering eating healthy and seasonally, this really seems like a no brainer. Buy fresh food from your local Farmer’s Market, and you’ll be sure you’ve stocked up on seasonal food from your area. Although it could seem like a bit of a hassle to add this detour to your busy schedule, it is truly worth the time. Fresh food will be a reward in itself; it tastes so much better than exported produce and there is no doubt your taste buds will thank you for the extra effort. Not only, whilst doing so, you’ll be supporting your local Farmer’s Community too.
5. Shop smart
In an ideal world, we’d all have the time to grow our own garden, and harvest our own crop. The truth is, we barely have time to visit our local Farmer’s Market monthly, let alone on a weekly basis. So let’s face reality, and ask ourselves the question: ‘Can we eat healthy and seasonally on a busy schedule too?’. The answer is…yes. Nowadays the Internet is full of grocery delivery services with an emphasis on local, seasonal food. They are out there and growing, so just check out which are the closest ones to you. Home delivery will make eating seasonally so much easier, and you can always check my free Seasonal Fruit & Veggie Chart chart for ideas on what to order each time. If even that fails, and worst comes to worst, still fear not. You can always rely on your freezer. Frozen fruit and veggies are picked at the peak of ripeness and immediately sent for processing to preserve most of their flavour and nutritional benefits.
Are you ready to give eating seasonally a go? What seasonal meals do you have on your menu next week?
Let me know in the comments below!
Bye for now!