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Autumn Eating - Eating With the Season

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WHEN?

Autumn- September 23- December 21.

WHY?

Seasonal eating is an ancient health tradition, as shown through practices such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. In these philosophies and others of holistic teachings, it is believed that our bodies and minds are designed to receive varied types of nourishment in rhythm with Mother Nature’s cycles. It is about balancing ourselves out throughout the year. In terms of Nutrition- seasonal eating aligns with these shifts. Eating what’s in season is the number one thing we could all do to have dramatic impact on our health in a positive way. As the days get shorter and the air gets cooler- Autumn is a refreshing time to follow the boss Mother’s orders! She has a way of making available to us what we need, as we need it: richer, denser foods that require heat to prepare. This results in more cooked foods, more calories, fats, and proteins as well as antioxidants. 

Autumn is my favourite time of the year when it comes to nutrition and cooking. We are blessed with a wide variety of delicious foods and flavours this time of the year- and don’t seem to mind being at home more often (vs. the summer) to actually gather and cook them. With holiday’s such as Thanksgiving and Christmas underway- we have plenty of opportunities to explore local farmers market’s and get creative with new recipes, maybe even sharing them with our families and friends. (Chilli cook off? Potluck, anyone?)

BENEFITS!

  • Simple
  • Local
  • Connection
  • Environmentally sustainable 
  • Tastier
  • Healthier
  • Cheaper

WHAT?

Overall, we are thinking about heavier, heartier, warming foods, such as: soups, hot/warm drinks, bone broths, buddha bowls, and perhaps delicious pies for dessert!

I’ve included a few of my favourite recipes for Autumn at the end. In your own exploration, get creative. Personally, I find an easy way to get excited about seasonal cooking is looking up recipes for a certain seasonal ingredient or two (list below) and trying new things! (Searching ‘healthy dinner recipes’ on Pinterest doesn’t really satisfy my hunger, anymore…)

FRUITS

  • apple
  • pear
  • banana
  • plum
  • blackberries 
  • cranberries 
  • pomegranate 
  • kiwi
  • figs
  • melon

VEGETABLES

  • beets
  • turnips 
  • rutabaga 
  • carrots 
  • pumpkin
  • squashes
  • sweet potatoes + yams
  • potatoes 
  • zucchini 
  • artichokes 
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower 
  • cabbages 
  • brussel sprouts 
  • peas
  • eggplant
  • tomatoes 
  • celery 
  • corn
  • mushrooms 
  • radishes
  • onion
  • leeks 
  • shallots 
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • jalapeños 
  • bok choy 
  • okra
  • sea veggies- nori, dulse, kombu, etc 

GREENS - darker greens, in general 

  • chiles 
  • fennel 
  • watercress 
  • arugula 
  • spinach
  • swiss chard 
  • kale
  • collard greens

SPICES 

  • Apple cider
  • maple syrup
  • turmeric 
  • star anise 
  • chicory 
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • allspice
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • (Pumpkin spice)
  • cardamom 
  • (Chai)
  • hot chocolate 

STARCHES

amaranth, barley, rye, split peas, lentils, rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, couscous, oats 

noodles: wheat free alternatives- quinoa, chickpea, mung bean, black bean, red/green lentil

breads

NUTS/SEEDS (ALL YEAR)

  • almond
  • brazil
  • cashew
  • macadamia
  • pecan
  • pine nut
  • chest nut
  • walnut
  • pistachio 
  • flax
  • sesame
  • pumpkin seed
  • sunflower seed

Shopping at local farmers markets are a great way to ensure you’re eating local while supporting community and making meaningful connections with others and your foods. 

HOW? 

Seasonal Cooking gear: Crock pots, slow cookers, casserole dishes, stock pots, hot pots

How to eat: Fire or fireplace, candles