• Deena Redman

Autumn EATing - Eating with the season


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!

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

These are some of the best autumn fruits that you can use in sweet and savoury dishes.

  • apple

  • pear

  • banana

  • plum

  • blackberries

  • cranberries

  • pomegranate

  • kiwi

  • figs

  • melon

VEGETABLES

Winter veggies are always better roasted. Chop them into cubes and place them on a cooking sheet and place them in the oven @375 for 45 minutes. Make sure to leave some space between each cube so they roast just right. You will get richer and more flavourful golden nuggets of goodness this way!

  • 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

When picking greens the darker the better. There are more minerals and vitamins in darker leafy greens.

  • chiles

  • fennel

  • watercress

  • arugula

  • spinach

  • swiss chard

  • kale

  • collard greens

SPICES

These are great winter spices that create rich flavours and blend well with squashes and legumes.

  • Apple cider

  • maple syrup

  • turmeric

  • star anise

  • chicory

  • cinnamon

  • cloves

  • allspice

  • ginger

  • nutmeg

  • (Pumpkin spice)

  • cardamom

  • (Chai)

  • hot chocolate

STARCHES & CARBS

Here is a great list of old but 'new' grain options that are better than white rice, white bread and white pasta. Try these amaranth, barley, rye, split peas, lentils, rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, couscous, oats

Mix up your carb with these noodles options: wheat free alternatives- quinoa, chickpea, mung bean, black bean, red/green lentil


NUTS/SEEDS (ALL YEAR)

Try these as a great all year round vegetarian protein solution.

  • almond

  • brazil

  • cashew

  • macadamia

  • pecan

  • pine nut

  • chest nut

  • walnut

  • pistachio

  • flax

  • sesame

  • pumpkin seed

  • sunflower seed

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


HOW? Try using some of these seasonal cooking techniques: Crock pots, slow cookers, dutch ovens, casserole dishes, stock pots and hot pots.

How to eat?

Every great meal is best served with fire so try a fireplace or some candles.

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