Thursday, December 9, 2010

winter produce

We've all heard that eating locally and
in season is better for us and for the environment, but it's something that often slips our mind while grocery shopping or deciding what to cook for dinner. I have to admit that, while I do live a very intentional life and consider the environmental costs of everything I do throughout the day, I still struggle to eat in season. I check my produce's birth place while shopping, because I feel guilty buying something that has been shipped all the way from Chile, but sometimes I really want a fresh basil pesto or blueberry cobbler in the middle of the winter and I can't get past that hungry craving.

This past year, my husband and I have committed ourselves to making a better effort to eat in season as much as possible. One place that has been a regular source of seasonal recipes for me for years is the Kripalu website. I receive their e-newsletter (you can sign up to receive it here) and they always include a few tasty ideas for eating in season and nourishing your body during that particular season. They also have a fabulous cookbook that I own (and recommend) as well. Recently, I have also begun to find inspiration from the unbelievably talented cook Hannah J who is lucky enough to have a farm share so the recipes she posts always include seasonal fare.

Why should we care about eating locally and seasonally? In a nutshell, it tastes better because it's fresh, has not been sitting on a plane and in a crate for weeks and wasn't grown in a hot house; it's easier on your wallet since you are not paying for the gas and labor it took to ship that produce from the other side of the equator; and it's better for the environment as it cuts down on fuel consumption and ozone pollution.

So what's in season now? (Click the fruit/vegetable for recipes) Delicious clementines, satsumas, tangerines, mandarins, persimmons, pomegranate, grapefruit and cranberries; and butternut squash, parsnips, kale, cabbage, collard greens, fennel and radicchio (keep in mind this may vary depending on where you live).

Happy eating!

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