Have you ever had a craving for a nice, ripe slice of watermelon or a fresh, juicy peach in the heat of summer? When there is snow on the ground, have you yearned for a hearty bowl of chili or a stew filled with chunks of vegetables?
These cravings indicate your body's longing for seasonal foods. When you listen to your body, you are listening to nature’s way of bringing you into greater harmony through healing foods.
Eating seasonal foods can be one of the most enjoyable food experiences you ever have. When fruits and vegetables are at the peak of ripeness they are bursting with flavors and nutrients at the same time. Eating seasonally allows you to add more plant-based foods to your diet.
Eating seasonally can be an important part of your health plan. When you are eating seasonally, your diet is rich with nutrient-dense whole foods.
Choose locally grown foods because they will be the freshest options from farm to table. When you eat seasonally, you will be eating food that will have your taste buds jumping for joy.
Spring is the time of renewal and new beginnings. Fruit and vegetables are beginning to spring up all over the place. Strawberries and spinach are two of my favorites.
Other spring fruits are apricots, lemons and rhubarb
There are so many spring vegetables to choose from. You can savor asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, collard greens, fava beans, and green beans. Satisfy your taste buds with mustard greens, peas, pea pods, snow peas, Swiss chard and Vidalia onions.
Lettuces are abundant too. Belgian endive, butter lettuce, Manoa lettuce, red leaf lettuce, spring baby lettuce and radicchio are just a few examples.
Herbs are a fantastic way to incorporate additional nutrients to your meals. Chives, fennel, mint and scallions are great choices to add flavor.
Summer is filled with long days and more opportunities to play and vacation. Warmer weather and increased outdoor activity bring about the need to feel cooler and lighter.
Summer is a time of fruit, fruit and more fruit! Our bodies crave foods that are full of water.
Indulge in cantaloupes, cherries, figs, grapefruits, peaches and plums. Limes, lychee, melons, nectarines, passion fruit and watermelon are available aplenty.
If berries are your thing, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, black currants and mulberries are coming to fruition.
Summer is a great time for such vegetables as beets, bell peppers, Chinese long beans, cucumbers, edamame, eggplant, garlic, jalapeno peppers, lima beans and okra.
Peas, radishes, shallots, sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatillo, tomatoes, Yukon gold potatoes and zucchini are other vegetables that are in season and readily available in summer.
Autumn is harvest time, so there is a bounty of choices. The days begin to get shorter and the temperature begins to drop in the evenings.
Autumn is the time for building and preparing for winter. We are building up our systems with more hearty foods than we did in the summer. We crave comfort foods that contain more grains, vegetables and proteins, including nuts and seeds.
Fall fruits like pears, apples, quinces, persimmons and grapes are plentiful and ready to be used in all or our recipes.
Root vegetables like beets, carrots, potatoes and yams are very satisfying. Squash comes in so many different forms. Acorn, butternut, chayote, delicata, pumpkin, spaghetti and zucchini are just a few.
Grains are great to add to your meals. Proteins, especially beans, nuts and seeds make a meal hearty and filling.
The days are even shorter and it is getting colder. We think about staying indoors and we want heavier, warming foods.
Look forward to vegetables like Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, collard greens, delicata squash, garlic, kale, leeks, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips and winter squash.
There are a few fruits to enjoy in the winter months like clementine, dates, kiwi, oranges, pear, persimmons, pomegranates and tangerines.
If you plan to eat seasonally, you will be eating a whole food diet.
Now that you know what foods to eat in season, the next step is to learn how to make simple delicious recipes to eat.
I created my book "Eat More Plants" to make seasonal eating delicious! You can learn more about it on my website: www.HealthyDaes.com/EatMorePlants