Fall is definitely in full swing. The leaves are a radiant yellow, orange and red, carved pumpkins line the streets, and brisk air coats your face. And I love it. I love it mostly for the heartier harvest fruits and vegetables this season has to offer — sweet potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, beets, mushrooms, onions, garlic and so much more.
Our bodies naturally crave fruits and vegetables that are in season and freshly available, hence the reason pumpkin-flavored foods appeal to us in the fall. In fact, locally-grown seasonal foods even harmonize with our nutritional needs. The beta carotene in the orange pigment of pumpkins and other squash help bolster our immune systems just in time to help ward off winter colds. And the oils from nuts? Well they provide nutrient-rich calories that help keep you warm as the temperature drops.
Starbucks’ marketing team is on to something by offering a Pumpkin Spiced Latte as soon as October hits. If they announced a Strawberry Cream Latte coming in November would you be as excited? Probably not.
Aside from our natural cravings for heartier fruits and vegetables when the temperature drops, there’s a laundry list of reasons it’s a good idea to eat seasonally, or at least give it a try. Seasonal fruits and veggies are also:
1.) Cheaper: When produce is in season locally, the relative abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive.
2.) Tastier: Foods not in season are likely shipped in from other parts of the world or grown in a hothouse, affecting the taste (think Heirloom Tomato in the summer vs. Heirloom Tomato in the winter). When transporting crops all over the world, they have to be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t rot during transportation, resulting in less flavor. Yuck!
3.) More Variety for your Taste Buds: Foods you might have guessed to be harvested in the summer are actually harvested in the fall, so give your taste buds a seasonal boost with these foods in season now: apples, endives, garlic, grapes, figs, mushrooms.
4.) More Nutrients: Transporting produce sometimes requires irradiation (zapping the produce with a burst of radiation to kill germs) and preservatives, like the wax you sometimes see on cucumbers and apples, to protect the produce causing nutrients to be lost. Total bummer.
Check out this helpful chart for a full list of fruits and veggies that are available throughout the year.
While these reasons above might entice you to start shopping seasonally, at Reboot we are all about balance and understand that you won’t be able to eat seasonally all of the time. All we ask is that you set a goal each week: experiment with new fruits and vegetables that are “hot” right now and in season. Who doesn’t love trends?!
We’re here to help you start incorporating more seasonal deliciousness into your diet by featuring a weekly seasonal ‘Farm to Table’ recipe for you to have fun with and enjoy not only the taste, but the nutritional benefits, too.
To kick it off, last night I made one of my all-time favorite fall dinners, calling out two of my favorite fall foods: Brussels sprouts and Mushrooms! Caramelized Maple Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms that is…
Oh, and before you start cooking, let me quickly introduce myself since you’ll be hearing from me often! I am Reboot Your Life’s new Editorial Content Manager. You can read more about me in my bio below and get to know me on twitter @JamiesHealthTip and through my personal website and blog, www.getyourglow.com. I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing Reboot community!
More Brussels Sprouts? Click here for Mustard Braised Brussels!