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EATING WITH THE SEASONS

Have you ever noticed that regardless of their temperature, some foods make you feel warm and cozy while others cool you right down? There’s an art to eating with the weather and a whole philosophy surrounding the benefits of selecting food based on the seasons.

The philosophy is ingrained in the practice of Chinese medicine, a tenet of the belief that all living things and their surrounding environment form one harmonious entity.

According to integrated Chinese medicine site, Shen-Nong.com, ‘a change of season causes the rate, rhythm, volume and tension of the pulse to vary. The pulse tends to be taut in spring, full in summer, floating in autumn, and sunken in winter. [Chinese Medicine] physicians will take this into account when distinguishing the abnormal pulse from the normal. The occurrence, development and change in the pattern of many diseases are seasonal such as… dryness-related symptoms in autumn, and cold stroke syndromes in winter.’

Chinese medicine aside, there are a few very straightforward reasons to eat for the seasons. First, eating the produce that’s in-season in your region of the world means it can be sourced from local farmers instead of imported. You can get a punnet of raspberries in late autumn, but as a summer fruit, they didn’t come from anywhere nearby. And on their way to you, those delicate little berries have not only taken a beating, but they’ve racked up a hefty price tag passing through all the middle men.

Second, taste! In-season produce grown nearby will always taste better. It’s what the planet wants to produce in a certain place at a certain time, so it’s premium picking. Make the most of it!

Here are some of our favourite seasonal foods as well as a few dishes that celebrate them beautifully!

Spring


Artichokes
Asparagus
Beansprouts
Beetroot
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Leek
Mushrooms
Peas
Navel oranges

Freshen up a spread with a fresh a colourful cabbage coleslaw

Make quick work of cooking with beansprout stir-fry 

Make the most of beetroot’s beautiful colour with a beetroot and pea spring salad

Summer

 

Beans 
Capsicum 
Carrots 
Celery 
Chillies 
Sweetcorn 
Blackberries 
Blueberries 
Cherries 
Melons 
Raspberries 
Strawberries 

Forget roasting in the hot oven – use carrots for a fresh raw carrot salad with lemon Dijon vinaigrette!

Grab some corn chips or lettuce cups and start scooping this super fresh sweetcorn salsa 

This mixed berry crisp showcases the best of summer berries with just 2 tablespoons added sugar

Rock melon takes on a whole new taste when you grill it with lime and honey

Autumn

 

Asparagus 
Broccoli 
Eggplant 
Sweet potatoes 
Zucchini 
Pumpkin 
Apples 
Melons 
Peaches 
Pears 
Plums 
Figs

Whip up a beautiful pear and fig salad

Serve up this sweet potato and chickpea stew

Finish with a delectable peach crumble (gluten-free with no refined sugar)

Winter

 

Broccoli 
Brussel sprouts 
Fennel 
Mushrooms 
Potatoes 
Pumpkin 
Silverbeet 
Grapefruit 
Kiwifruit 
Mandarins

For a side, try sautéed silverbeet with lemon and walnuts

Throw together a fennel and mandarin salad

For the adventurous home cook, mushroom and potato gratin

Try pickling your Brussel sprouts for later