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!
Freshen up a spread with a fresh a colourful cabbage coleslaw
Make quick work of cooking with
Make the most of beetroot’s beautiful colour with a
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
Rock melon takes on a whole new taste when you
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)
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