Abundant seasonal summer produce leads to some good eating!
Eating with consideration for seasonality can be a great way to optimize nutrition and practice living “green.”
As mentioned in an earlier Good Fat Company blog post, Green Living Tips, produce picked at peak ripeness will lend towards higher nutrient density. Even better, if you can eat seasonal to your local area, you gain the benefit from reduced transit distance which supports optimal harvest times.
Cultural tie-ins to eating with the seasons as well as healing modalities, such as Ayurvedic*, have also developed over many centuries. In studying food and culture, it is enlightening to observe how food pairings within certain cultural dishes evolved. In some cases, without the sophisticated science, observations of protective aspects from certain food combinations were made. This was particularly true for herb pairings with various vegetables or legumes.
Flash-forward to the current level of understanding of food and nutrition, we have also observed benefit for micro-nutrient absorption from certain plant-based foods, such as vegetables, when paired with healthful fats!
Seasonal food guides are readily available and easily found via the internet. Go to Seasonal Food Guide for one option. Another good point of reference is understanding plant hardiness zones as demonstrated by the USDA. That being said, produce options that tend to scream “Summer” in the U.S. include berries, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, peppers, citrus, sweet peas, zucchini and yellow squash, fresh herbs, figs and stone fruit, such as peaches.
Two of My Favorite Tactics to Boost Quality Nutrient Intake with Summer Produce:
- Bowls and layered dishes
- Plant-based hacks of popular dishes, such as ice cream in summer
Bowls and layered dishes are great to incorporate some of those healing herbs and in summer there is little excuse to not have them be fresh. A little while back, one of my favorite food and recipe bloggers, Sarah Britton, of My New Roots, featured seasonal “abundance bowls” with both an early summer and late summer option.
Bananas, coconut, and even avocados make great ice cream hacks. Personally, I prefer frozen bananas pureed with about a tsp of nut butter and dashes of cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla extract. Sometimes I add strawberries. The kitchn blog presents a nice tutorial on how to make “ice cream” out of bananas while That Clean Life provides some nice flavor infusions. For a little less natural sugar, coconut and/or avocado based options might be better. Be sure to top off your bowl with a Good Fat Bar. Finally, nothing beats pureed berries paired with fresh lime juice and mint!
Enjoy your local foods!
About the Author:
Ashley runs a lifestyle health coaching service centered on evidence-based behavioral change and systematized approaches from integrative health services and healthcare. She includes functional health assessment tools that support setting more clear, realistic goals that are tailored to each client. She appreciates the products and mission of Good Fat Company due to the emphasis on whole-food, nutrition-rich products without processed additives or fillers. Also, that the product line is applicable across dietary spectrums from vegan to paleo and most anywhere in between. Further information can be found at www.ashleylarnold.com.
*Ayurvedic medicine is entirely holistic. Its adherents strive to create harmony between the body, mind, and spirit, maintaining that this balance prevents illness, treats acute conditions, and contributes to a long and healthy life. Ayurvedic Medicine: Considered to be the world’s oldest healthcare system.