No no, don’t run and hide. It isn’t as bad as you think. In fact, it is quite tasty and can even be fun. What is seasonal eating and why would it ever be fun?
Meditation, martial arts, yoga, any regular fitness routine really, eventually starts to change our bodies. As our bodies change, the fuel that our bodies crave starts to shift as well.
For me, it started small. Less junk food, less processed foods, healthier options, smaller portions, more vegetables and no soda. Then it kept going. Almost no processed foods, regular intervals of eating small portions, I have gone nearly dairy free and I basically eat nuts and berries for breakfast these days (mostly fruit, nuts, etc.).
In continuing to tune into my body, I have noticed that my desire for certain foods shifts with the seasons. As I look at it, that just seems natural. Many foods were not historically available year round and we (completely UNscientific guess) probably developed some sort of synchronized body clock to nature feeding schedule.
An example would be apples and peaches. I love both. And I have noticed that as the peaches go out of season, my desire for them starts to fade. I’m not saying I don’t get a craving in February for a peach, but the overall reaction of my body to the fruit is stronger in peak seasons. Right now, apples rule the stomach.
That covers tasty, so where’s the fun? For me, the fun is in finding exciting and delicious ways to take seasonal foods and turn them into outstanding meals. Sometimes it can be challenging. There are years where I just don’t want to look at another eggplant. That being said, I have found a few amazing cookbooks to help me out.
It is also worth noting that these are not the books I started with. Like any practice, seasonal eating has been more of a journey and this is where I am now. I started with the likes of Cooking Light and Food Network. I found them to be more approachable in the beginning.
If I were to go back and ask the me when I was when I started to categorize the me of where I am now; then me would tell now me that now I have gone off the deep end (yes, read it again, it is twisted and filled with all sorts of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff). While I am not (nor do I plan on ever becoming) a vegetarian, I do enjoy vegetarian centric meals. I find vegetarian meals to be quite creative and healthy. To make the meals my own, I either add chicken or beef to the vegetarian entrée, or use the vegetarian dish as a side dish.
Here is my list of current favorite cookbooks for seasonal eating.
Farmer John’s Cookbook
And as a bonus, a non-seasonal favorite:
Feeding the Whole Family