I believe that nature’s cycle of growing produce is designed perfectly to meet our health and nutritional needs. If this is not true, they why do we get so excited about asparagus in the spring and crave vine ripened tomatoes in the summer?
Seasonal eating not only benefits our bodies but supports our environment and our economy. There is a natural rhythm that draws us towards seasonal foods as comforting and satisfying and this is for a reason. First, flavor and nutrition are at their peak when produce is grown in its natural environment. We have all been told to eat a “variety” of foods in order to ensure that we meet all our nutritional needs. Well, nature had that figured out for us a long time ago; some of us just need scientific evidence for convincing. Second, eating seasonally helps our local communities as well as encourages more home cooking. Seasonal foods are fresh and forces home cooks to get creative. And third, foods grown outside of their natural season require more maintenance, hence the cost, and can be exposed to more pesticides and genetic alterations to ensure their success.
We are in the heart of winter here in Colorado and winter fare is at its peak. This is the time for baking, braising, glazing, roasting, simmering, stewing, making soups, and dusting off your slow cookers.
Here is my winter list!
Beans, beef, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, caramel (yes!), chocolate, citrus fruits, wild game, heavy grains, grapefruit, winter greens, lemons, lentils, limes, lobster, maple syrup, mushrooms, mussels, passion fruit, pears, pork, potatoes, root vegetables, squashes, sweet potatoes, turnips, water chestnuts and yams.
Heavy herbs like rosemary and sage go well with winter fare as well as warm spices like cinnamon and allspice.
LET’S GET COOKING!