Guess what I’m doing this afternoon? Looking for a H-O-U-S-E! I plan to write more about the process as it evolves, but you have a fun House Hunters-style post to look forward to tonight – we’re looking at ten+ places this afternoon!
In the meantime, I thought I’d share a really unique and fun guest post from Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen).
Take it away, Sarena!
When Caitlin posted a picture of watermelon a couple of months ago, I immediately started to yearn for the sweet juiciness that summer time will bring. You see, my husband and I have been on a little adventure to eating seasonally all year long. He calls it an “adventure,” but I refer it to as a “challenge” because I lived on a base of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and cantaloupe – all year long, regardless of whether the food was in season.
In late December, after a trip to the grocery store, my husband came home and asked how I felt about eating seasonally in 2011. At first, I thought, “Sure! Why not?” We love learning about food and trying to use it in different types of recipes. I thought it would be a fun adventure for us and the boys (we have two children, ages 10 and 12).
We started doing the research on what is in season during the winter months. The kids were even into it. They Googled up seasonal fruits and vegetables and then read the lists to us. We also used this list as a resource, which breaks down whether the food is in season by your location. To truly eat seasonally, you must also eat locally!
Looking over the lists, I realized that many of the foods that I love were not in season and wouldn’t be for months. UGH, I need my salads! After reading list after list, I discovered that I could still have my salads during the colder months, but with different greens and different components.
The thought behind eating seasonally for us is to eat more locally, cut food costs, and eat more like we were intended to. When the temperature gets colder outside, we need to eat heartier vegetables and things like soups/stews and vice versa in the the warmer months. I’m so cold-natured and I noticed a huge difference in the fact that I wasn’t freezing every time I ate because I could wrap my hands around a warm mug of soup.
I didn’t keep a close eye on the budget, but I do feel like we kept our costs down in the grocery department because I watched the prices of the things I was buying and never strayed from the seasonal list. I never allowed myself the splurge for berries or melon or even lettuce during this time. I feel like we have a new appreciation for the foods we eat too. It’s been a lesson in discipline too. Truth be told, I think I was the worst. Learning you can’t always have everything all the time is hard, but since it did a little bit for the environment, our bodies, and our budget, I truly believe this is worth it. Honestly, in the end of the winter months, I was happy passing by lettuce and berries. They will have their time soon.
Now that spring is here and summer is around the corner, I’m definitely looking forward to the produce that’s about to come out, but now I’m also sad to see the winter squashes and fruits go out of season. I’ve just started enjoying strawberries again! Peach season is coming up soon and with that comes peach cobblers! I guess the changing of foods with the seasons is like Christmas four times a year for food lovers!
Here are some of the seasonal favorites we’ve enjoyed during this challenge and plan to enjoy in the next few months:
Spring Almond Buckwheat Pancakes with Coconut Cream and Fresh Strawberries
Gluten Free Cinnamon Bun Bread (great for Sunday Brunches)
Quinoa Lentil Burgers (or balls for pasta)
Quinoa Pizza Bake (really good for any season, just add seasonal vegetables)
Do you strive to eat seasonally? Does it help your budget? I need to get better about eating seasonally – it helps the environment so much when we aren’t shipping in blueberries from Chile in December!
Thanks so much for this informative, insightful post! Since moving back to San Francisco two years ago, my boyfriend and I have strived to eat seasonally, organically, and locally whenever possible. Visiting our weekly neighborhood Farmers Market has taught us a lot about which foods are in season throughout the years. While we try our best to eat seasonally as much as possible, there are some foods–like apples and avocados–that I eat on a daily basis and will buy yearround. Thanks so much for this great post!