Love Your Meals, Eat Seasonally and Shop Locally

By on May 9, 2015

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There is something so romantic and wonderful about finding a beautiful Apple orchard on a fresh Fall day. The same goes for picking Summer peaches and berries. I love walking out into a field and wiping the dirt off of my fresh produce.

 

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My family moved out of the city so that we could buy some property and have our own farm. I was raised growing my own garden, canning vegetables, planting herbs, and eating seasonal produce.

After having our son, my heart longed for a place to show him the same experiences. My husband hunts and now we have enough space to harvest venison and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Why is this so important to us?  To teach our kids hard work and more importantly, to stay active and healthy all year long. I strongly believe in eating seasonally and locally. Below are the Paleo Basics that you should follow when buying food.

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Great Health Benefits:

Produce that is picked and eaten at its peak typically contains more vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Before big boxed supermarkets and processed foods, this is how people had to eat throughout the year. When your food arrives farm to table, you don’t lose nutrients because nothing is frozen and you are receiving the produce as close to it being picked from a field as you can get.

It’s Easy on your wallet:

Eating locally and seasonally can save you money. Over the winter, I checked the prices for a pint of Blueberries at my local market and they were $4.99. I can get them In-Season for half that price and they taste and look better. When you buy foods that are seasonal, you aren’t paying extra money for preservation, storage and shipping fees.

Simply Delicious:

Food just simply tastes better when you get it local and get it in season. No ship time to spoil the produce, no freezing or extended storage time. Think how fun it is picking big fresh strawberries out of the garden, rinsing them with water and taking that first bite. So refreshing, so juicy and amazing! You do not get that same flavor from a carton in the produce aisle.

Get Creative in the Kitchen:

Creating new meals for my family is one of my favorite things that has come from eating seasonally. Do you ever get stuck in that routine of chicken and broccoli again this week? When you eat seasonally, you find new vegetables and food pairings to try. This is how I discovered using parsnips in my soups rather than potatoes. I also discovered that Jicama makes a great taco shell! Your dinner table will not get boring when you are constantly changing with the seasons

Eat Fresh, Eat Local and Support your Community:

You get to support your local farms and business’. I love where I live because I am across the street from a farm and just down the road from an amazing year round farmers market. I get to buy fresh and eat local all year long. My son loves watching the farm trucks deliver the daily produce to our store, trucks overflowing with lettuce, pumpkins and watermelon. I know not everyone has this convenience, in fact, when I lived just outside of Washington, D.C. my only resource was big box supermarkets or Farmer’s Markets during certain times of the year.

How do we know what is in season?

Produce seasons differ all over the world but there are some great websites to search for produce growing seasons in your region. I find the best way to find fresh and seasonal is to shop at Farmer’s Markets, again, there are great resources to search for your local markets.

*Remember, the best foods are seasonal and local but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy a bunch of bananas or a pineapple throughout the year. These are just tips to keep in mind as you fill your shopping cart each week at the store.

 

My personal favorite resources for checking our local markets and knowing what is seasonal:

Where do I find a Farmers Market search:

http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/

What’s in Season search:

http://snap.nal.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce

 

If you only ate seasonally all year long, which season would be your favorite?

 

#paleo #BuyFreshBuyLocal #Supportsmallbusiness #Farmtotable

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