Tips on How to Eat Seasonal and Local

In the spring, leaf or stalk parts are generally eaten. This may include lettuce, spinach, rhubarb, or asparagus.

In summer, fruit parts dominate and may include berries, tomatoes, peppers, and melons.

During the summer, buy produce from roadside stands, local farms, or farmers’ markets. Look for foods labeled “local.” Ask your grocery store to carry locally grown foods. Visit food cooperatives which often carry locally grown produce, cheeses, grains, and meats.

Buy in bulk during summer and can or freeze the produce. Some examples include: tomatoes, berries, peaches, beets, and applesauce. What a treat to have peaches in February when there is a foot of snow on the ground. Many farms have a variety of berries you can pick yourself. It is quick and easy to freeze berries for the winter. Just place them on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer. After they are frozen, store them in freezer bags.

Eating seasonally encourages creative cooking. What does one do with all those beets? It is fun to utilize the foods from each season into new and interesting dishes.

Eat local fruit salad—top it with yogurt for breakfast or with whipped cream for dessert.

Too much zucchini? Peel the zucchini with a potato peeler. Then use the peeler to peel the zucchini all the way down to the seeds. This will leave you with a pile of thinly sliced strips that, when cooked, can take the place of pasta. Toss the strips with sautéed onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and peppers; add Parmesan or Canadian Feta cheese to the top. You can use five or six zucchini easily this way.

Grill the many available summertime vegetables (peppers are outstanding when grilled!). Just brush the vegetables with olive oil and place on the grill, turning frequently.

Use local herbs to season foods throughout the growing season. Try basil with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar or parsley with a cucumber and grain salad. Many herbs are very easy to grow.

In sprig sauté mustard, dandelion or other greens with garlic, onions, salt, and pepper. Serve as a side dish or over pasta or rice.

Eating seasonally can benefit your family, the community, and the environment.

Together the choices we make in our life can create a world that is connected and healthy.

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