Eating in Fall

 

In previous times, our ancestors had no choice but to adjust their diets to eat with the season (a.k.a what was growing at that time, or what had been preserved during previous months). In our current day, people might naturally make minor adjustments to their diets with the seasons, but due to the abundance of global foods available to us, a person could pretty much go on eating the exact same way all year round. As convenient as this might be, there are many reasons why eating with the seasons is super beneficial.

 

Why eat with the seasons?

  1. It means we can eat foods that are grown locally instead of eating imported foods. Eating more locally helps to mitigate environmental impacts from food transport.
  2. Foods grown locally and in season are usually much fresher and therefore higher in vitamins and minerals. A quote by Elizabeth Berry explains the reasoning for this well by stating, “Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet lagged, just like people.”
  3. Our bodies were designed to naturally adapt with the seasons. This means we should also make adaptions to our diets so we help support our bodies during these transition periods.  

 

In fall our bodies are transitioning from the energizing and social time of summer and getting ready for the more quiet and reflective times of winter.  Fall can be a time for letting go (like the leaves on the trees) and be used to re-centre ourselves after a busy summer season. It is also a time of abundance and when numerous hearty and grounding foods are in season.

 

Here is what is in season during Fall:

Carrots  Parsnips   Beets  Squashes  Potatoes       

Tomatoes  Apples  Swiss Chard    Leaf Lettuces    

Pumpkin  Leeks  Kale   Onion   Brussels Sprouts     

Broccoli       Figs      Cabbage      Pears

 

Here are some other things to focus your diet around:

  • Healthy Fats: As our bodies are preparing for winter it is a good idea to start focusing on your fat intake to ensure you are getting the right type of fats. Look to consuming more omega 3 fatty acids such as; walnuts, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, fish and sea vegetables.
  • Warming Spices: We can use spices to help warm our bodies from the inside. Such spices include; turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cumin, cardamom 
  • A Mix of Cooked and Raw Foods: since our bodies are in a state of transition it is important to feed it a mix of fresh enzyme rich fruits and vegetables along with warming and nourishing cooked foods like soups and stews (see recipe below).
  • Water Intake: often as the weather gets cooler we forget to drink as much water. Being aware of your water intake can help flush toxins from your body and keep your digestive function strong
  • Mindful Eating: Fall is a time of bountiful harvest. Focus on preparing beautiful meals with all the local produce that is available. Be conscious of how you are consuming what you make; eat slowly, chew your food very thoroughly, sit down while you’re eating, and focus on the taste and texture of the delicious foods you are consuming

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Creamy Vegan Curried Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil

1 large white onion diced

1 clove garlic, grated 

1 squash (such as; Butternut, Acorn, Kabocha, Buttercup) chopped in 1 inch pieces (you can leave skin if you don't mind a slightly chunkier consistency). It means less work and more fibre :) 

1  Tbsp curry powder

1 Tbsp fresh grated turmeric

1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger 

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp black pepper 

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

A pinch of cayenne pepper

2 cups water or vegetable broth (I often do water for ease and just add more spices according to taste) 

Procedure:

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat

Once warmed, add, onion,, and garlic. Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add chopped squash (can keep skin on), grated turmeric and ginger, spices, and water or vegetable broth

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until squash is quite tender (so you can easily poke it with a fork)  

Transfer soup to a blender, and purée on high until creamy and smooth. Be sure you cool soup enough to blend safely!  

Taste and add more spices to your liking 

Reheat as needed

Optional: garnish with sea salt, black pepper, and fresh cilantro. Dipping with a whole grain sourdough is a great way to enjoy. Store leftovers in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months