I'm currently reading a book called "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" for my book club.
This book couldn't come at a better time as I'm preparing to embark on the adventure of vegetable gardening this Friday! Barbara Kingsolver, who also wrote The Poison Wood Bible, took her family on a year adventure to only eat food from their garden and if they had to, meat and grain from local and organic farmers. This would be something I'd like to try but could I really give up my gummy bears and occasional Doritos?
Something I appreciate her really focusing on is trying to eat with the seasons. It makes total sense. Should we really be eating "fresh" tomatoes from the grocery stores in February? Or, how good can a cantaloupe actually be in December. Picture a vegetable garden in the dead of winter. Now imagine the same garden in the summer on a sunny day. Which vegetable would you rather eat? To get the most flavor and health benefits from a vegetable or fruit, try to eat within the season its meant for.
To help chart it out (I need pictures people), she created this diagram.
Here are some quick tips to remember that I found from the World's Healthiest Foods website:
- In spring, focus on leafy vegetables that represent the fresh new growth of this season such as spinach, chard (gross), basil, parsley and romaine lettuce.
-In summer, stick with light, cooling foods. These foods include fruits like strawberries, apples, summer squash, broccoli, tomatoes and cauliflower
-In fall, turn toward the more autumn harvest foods, including carrots, sweet potato, onions and garlic.
- In winter, turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. Root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, nuts and all of the animal foods fall into the warming category.
Now, lets see if I can stick with this! I hope I don't eat my words...no pun intended.