Unbelievably frosty but brilliant, sunshiny, cloudless January skies,
Dream-like fairyland, picturesque winterish snowscapes,
Frozen waterfalls, slushy, crunchy sidewalks,
Nasty Siberian, relentless howling winds,
Crystalline, dancing ,unique snowflakes,
Excited children quickly descending slippery hills, gliding the frozen lake,
Hibernating creatures huddled beneath the frigid, northern solid pond,
Cupid’s arrow targeting enamoured couple—Winter with its low temperatures and short days is here! TAKE A LOOK AT THE BEST INGREDIENTS TO EAT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND CELEBRATE THE DIVERSITY OF THE CHANGING SEASONS.
In this segment of “THE SEASONS ON THE PLATE”, we will take a look at what Mother Nature has to offer during the hibernal season of WINTER.
When I think of eating seasonally in the winter, “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, comes to mind. They truly ate only potatoes, homemade bread, butter and meat for the entire season.
THIS IS TRULY EATING SEASONALLY!
Today, eating seasonally is no longer a modern practice. In the midst of our culture of instant gratification, we have disconnected from Nature and the food sources. This has destroyed the balance that should be maintained, leading to a lack of nutrition as we rely on convenience. In a way, I’m grateful that today’s modern advances allow me to savour avocados, mangos, papayas, berries, and other amazing produce that I would never have the opportunity to enjoy in the middle of winter. But, like other things, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily what’s best.
It’s time to get back to the roots of local and sustainable eating and reconnect with our food and its source. The best way to do this is by eating seasonally, an easy, healthier, affordable and more sustainable way of eating.
What does it mean to do this during the coldest season of the year? Just because something is available at the grocery store doesn’t mean that it’s in season. Certain fruits and vegetables naturally flourish at a certain time of the year. Eating with the seasons means fully embracing earth’s offerings during specific times.
Simply put, it means eating what naturally grows in abundance. This will allow us to be more in tune with our bodies and capture the nutrients we need as we transition with each season.
Foods that are in season contain vitamins, minerals and other needed nutrients. For example, in the winter months we need extra vitamin C to boost our immune system and keep sickness away. Citrus fruit such as oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit, which are in season in the winter, are extremely high in vitamin C as well as antioxidants.
In Winter, we need foods that “stick to our bones”. Being cold burns more calories than being hot which is why we crave heartier, warmer meals like soups and stews while we turn to fruits and salads in the Summer. Potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables which have been preserved and packed away for the winter months, are high in carbs and fibre which keep us full and satisfied.
Until the genesis of the first supermarkets, not very long ago, the food source was in homes, gardens, local fields and forests. It was stored near kitchens, in pantries, cellars and backyards.
Eating seasonally in Winter actually begins in the Summer, when foods are at their peak abundance, flavour and nutrition. They are frozen, canned, fermented or dehydrated. Root vegetables should be the base of our winter meals with touches of past seasons preserved. Some of my favourite meals are simple meat dishes, prepared with potatoes, a slice of homemade bread drizzled with EVO, maybe some cheese, a couple of goods preserved in AUTUMN–all adding cheer and freshness to an otherwise heavy meal.
Planning your meals and shopping lists around what is in season will make a big difference. I believe that eating this way needs to be brought back into the rhythm of our lives!
The following is our suggestion for a seasonal multi-course meal.
STARTER- Insalata di Finocchi e Arance-fennel and orange salad
PRIMO PIATTO-SECOND COURSE
Zuppa di Pasta e Fagioli-pasta and bean soupSECONDO PIATTO-SECOND COURSE
Pollo in Padella con Limone e Rosmarino-rosemary and lemon chicken with roasted potatoes and gratinated fennel wedges
MELE al FORNO con MARMELLATA di ARANCE-baked apples with orange marmalade
Whatever your taste or culinary skill, embrace “THE SEASONS ON THE PLATE” and BUON APPETITO!
Do drop by, we would LOVE to share the recipes with you at MY MOTHER’S PLACE.
Arrivederci a presto,
See you soon!