A quick stroll through the farmer's market, and my shopping bags are loaded with edible air conditioner. Mother Nature has given us cooling and hydrating foods for the summer, rich and starchy foods in winter, and just the right ingredients for in between. When you eat with the seasons you're less likely to rely on processed food, thus improving your overall health. Even more, seasonal eating is more economical. We all know how expensive peaches are in the winter.
The best way to eat with the seasons is to shop at your local farmer's market, find a seasonal produce guide online, and buy the most prominently displayed and abundant fruits & veggies at the grocery store.
Since we're in the middle of summer, let's explore some of the light and cooling produce that you should be eating right now!
Eat these foods in abundance. Replace less healthy snacks, and make recipes with them. All are high in water which helps your body to replenish lost hydration from sweating. These hydrating foods also help to keep your body temperature steady, partly because they are very easy to digest.
1. Cucumber: All types are great. Organic is best, especially if eating the skin. Add them to salads, and snack on them throughout the day. They're also great added to juice or smoothies.
2. Watermelon: High in lycopene, a potent antioxidant. Watermelon is almost all water, so it is super hydrating. Look for watermelons that have a yellow spot on the underside. This indicates that they ripened on the vine, and are sweeter. Avoid mushy/soft watermelons. Eat watermelon as a snack, with other fruit, or blended into a smoothie.
3. Tomatoes: Have fun trying the many varieties, large and small, of tomatoes. They're also high in lycopene, which helps protect against free radical damage (the sun is a huge contributor). Eat them raw in salads or sandwiches, or cooked.
4. Berries: Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc, are all high in antioxidants and should be eaten daily (along with the other foods on this list). They make the perfect snack and/or dessert. Eat them quickly after purchase because the go bad quickly.
5. Lettuce & Greens: It's important to eat a diet rich in greens all year round. Thankfully there are plenty of different varieties in season during warmer months. Delicate lettuce is rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals just like dark leafy greens are. I like to rotate my greens, having raw salads make with lettuce one day, and salads made with kale and collards the next. Look for greens that are crisp and vibrant.
Compared to the abundance at the farmer's market during summer months, this list is very short. Be curious and adventurous, and try as many seasonal foods as you can. Your tastebuds and your body will thank you!
Here are some tips on shopping at the farmer's market.
Here are some tips on keeping produce fresh.
Jenné & Isabelle
We're both passionate vegan foodies with backgrounds in nutrition. We decided to bridge our skills to create Buddhalicious; a program that guides members to find balance, excitement, and flavor on their plates, and in their lives.