But once I started getting a weekly vegetable basket, it was a challenge to think about new, creative ways of eating what nature offers that week. What I have found, I am really eagerly looking forward to the specialties of each part of the season. Even when green salads start showing up in the late winter in supermarkets, they hold no appeal for me. I know that in just a few weeks, I will be eating salad every day! I cannot wait for the tomatoes to arrive, with fragrant bouquets of basil and crunchy cucumbers. As they become more and more bountiful in the late summer, I start making pasta sauces, pestos, ratatouille, and other favorite summer recipes. As much as I love the simplicity of organic tomatoes and basil with a touch of cracked pepper, a sprinkle of salt and some tangy balsamic vinegar and olive oil, by the end of the season, I am ready for the next phase. I love getting organic potatoes and roots that I can roast in the oven without peeling, to get maximum nutrients and flavor.
And then there are vegetables I never knew about – like discovering sorrel and finding a recipe that I just love – an eggless tofu quiche with sorrel, feta, and parmesan. Or creamy, luscious nettle soup. And creative experiments like my recent walnut-nettles pesto!
Each season brings its surprise and it is pure delight to enjoy the anticipation that comes from looking forward to each week’s bountiful harvest.
In addition, there are other health benefits when you eat with the seasons. Nature has a way of providing exactly the nutrients that are most needed in the body in each season. Fruits and vegetables grown locally contain more of the subtle quality of “prana” or life-giving energy. Many of us have become quite estranged to our own biorhythms and those of nature. Eating with the seasons is one way to reclaim that healthy connection to the cycles and rhythms of nature.
I encourage you to join me on this culinary adventure – testing your creativity in the kitchen and learning to enjoy the rhythms of nature together!