With the cooler temperatures and shorter days it is hard to deny, fall is in the air. As seasons change, we start to make changes ourselves: we start to dress more warmly, we spend more time indoors because it is dark earlier and our taste for foods begins to change. Point in case is the appearance of the Pumpkin Spice Latte in coffee shops.
In earlier times seasonal, local eating was part of the natural balance of life. Our grandparents ate what was available from gardens in their area, according to season. Now, we shop at large chain grocery stores where all types of produce are available all of the time. The seasonality of eating is not as apparent, except when you pay an arm and leg for strawberries in December!
Fall fruits such as apples and pears do not contain as much sugar as the fruits of summer like plums and nectarines. They are well suited to the slowdown in activity which we may begin to experience. Root vegetables and squash are plentiful and full of beta-carotene, which is a great immune booster. Take advantage of these changes and try a warm salad or soup rather than the green salad you may have eaten regularly through spring and summer.
Now that it is cooling down and there is a plethora of fresh produce available, I know I am spending more time in my kitchen. I have started taking advantage of the fall produce available. I have roasted vegetables a number of times and I am loving the fresh crop of MacIntosh apples. I have started dreaming about pumpkin pie with its cinnamon, ginger and cloves. I am craving roast beef, rather than steak. How about you?
It is important to honor the cravings we are having for these hardier foods. It is part of the yearly cycle. These foods help to warm and balance us. As we draw indoors, we must ensure we do not become sedentary. It is important to remain active.
Enjoy and honour the change of season, with its vividly coloured scenery, the sense of cocooning you may feel and the hardy foods it brings with it!
How do you celebrate fall and the harvest?