Winter is right around the corner, and if you follow a vegan diet, then you probably know how important it is to eat enough nutrient-rich foods during the cold season to maintain a healthy and happy body. Eating seasonally is a wonderful way to do so! Though eating seasonally is nothing new, it is something many people are doing as a way of getting back to a more natural and sustainable way of living.
No Strawberries During Winter?
It is hard to believe there was ever a time when you couldn’t get strawberries in the dead of winter or chestnuts in the summer, but before advanced refridgeration and transportation, everyone simply ate what was grown seasonally. Though we are now provided with so many of these out-of-season fruits and vegetables readily available at our local supermarkets, it might actually be having a negative affect on us both nutritionally and financially.
Out of Season Food Cons
When you pick up that container of strawberries or bundle of spinach in January or February, you are getting fruits and vegetables that are not at their “peak” in terms of nutritional value. Most out of season produce has to be harvested early, because of the long haul it has to make to get your grocery store. The produce is later artificially ripened, causing them to lose peak nutrition and taste. Additionally, the out of season fruits and vegetables tend to be pricier to make up for the transportation costs.
Eating Seasonally Saves Money
Living a vegan lifestyle often requires you to have plenty of vegetables on hand to make hearty, nutritious meals. Buying seasonal produce is much cheaper because those fruits and vegetables are available in abundance and require much less travel time since you’re getting them from local farms.
Eat Well Guide is a great tool that shows you what produce is currently in season in your area, as well as local farms near you. By eating seasonally, you get the most out of the produce you buy, both nutritionally and financially. You are also supporting your local farmers, which is always a happy plus!
Freshen Up Your Meal Plan
You can totally make your breakfast, lunch and dinner more appetizing by opting for seasonal fruits and vegetables this winter. Tired of having your usual salad every day for lunch? Swap it for a warm, homemade vegan soup full of potatoes, carrots, onions and other winter veggies. Our bodies need a wide assortment of vitamins and minerals, so by having a varied diet, your body has less of a chance to be lacking in a particular nutrient.
Be a Seasonal Vegan!
The next time you head to the grocery store or your local farmers’ market, pick up plenty of hearty winter fruits and vegetables that are all fresh. Eating seasonally is a perfect way to cook up a terrifically delicious vegan meal you have never tried before and share with others!
The USDA offers a helpful list of winter fruits and vegetables that include apples, bananas, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, pears, pineapples, pumpkins, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips and winter squash. You can also check out Eat the Seasons, which gives you a wonderful month-to-month breakdown of all seasonal foods. What are your favorite winter foods?