There are many good reasons why we should eat more local foods. Reducing transport costs and emissions, higher nutritional value, and support of the local economy are all new ways to support the world and the body we live in. Eating seasonally helps us to reconnect to nature’s cycles and the passage of time. But most importantly, local seasonal food is fresher and tends to be tastier and more nutritious.
Trying to eat seasonally?
Enjoy the end of the summer and fall transition with these recipes featuring Mediterranean flavors all made with local in-season produce.
Raw Beet Salad
Beets are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as health-beneficial plant pigments which are powerful antioxidants. In addition to their sweet flavor, beets offer easily absorbed iron which is especially effective as a blood builder. YIELD: 2-4 servings
- 4-5 small or medium beets, assorted colors, sliced into paper-thin rounds or grated
- 1 small bulb fennel, sliced paper-thin or grated A few torn fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard (not grainy)
- Assorted fresh herbs, such as oregano, mint, marjoram, or sage (or a combo), minced, to taste
- A spritz of lemon juice salt to taste
Toss together beets, fennel, and basil. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and herbs and drizzle it over the beets. Spritz with lemon, sprinkle with salt, and serve.
Raw vegetables in contain loads of vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be lost in the cooking process, the olive oil in the gazpacho is a heart healthy fat that assists the body to utilize fat soluble vitamins and the garlic is a powerful antioxidant. YIELD: 4-6 servings
- 1 cucumber, halved, seeded and peeled
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 small jalapeno pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup basil (or other herb such as cilantro) finely chopped
- 23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/8-1/4 lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, and jalapeno peppers into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. be careful not to over process!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, basil, tomato juice, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
Refreshing Green and Mint Tea
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants called catechins that destroy free radicals which can cause a number of diseases. It also contains some substances which can be relaxing and calming, as well as the more well known stimulating substances. YIELD: 4 cups
- 10 sprigs fresh mint leaves
- 3 teaspoons green tea
- sugar or honey to taste (optional)
- 4 cups water
Place the herbs in a teapot and pour boiling water over them. Cover and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This tea can be enjoyed hot or cold!