One of the best parts of seasonal change is the diverse produce that goes along with it. This post is inspired by the beautiful and fresh strawberries and blueberries that I picked up from my local organic farm stall this week. I have been patiently waiting for berry season to roll back around, simply because I have been dying to make a fruit salad recipe with one simple twist – nut butter. To top a fruit salad off with a decadent nut butter is a delicious and simple concoction that is so flavorful it simply must be shared.
The first time I was introduced to this combination was by a friend of mine from yoga, and we were absolutely ravenous. I remember being elated by the delicious combination of nut butter and fresh fruit. The nutty butter with its healthy monounsaturated fat content mixed with a combination of light and juicy fruit is simply divine, and makes a real impact. This fruit salad would make for a decadent breakfast treat as well as a satisfying post lunch/dinner dessert. Make an impression without much effort at all – you guys know this is how I roll!
Eating In Season:
Have you ever noticed how juicy biting into a freshly picked tomato can be? Eating local, seasonal, and organic food is reason enough to celebrate in a world where convenience, and processed foods rule our supermarket isles and food menus. Seasonal produce not only tastes better, but also has a higher nutritional value and can be more affordable.
Eating seasonal foods connect us to our immediate environment. Traditionally the food grown within an ecosystem grows to support the life within that system. Coconuts are the perfect example of this, they are loaded with electrolytes that rehydrate the body and combat excessive sweating in hot and humid conditions.
Seasons form the backdrop for eating, or at least they used to anyway. Ecologists consider seasons to be the natural source of diversity. Each season: spring, summer, autumn, and winter bring with it their own unique growing conditions for seasonal produce, and are therefore considered essential in the balance between the planets resources and all life.
Today it is easy to shrug at the concept of seasonal eating considering today’s modern day food processing, and its worldwide distribution. Food is made available all year round independent of the time of year, which is why supermarket shelves look exactly the same all year around (freaky).
Looking for a few tips on seasonal eating? To enjoy the best, most delicious nutrition make your menu a seasonal one. Although seasonal menus will differ between regions there are some overriding principles that one can follow.
Spring: is a time to eat tender leafy greens, which represent growth. These greens can appear on your plate in the form of swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce, and fresh herbs like basil and parsley.
Summer: think light and cooling foods that contain lots of natural moisture. Thee foods include strawberries, apples, pears and plums; vegetables like summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower and corn; and spices and seasonings like peppermint and cilantro.
Autumn: as the chill sets in seek out warming foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic. Emphasis should also be placed and warming spices and seasonings including ginger, peppercorns, and mustard seeds.
Winter: should make you think about root veggies, including corn, carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic. Nuts also fit into this category.
When it comes to seasonal eating get creative, and let the natural backdrop of spring, summer, fall and winter be your guide.
1 pineapple, peeled and chopped (fresh mango would be heavenly too)
250 g strawberries, sliced into quarters
250 g blueberries
100 g pomegranate seeds
Handful fresh mint
3-6 T Chocolate macadamia nut butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
- Peel and chop your pineapple and add the pineapple to a mixing bowl.
- Quarter your strawberries and add them along with the blueberries and pomegranate seeds into a bowl.
- Chop your mint and mix 2/3 into the fruit salad, leaving 1/3 for garnish.
- Place into bowls and drizzle with 1–2 tablespoons of nut butter per bowl.
- Tuck in!
Note: sometimes eating seasonal-only foods can be challenging. Especially when you need to get creative with recipes for a blog. In saying that, the pomegranate seeds are store bought (I hope you’ll forgive me) and can be omitted for any other fruit you think would be better suited (ummm…like something in season!) I planned on using the pomegranate before I stumbled upon these locally grown organic strawberries, hence my revelation and inspiration behind this week’s post.