A Seasonal Shift in Eating

24 October 2018
Many things impact on the way we eat. The seasons of our life and the seasons of the weather all play a part.

As the days get longer and warmer there is a shift in how we eat around here. Soups and hearty stews feature less. Although I always try and squeeze a few last minute soups onto the menu plan when the nights are still cool because I really love soup.

We start to eat foods that feel physically lighter in our bodies. Not, 'light' in the dieting or fat sense but less of that 'stick to your ribs' kind of feeling. Of course salads become a feature, pasta sauces get lighter and lots of dishes that take less cooking become more appealing.

Broad beans from the garden.



Before I made changes to my way of eating and living I barely noticed a shift in the seasons. I mostly ate similar things all year round. Yes, there were more soups in winter and salads in summer but the ingredients often didn't differ. Fruit is the exception because fruit out of season tastes just awful.

But when it comes to vegetables, unless you've had seasonal home grown produce you just don't know any different. Unless you are making a conscious choice to be mindful of seasons and produce then it's easy to buy capsicum, zucchini and brassicas all year round. This was exactly what I did.

I must confess that there were many vegetables that were low on my favourite list simply because I'd never enjoyed a tasty version of it.

Since I started growing my own veg in the garden I've been able to appreciate the flavour difference between a vegetable, a vegetable in season and a homegrown vegetable in season. I've also begun to mark the shift between each season with the appearance of particular changes in the garden. For me, spring eating officially begins with the broad beans (one day I hope it can be asparagus when I have my own decent patch).

So,  I was a little excited when I visited my community garden plot on the weekend and harvested my first lot. Broad beans are a good example of a vegetable that I thought was so-so before growing my own. Now I love them and look forward to their appearance in the plot. And, I must confess, I generally get pretty overzealous with the planting!

Spring pasta - smoked trout, broad beans, asparagus, chard.

A few other meals on the menu this week were also channeling the spring vibes. We had a smoked trout, broad bean, asparagus and chard pasta on Monday using the aforementioned beans. All mixed together with a creamy lemon sauce. Last night we enjoyed our first salad of the season. I really do get excited about the changing menu and arrival of different produce we haven't really seen on our plates for the past six months or more.

There was another very exciting occurence lately around here. I served up my first meal where all the vegetables were grown by us. This is the first time that's happened in over twelve months.

Asian noodle stir fry - my first meal since moving with 100% homegrown veg.

Back in Adelaide this was a regular occurrence. Although it hadn't always been that way. In fact, I can still remember the very first dish I made that included just our veg. I also remember the first complete meal that contained ingredients only from our backyard - excluding oil and spices. It was a chard frittata with salad. Not overly exciting culinary wise but super exciting for me as I moved towards more values-based eating.

Of course, things will be shifting again soon as we move into a completely different way of living as .

My goal is to try and enjoy each 'season' and not look wistfully to those that have passed or those that are yet to come.

What's happening around your place on the food front. Any big seasonal shifts you've noticed or exciting firsts to report?

14 comments

  1. I’m very much looking forward to moving, not because I can’t garden here, but because finally we will be putting down roots. I look forward to growing in a wetter climate.

    The crops are browning off here, harvest will start any day, a little rain last week pushed it back. The garden needs a mulch, and a little bit of spring time colour popped in the ground to brighten things up.

    Xx

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    1. Can't wait to follow along on your adventures in the new place Emma. you wont know yourself growing in such a different climate!

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  2. How wonderful it is to have a 100% homegrown meal.
    I try my best to buy seasonal products. But sometimes it's not very easy. There are several types of squash and okra are available these days. I normally pick greens from the backyard. :)

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    1. lest you think I've got this thing nailed Nil, never fear - plenty of work in progress action here too!

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  3. Yes, I agree, nothing like the wonderful taste of homegrown.
    Maybe on your travels you will be able to Google local markets or farmers markets and buy seasonal produce as you go, also get the kids to look for roadside stalls.
    A couple of jars of sprouts will be easy to keep going while you move about.

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    1. Sprouts are a great idea - thanks for the tip! I'm really looking forward to checking out the local markets, growers and roadside stalls as we trip around. I'll also have my eyes peeled for any opportune foraging as we go too.

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  4. Home grown fruit and veg are addictive - it makes me want to garden even more. I envy you for your broad beans - none for us this year and I've learned to love them, since cooking them myself (not like mother's). All home grown veg -that's excellent.

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    1. Oh, it's so disappointing when you miss out on a crop like broad beans that are only 'once a year' - especially when you've learned that they can be so tasty and don't have to be wrinkled, grey and bitter!! Fingers crossed you are the recipient of someone's garden glut :)

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  5. Yes I'm still madly making soup before the summer hits too! As the days warm up, we're starting to cook & eat some meals outside again, which is a real thrill. Congrats on the 'all homegrown veg' meal, looks delicious and must have been very satisfying! Cheers, Sally

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    1. Thanks Sally - yes definitely satisfying. So nice when meals can be enjoyed outside for a while...until it gets too hot of course!

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  6. Laura I've only just caught up with your news as I haven't been reading any blogs for a couple of weeks. Your veges and meals look wonderful and nutritious too. I'm super excited for you to be taking the plunge and setting off on an adventure with your family. Can't wait to read about your journey. XX

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  7. Laura that broad bean and trout pasta looks delicious. I have been enjoying making up a Greek Salad with all the salad from the garden. The fetta is purchased but that's OK. We had the salad with flathead that I caught so it was a lovely seasonal treat.
    We are renovating and redesigning our food garden. The fruit trees have now grown so much that there is too much shade to grow a lot. I am also looking at ways to work smarter not harder in the garden. So I will be going to the local markets for our veg this summer.

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    1. Jane i'm jealous of your fishing haul - home caught flathead would be a great addition to any meal.
      Good luck with the garden renos - it'll be an exciting transition, although lots of work too of course.

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