In these more "advanced" countries of the west we seem to have "lost our way" from the "Good old days" where each season was celebrated either with a festival or gathering of different crops and produce.
Global farming and "under glass" growing has replaced seasonal crops, in many countries and along with that, the ability of the body to get the seasonal plant based proteins and fiber it desperately needs.
In Europe nettles begin to grow at the beginning of Spring the time that human beings need to eat, there and then, at their peak of freshness and immaturity for their vital minerals. Few people even bother to collect nettles now, (dried ones are really not the answer) the same goes for first of Spring dandelions, a great diuretic for the kidneys.
So let's change a few things and at the start of every new Season, be conscious about what you are putting into your body and if possible do a 24 hour detox/fast/juice only..to help rid your body of excesses over the past 3 months.
Increase the amount of fresh green vegetables, cut down on dairy, caffeine,red meats, alcohol and any animal fats.
Make a note to drink an extra 3 x10fl ozs spring or filtered water every day...it helps if you do it longer but if you can remind yourself to do it at the beginning of each new season you will see the results, more energy, better skin tone, less anger and anxiety.
The following will help support the body and keep your inner workings calm as you transition into ANY new season:
Raw sauerkraut &/or a non-dairy pro-biotic
Flax seed oil 1 tsp in a salad every other day for a week or more
Pumpkin seeds (1 tbsp pumpkin seeds in a salad every week works wonders)
or 1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
Especially as we enter into the cooler months, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables washed well and raw, to increase Vit C intake..juice more.
Eat far more parsley as it has more Vit C than citrus, plus chlorophyll ,& calcium.
Try and eat the raw fruits/fruit juices at breakfast time as they are digested better when they are the only thing in the stomach.
To support the liver during this cleansing phase..eat more:
Broccoli, sprouted nuts,( washed well and soaked overnight, especially raw, shelled almonds) Brussels sprouts, RAW flaxseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cabbage, turnip, and beets ( all of which are coming in season).
..................... The Menu chosen for the first Monday of Fall is:
Fresh tomato soup with basil
"Old fashioned" lentil soup with carrots and celery
SPICY Black bean and fresh sweetcorn chowder
Sweet potato and maple soup
Roasted root vegetables ( parsnip, carrots, red potatoes, onions) with poppy seed crepes and pico de galdo
Whole grain pasta with a vegetable ragout ( green beans, mushrooms,and zucchini)
A SPICY "Nacho" salad with red kidney beans, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, olives, crumbled cheese, Broccoli Rabe, toasted sweetcorn actually served on Toastadas ( fried corn tortillas)
Sauteed Broccoli Rabe and Kale with flax seeds and own dried raisins
Whole wheat oatmeal raisin -walnut cookies
Another few tips:
Texture plays a big part in the enjoyment of food, when you are enjoying your next meal take a few moments and close your eyes as you chew..think about textures that you are enjoying then try and re-create when you make the dish at home.
A lot of Mexican and South American recipes, call for Fresh Cheese this is a crumbled cheese and the best way to produce it at home is to freeze a block of your fav. cheese or whatever is at hand, defrost overnight in the fridge, the next day when you come to use it, it will ONLY crumble,you will not be able to grate it as the ice crystals have broken the cheese down but it does give the same texture as authentic Mexican-South American dishes ( this is way better than using feta cheese which tends to be salty and fresh cheese is not)..and freezing does not alter the taste.
When making crepes, add various things to the batter eg. today I added cornmeal to the crepe batter and fresh chopped parsley, along with the poppy seeds.
Cornmeal adds a good texture to crepes and almost another "south of the border" feel..also saves having to buy masa (ground corn) flour or even fresh masa blocks.
Adding fresh herbs to crepes also adds a depth of flavor.
I also prefer Pico d'Galdo to most salsa's as it is almost like a cross between and salad and a chutney..just chop tomatoes, bell peppers, scallions, cilantro, *(you can add raw chili for heat), and any salad items you have spare..I used some "Persian" Cucumbers ..small pickle sized that do not need peeling, you can also add chopped red radish or daikon, or Jicama..season with sea salt, ground pepper and lime or lemon juice and chill ( if making the day before only add the salt and citrus juice on the day of serving or it will make the cilantro turn black).
Serve with anything..it is fabulous and very fresh tasting.other herbs that work are mint or parsley.
Here are some Photos for your pleasure:
|tomatoes, celery, zucchini, carrots and parsnips|
|Kale left...Broccoli Rabe right|
|Scallions aka green onions|
|own grown "white " eggplants..heirloom variety egg shaped as in name|
|Sweet potato soup top and Tomato-basil lower..both finished with coconut cream|
|Old fashioned lentil with parsley|
|Close-up of the sweet potato with maple syrup and coconut cream|
|Close-up old fashioned lentil with parsley|
|Close-up of the tomato with basil and coconut cream|
|Black bean and corn chowder side view|
|Pico d'Galdo veggies|
|Spicy kidney bean and corn mix for the tostadas|
|The packed nacho-toastada mix|
|Poppy seed and parsley crepes for the roasted vegetables with pico d'galdo|