Hello Spring - Culinary Therapy

Hello Spring

Spring is my absolute favorite season, so today I am celebrating. Celebrating the end of this winter’s very long frost and the appearance of new spring  produce at the market. I’m thrilled to be getting started in the garden again this week and looking forward to some spring cleaning.

For me, spring cleaning is less about my house (though I do that too) and more about getting into the kitchen pantry and fridge to clean, re-organize and upgrade.

Spring is also my favorite time to “clean and upgrade” my own health, shed some winter pounds, and get back that glow. Next week, registration opens for our Seasonal Spring Detox, “Clean”. Be sure to check back for more information!

Getting back to your pantry makeover…

Here are my Top 3 Tips to Upgrade Your Seasonal Spring Pantry:

#1 Read the labels on all of your packaged products. The truth is in the label… the nutrition label, that is. By law, food manufacturers must list all ingredients on the nutrition label. What are you looking for? As a general rule, five or less ingredients is a great place to start. Anything more than that is overly processed, with little to no nutritional value.

Can you read the names of the ingredients on the label? Another great rule of thumb is to avoid processed foods with ingredient names you can’t pronounce. Whole food ingredients look more familiar.

For example, a Lara Bar Cashew Cookie contains the following ingredients: cashews, dates. Alternatively, a Quaker Chewy Oatmeal Raisin granola bar contains more than 25 ingredients, including 7 different types of sugar, difficult to name preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.

#2 Shop for spring produce. In the US, we’ve grown accustomed to year-round access to food delivered from throughout the world. Watermelon, a cooling summer fruit, can be found in supermarkets in February. On the contrary, seasonal eating simply means that you are building your meals around foods that have just been harvested, and are in peak season.

Eating in alignment with the seasons is the best way to deliver your body the essential nutrients it needs, as nature intended.

Spring vegetables include asparagus, artichoke, carrots, collards, fennel, mustard greens, rhubarb, and spinach. Spring fruit include apricots, strawberries and avocados.

#3  Experiment with seasonal spices like chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary, and watercress.

 

Your Simple Action Steps:

  1. Read labels and start to upgrade the content of your pantry.
  2. Visit a local farmer’s market for fresh spring fruits, vegetables, and seasonal spices.

Local food found at a farmer’s market is fresher (more flavorful), healthier for you (contains more nutrients) and better for the environment (less fossil fuel is used for transportation). Try localharvest.org to find one near you.

 

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