The Keys To Seasonal Cooking

pexels-photo-large (13)As more Americans have become concerned about health in recent years, topics such as organic foods, GMOs and paleo-inspired diets are currently a main focus of cuisine. Likewise, the idea of growing and producing one’s own food is more popular than ever; however, that may not be a possibility for everyone. Decades of supermarkets and readily-available foods have lessened the need and most certainly the skill for personal farming, but that hasn’t stopped the everyday foodie from enjoying a little farm-to-table cuisine.

 

A large part of this style of eating revolves around produce–produce that is in season and therefore encourages seasonal cooking. For some who are interested but unfamiliar with this process, seasonal cooking can be daunting. Questions about what is in season, or how to make meals fun are all over the Internet.  Thus, I’ve created this blog to shed a bit more light on cooking seasonally, and to help make the process and potential lifestyle as easy as possible.

 

  1. Buy Local:
    The reality is, with transportation and technology, we can get practically anything at our grocery stores, unaware that the peak season for strawberries is summer, and for sweet potatoes, winter. The key to enjoying things when they are meant to be enjoyed is to purchase food locally. That means finding and visiting farmers markets and stocking up on the goods that are available. Yes, farmers markets and fresh produce can be a little more costly than you’re used to at a supermarket, but it can be worth the additional cost if the value matches the price.

  2. Learn To Preserve:
    Buying local often means buying more. Unless you have a farmers market which operates daily, or a warm weather climate that can grow anything, you never know when you’ll need more ingredients. Yet even then, harvests and customers vary, so there’s no guarantee that a tomato today will be there tomorrow. Therefore, you must learn to purchase in bulk and to preserve so that the ingredients can be useful to you for than a week. Canning, pickling and freezing are great resources for collecting produce to cook with throughout the season and/or year-round.

  3. Go With The Flow:
    Seasonal cooking doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be boring. Find joy in learning new recipes based on the available ingredients, or open yourself up to exploring ways to make certain dishes that you’ve always wanted to try, but hadn’t previously bought. We all have favorites of things, but being forced to switch it up once in awhile makes us better cooks, and we may find new favorites in the process.