Until recently, I hadn’t given much thought (if any) to eating fruits and vegetables that are seasonally grown. I mean, why would I? The grocery store stocks most everything I enjoy year round. It wasn’t until I thought about my own garden and how it produces various fruits and vegetables at different times of the year that I even considered the concept of eating seasonally. With this in mind, I decided to dive further into why an individual might choose to eat seasonally and came up with the following reasons.
- More affordable
- The produce is cheaper to grow (no hot house required), so cheaper to buy.
- Supply vs Demand. Because it’s cheaper to grow, farmers can grown more. The more farmers grow (increase in supply), the less it costs the consumer (decrease in demand).
- If the produce is locally grown you don’t have to pay for shipping, handling, packaging, etc.
- Better food
- Peak Ripeness = Greatest Nutritional Content. We’ve all seen unripe tomatoes at the store. This is often because they are grown out of season (and picked too early in order to ship them long distances). Although these tomatoes appear ripe, red, and delicious on the outside, they are in fact unripe, white, and firm on the inside.
- Local seasonally grown food doesn’t require chemicals and preservatives. Think about it, if something is grown locally it travels a short distance in a short period of time to get to the consumer. However, if we purchase produce grown in other parts of the country, or even other countries all together, they are often sprayed with chemicals and preservatives to keep them looking fresh during their shipment which can take days or even weeks.
- Seasonally grown food tastes better (Need I say more?).
- Eating a wide selection of produce gives our bodies a diversity of vitamins and minerals, which aid in the proper functioning of our cells (That’s a good thing!).
That being said, I tend to enjoy fruits and vegetables that ripen naturally in the spring and summer, but now that I know the benefits of eating seasonally, I’m making a point to introduce more fall and winter produce into my diet (pumpkins, sweet potatoes, persimmons, squash, Brussels sprouts, pomegranate, etc). Hence the reason why I’m sharing today’s recipe which includes pumpkin puree.
Truth be told I’m not a huge pumpkin fan, but this beverage is surprisingly smooth and delicious. Even if you don’t like pumpkin, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. It won’t disappoint. And you can feel good about it because there is no dairy, processed white sugar, or preservatives, but rather it is made with simple REAL ingredients.
- 2 cups strongly-brewed coffee
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (just pumpkin, no other ingredients)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan on medium-high heat and stir until combined (approximately 3-5 minutes). To achieve a frothy texture whisk the ingredients rather than stir.
- This recipe makes four 8 oz servings (or in my case two 16 oz servings. Don’t judge!).
- You might consider replacing the coffee with espresso for a more robust flavor profile.
- If you prefer your beverage less (or more) sweet, you can use less (or more) maple syrup.
Recipe from Against All Grain