Welcome back to the collaboration between Mint and Brewing Happiness. I’m Haley, the girl behind Brewing Happiness – a blog about celebrating the small healthy choices we make in our lives, complete with recipes for everybody! I’m here to give you tips on living a healthy, happy life on a budget.
Today I am going to share with you some easy strategies to identify what is in season, why eating seasonally can help your budget, and even a few Fall recipe ideas! It is a misnomer that eating seasonally is hard to do, or difficult to identify. I find that eating seasonally is very intuitive and nourishing. Don’t worry, you don’t have to figure it out on your own – I am here to help make this a simple process for you.
Let’s begin with three easy ways to identify what’s in season:
1. Peruse your local farmer’s market.
Shopping at your local farmer’s market will insist that you buy seasonally, because all farmers’ market produce is seasonal! It takes out the guesswork, and allows you to support your local farmers. But if you are a person who doesn’t like the farmers’ market or doesn’t have one near, don’t worry; there are ways to identify what’s in season at your local grocery store.
2. Scour the grocery store for what’s abundant, cheap, and local.
When at the grocery store you want to look for three qualifiers in the produce you are buying that will indicate if it is seasonal. The first is abundance. Look around for what there are large amounts of at your grocery store, because often those are the items that are in season. Second, check out the prices. Seasonal food will often be on sale or priced fairly low, because of the supply being high. The third seasonal identifier is to check where the produce is grown. If signs or stickers indicate that it is grown fairly close to you it is most likely in season, but if they have to ship from a different country or very far away it is probably not.
3. Google it.
There are tons of great resources on the Internet that can guide you toward what is in season. Simply search the month you are in and seasonal produce USA. So for example this month would be, “October seasonal produce USA.” This way you can tailor your grocery list based on these guides, and check the prices once you get in store. I find this can be the most helpful strategy if I want to plan a large seasonal menu or if I’m just in a rush.
There are so many reasons to eat seasonally. Eating seasonally helps complete the circle of supply and demand, benefitting your local farmers. As I mentioned before, the high supply will create a lower cost, in turn helping reduce your food expenditure. Finally, seasonal foods often pair well together. So if you are a person intimidated by branching out in the kitchen – this is a great way to create reliable flavor parings.
Here is a brief list of what is in season for October and November:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Potatoes
Mix and match your seasonal produce to create these seasonally inspired dishes!
Breakfast – Top your oatmeal or yogurt with apples, figs, cinnamon, and honey.
Lunch – Make a kale salad with oranges, broccoli, roasted beets, sweet potatoes, chicken and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
Dinner – Try roasting squash, brussels sprouts, pumpkin, and cauliflower and serving it with salmon topped with pepitas and pomegranate seeds.
Snack – Make a trail mix with roasted pumpkin seeds and dried apples!Dessert – Roast pears in the oven with cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Serve over ice cream with a drizzle of honey.
Have fun with your seasonal parings and don’t be afraid to try something new, or combine some new flavors. I find that eating seasonally allows me to be more creative in the kitchen, because I know I can rely on the flavors tasting good together. Plus these foods are only around for a few months, so you might as well make the most of it as you can!
Over the next few months I’ll be covering a variety of ways to be healthy on a budget. Keep an eye out for those and head over to Brewing Happiness for healthy recipe inspiration in the meantime!