Yes, it’s been a really hot summer! This means a great growing season for local produce. Fingers crossed, we can expect an abundance of fresh produce well into early winter.
I’ve been asked many times “how can I eat healthy on a budget”? This time of year it’s easy to answer that question. When foods are in season and in abundance they are inexpensive. This is the time to stock up on vegetables like, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, zucchini and a wide variety of leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, kale, etc. Information is also abundant. There are countless of recipes online on how to make…anything! Look up new recipes. Use this as an opportunity to be inspired and add new items to your cooking repertoire. Check reviews to find out if the recipe actually works or if you find something you are not sure about. If searching the web isn’t your thing, there are cookbooks in local libraries. Find out how to preserve fruits and vegetables. I’m not just talking about making jams and jellies. You can freeze or can beans, peas, tomatoes, corn or kale to name a few. Modern recipes even offer reduced sugar and sodium options.
Visit farmers’ markets for local produce. Foods that are grown close to home retain more of their nutrients and are picked ripe, which translates to more flavour. If you shop closer to closing time vendors often offer specials on produce that they don’t want to take back with them. Take advantage of these specials and stock up on your favorites. Make your own spaghetti sauce with some (not so perfect) tomatoes and fresh basil. Buying in bulk saves you money and allows you to enjoy summer flavours all year long. Just watch out for the baking tables! I know they can be very tempting, but it’s better to spend your dollars on food that is beneficial to your health. You are worth it!
When winter rolls around what flavours will you crave the most? Will you wish you had fresh corn to add to your taco? Ontario peaches to add to your smoothie? Looking ahead, winter squash, corn, cabbage, apples and pears are just around the corner. I can’t wait!
By: Lisa Darchiville
Lisa is a Holistic Nutritionist and Caterer. Through consultation, cooking workshops and catering, she demonstrates that healthy food can be healing and delicious!