Seasonal eating works, says ancient Chinese medicine

Years ago I was introduced to The Chinese Almanac (they were a client). This was a thin paperback published by Ginseng Press that provided information associated with the Chinese calendar system through yearly forecasts tied to projected weather patterns. Sadly, this book is now out of production (it was an annual publication akin to the Farmer’s Almanac but with a much deeper exploration of forecasts as they relate to eating and health). The content drew from the knowledge of a licensed naturopathic and registered Traditional Chinese Medical doctor with rare access and prolonged exposure to the elders passing down this ancient wisdom over a five thousand year period. Curiously, he now lives in Canada.

One issue I became acutely aware of after reading these books was how much food choices can combat or contribute to health issues. Not in the way most are pushing now, but through the wisdom of simple, ancient teachings. It makes so much sense to view local seasonal foods as the best choice provided you see the world as connected in a way suggested by Eastern philosophies. The things I learned (and experienced through testing) were priceless relative to food choices according the weather (and ailments). Now I understand why my body rejects oranges in the winter, what foods are cooling or heating (they’re not what you might think), the benefit of focusing menu plans on what I can grab from the garden and how certain items can have a huge effect on seasonal health concerns.

If you’re interested in how food choices affect your body, it’s worth taking the time to do a little research and study on the ideals offered through ancient Chinese medicine. You might be amazed at how quickly you can improve how you feel by drawing from what’s naturally available during different times of the year. It might even provide additional incentive to buy from local farmers – a practice that does so many good things for you and the community.

That said, sometimes it gets challenging finding fun, quick and different recipes for abundant local foods.

Kale and turnips are in season at Halcyon Acres® right now in copious supply.seasonal produce cooking ideas from Halcyon Acres

Kale is loaded with beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein (antioxidant) and even offers a decent dose of calcium. Turnips (roots – the greens carry a lot more nutrients) give a boost of Vitamin C as cooler temperatures start bringing on colds. At less than 40 calories a piece, turnips provide a nice boost of interesting flavor to meals when you’re looking for a different taste.

It’s always challenging with uncommon or abundant foods to find different ways to prepare them. Here’s an easy recipe that includes kale, turnips, garlic, thyme, stock and a little bit of oil that takes less than five minutes to prepare once the turnips are cooked.

Do you have tasty recipes that could come from your own in-season garden (all food ingredients in this one came from the Halcyon Acres® garden today – even the little bit of organic sunflower oil is from a local producer manufacturing now)? We’re looking for quick and easy ideas to include in our recipes section on this blog. Have one you’d like to see featured (of course we’ll give you credit and are happy to provide a website or blog link as part of this) on this site? Please share. You can do so in the comments below or e-mail NLevin@HorseSenseAndCents.com. Thanks for sharing!

nlevin

Nanette Levin learned the produce practices she uses mostly the hard way over 20 years of experimentation. Hopefully you'll consider this site one of the many good resources that have cropped up to help you avoid mistakes as a new gardener or a more experienced one shifting to chemical-free solutions. There's a lot of free information (concerning plants and horses), but we also offer consultative support for those seeking customized attention.

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