HOW TO SHOP LOCAL AND SEASONAL – LEARN TO EAT AND SHOP LIKE A PRO
“The joy of eating seasonally is the joy of fresh produce and fresh foods.”
– Anna Lappé
With summer comes the notion and craving to eat lighter. We tend to listen to our bodies and look for chilled, cool and hydrating foods. We naturally choose fewer stews, soups and roasted things and instead seek out crisp, green things and lightened up dishes. Think salads, gazpacho and BBQ fish (my ultimate).
My favourite thing to do with clients is teach them how to eat locally — which by default, ends up being a seasonal approach as well. As Ontarians we’re super-fortunate to have bountiful summer harvests. In June, July and August, all the delightful and colourful ingredients that are ultra-easy to prepare and even easier to EAT begin to spring up.
We’ll have you eating and shopping like a pro by the end of this article:
- Farmer’s markets are EVERYTHING: From the east to west, and north to south ends of the GTA, you cannot help but appreciate and notice all the local markets. Best part is, there’s a market (or several) every day of the week, so YOU can shop based on your schedule.
- TALK and ASK QUESTIONS: Want to know what to do with a raw ingredient, what the flavour profile is or how to prepare it? Ask the farmers/workers at each stall — some will even have recipe cards for you. Alternatively, you can always feel free to email me. You wouldn’t want to buy a bushel and then have it go to waste!
- Download your Ontario PRODUCE guide. Stick it inside your cupboard or fridge. I like to set reminders on my phone because heaven forbid I miss the small window of cherry or strawberry season in June/July!
- ORGANICS vs. CONVENTIONAL: I like to shop organic when I’m able to in order to limit the amount of pesticides and herbicides that end up in my food. The great news is that a lot of farmers at these markets do practice organic methods; they’re just not licensed due to fees and time (soil must be organic for 3 years in order to apply). Need a cheat sheet? Click here for the Dirty DOZEN and Clean FIFTEEN lists of fruits and veggies to avoid and choose. TIP: Things that grow soft-skinned in soil (potatoes and root veggies) are best to buy organic, whereas produce that you peel (citrus, bananas, etc.) are okay to buy conventional.
- Think COOL and HYDRATING when building your meals: I try to opt for at least 60% raw during the hot months. Salads, chilled soups, pickled things and fresh fish/seafood or lean proteins will keep you cool and refreshed! On the opposite end of the spectrum, I eat super-rich and nourishing foods in the cold seasons.
I’m so excited for farmer’s markets and all things summer! And OF COURSE, I wouldn’t leave you without a recipe to ring in summer lovin’.
Cool Hand Luke Gazpacho
1 cucumber (English)
3 tomatoes (vine ripe or beefsteak)
1 yellow pepper
½ sweet onion
1 small jalapeno
1 cup Walter All-Natural Caesar (optional)**
2 limes, juiced and zested
1 dash sea salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 small handful fresh parsley
To Do: Blend everything until smooth-ish. You’re going for a soup-like texture. Taste. Add some more citrus, heat, or salt. I sometimes add a little honey to cut the acidity. Finish with fresh lime zest, olive oil drizzle and herbs. Tastes like summer!
AS IT APPEARED IN PRINT