Taylor Dental January 2019

Taylored to You

January 2019

6601 N. Davis Hwy Suite 8, Pensacola, FL 32504 • (850) 478-8005 • www.AndrewTaylorDental.com

A Guide to Eating Seasonally

What to Buy and Cook Throughout the Year

SPRING Unsurprisingly, spring is when bright green vegetables start to emerge en masse. From asparagus and artichokes to snap peas and fava beans, you’ll find no shortage of delicious veggies to signal the blossoming of a new season. Spring is also the best time to eat strawberries, which is something even the pickiest of eaters can get behind. The downside with spring produce is that the season tends to be relatively short, so you’ll have to enjoy these treasures while you can.

This time of year, many people resolve to eat healthier. It’s a noble goal, but it can’t be accomplished through wishful thinking alone. There are infinite fad diets and eating challenges you can try in order to improve your diet, but more often than not, these methods produce fleeting results. It’s much more logical to transform your diet through simple, actionable steps rather than attempting a complete overhaul based on obscure methodology or marketing gimmicks. Fortunately, one of the biggest steps you can take to improve your diet is also a simple one: Increase the amount of local and seasonal produce in your pantry and on your plate. Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstones of nutritious eating habits, and sourcing from local purveyors guarantees you’ll get your produce at the height of freshness. In addition to the health and taste benefits of eating fresh produce that hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to land on a store shelf, seasonality and locality affect the sustainability and price of your food. “If people are prepared to eat locally and seasonally,” says philosopher and food theorist Peter Singer, “then they probably do pretty well in terms of environmental impact.” On the economic side of things, the shorter the distance between farm and store, the lower the price, which is why you can always find great deals at your local farmers market. To help make 2019 a year of seasonal eating, you’ll need to know what’s at peak ripeness each season. Of course, some of what’s available in your area will vary based on the climate where you live, but the vast majority of this guide will be applicable to the 48 contiguous states.

SUMMER Variety is at an all-time high during the summer months, but a few categories of produce deserve particular attention. Nightshades, including tomatoes, peppers, chilis, and eggplant, shine during this time of year. In fact, eating a tomato in December is a pale imitation of what you’ll get in July, making it one of the best examples of the stark

difference between eating seasonally and grabbing whatever is languishing on the shelves at the grocery store. The same goes for corn and stone fruit like peaches, which are summer-barbecue staples for a reason. FALL Think of the Thanksgiving color palette, and you’ll have a good idea of what’s in season. Hearty greens like kale and Swiss chard will begin appearing more frequently, as well as unique varieties of carrots and apples. Fall is also the best time of year for foraged mushrooms like oysters and chanterelles. As with the weather, autumnal foods are the bridge between the brightness of summer and the depths of winter. TOOLS FOR EATING SEASONALLY SeasonalFoodGuide.org is a great to tool to find up-to-the-minute lists of what’s in season in your state, from traditional favorites to obscure vegetables you’ve probably never heard of. When it comes to seasonal cookbooks, you can do no better than Joshua McFadden’s “Six Seasons,” which divides the calendar beyond our traditional four quarters for maximum specificity.

WINTER While you may not expect it, the coldest portion of the year produces a bounty of vegetables that are earthy and subtly sweet. At the top of this list is cabbage, which comes in many varieties and is at its peak during winter. Root vegetables like parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, and kohlrabi are also in abundance. On the fruitier side of things, winter in the

warmer parts of the country yields delicious citrus harvests. At no other time of the year will you find such an awesome variety of oranges, lemons, limes, and more. Be on the lookout for exotic varieties like blood oranges and pomelos.

Here’s to a year of enjoying seasonal, local produce. It will expand your horizons and improve your health — a win-win by any measure.

–Dr. Taylor

1 (850) 478-8005 • www.AndrewTaylorDental.com • Taylor Dental

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