Do you ever think about how your cravings for certain foods change and develop as the seasons change? In the summer, I bet you were all about juicy watermelon and fresh fruits, dripping popsicles, and amazing home-grown salads. Now that fall is quickly approaching, you may be just starting to think about pumpkin-spiced coffee, fresh-picked apples, and warm soup.
Part of the reason your body craves certain foods during certain seasons is because that is when that type of food is best eaten. Fresh fruit in the summer is delicious and is pretty rare during cold winter months. We get excited when we see foods that haven’t been offered to us in months finally available. Thus, we start to crave it around the same time each year!
Also, our body temperature is regulated by our thyroid. In the summer, our bodies need to keep cool. When the weather starts to cool, so do our bodies. We need warm foods and extra Vitamin D in our systems to regulate the fact we are getting less sunlight and warmth. We also tend to be less active in the fall and winter, thus taking longer for our food to digest.
So this fall, give in to your autumn food cravings! Start thinking about all the delicious Thanksgiving dinners and remember to eat slowly and healthy.
Want to eat in season? Here are a list of fruits and veggies that are best enjoyed in the fall:
- Look for blemish-free, dull green rind.
- Can keep up to two months.
- Choose firm, unblemished apples.
- Try baking Fat-Free Apple Cobbler
- Feel for top-heavy squash.
- Check skin for blemishes.
- Look for tightly-packed florets.
- Check for yellow spots before buying.
- Keeps up to five days, refrigerated.
- Squeeze to test for firmness – not too soft, not hard.
- Check for grapes to be plump and vibrant-colored.
- Avoid blemished or dried out mushrooms.
- Store in paper bag for the right humidity.
- Shouldn’t look withered or limp or have too many small roots.
- Can be stored up to four weeks in refrigerator.
- Find pears free of blemishes or bruises.
- Try baking Fat-Free Pear Tart
- Whole pomegranates should feel heavier than they look.
- Can be stored up to three months in the fridge.
- Pick a pumpkin with a tough skin that can’t be scratched by your thumbnail.
- Try Fat-Free Pumpkin Bars and Pumpkin-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
- Avoid sweet potatoes with black spots.
- Make sure they’re not shriveled.
- Leaves should be vibrant and green.
- Avoid wilted chard.
Also, here is a list of farmer’s markets in Michigan. Be sure to visit one at least once this fall and get some homegrown goodness!
To read more from Lauren, read Lauren’s Thoughts.
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