Food has lost a great deal of its value in our society; genetically modified, pesticide laden, adulterated with preservatives, food coloring and artificial flavors, then packaged and shipped over hundreds of miles over several days…all the while losing much of its nutritional value and picking up harmful toxic chemicals in the process. There are however, at least two things we can do to limit our consumption of these foods – eating locally and eating seasonally.
Eating seasonally means eating the foods that grow in the present season. So eating seasonally also ideally means eating locally – eating foods grown as close to you as possible, whether grown in your own backyard, a local community plot, or bought at your local farmer’s market. There are many benefits to eating locally. Because local foods travel shorter distances, they are fresher and therefore contain more nutrients and are richer in flavour. And with shorter distances to travel and the conservation of green spaces for farm land, local food leaves less of a carbon footprint. Eating locally also supports local economy by supporting local farmers. Increased food safety is also another benefit. A shorter distance between your food's source and your plate, and knowing where your food comes from and who grows it, all decrease the chances of contamination.
Eating with the seasons means more variety in your diet, as well. Not only does a varied diet make for more interesting and creative meals, but it also increases the range of nutrients you receive from your diet. And finally, seasonal foods naturally cater to the needs of your body with the change of seasons, while promoting the function of different organs. For example, in the winter, many root and hardier vegetables that were harvested in the late fall must be cooked to be eaten, which is perfect for keeping you warm in the cold months. While in the spring, vegetables like dandelion greens are in season. These bitter greens stimulate the liver and kidneys, helping to promote detoxification – a process to be undertaken ideally in the gentle spring weather as the temperature begins to rise.
With so many benefits for you and your community, why not challenge yourself to eat seasonally and eat locally this year? To help you get started, here is a list of foods you’ll find in season this spring!
Sensational Spring Produce available in Southern Ontario:
Check out our next blog post for a spring-inspired recipie! Fresh Dandelion Greens with Roasted Squash and Toasted Hazelnuts
Article Written By Dr.Vanessa Youssef, ND Our new addition to Hillcrest Centre for Health - St Clair West!
1 small acorn or butternut squash
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed, dried and torn
1 cup unsalted, raw hazelnuts
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon coconut oil, divided
3 tablespoons liquid honey, divided
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon plus one pinch cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon plus one pinch paprika, divided
1 teaspoon plush one pinch chili powder, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F. Rinse and dry squash and cut in half lengthwise.
Scrape out seeds (transfer these to a bowl and reserve for later) and cut each half into wedges. Arrange on a parchment paper– lined baking sheet. Dot each wedge with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil divided and season with 1 teaspoon of each spice, and salt and pepper, then drizzle 2 tablespoons honey over wedges.
Next, remove any pieces of squash from the reserved seeds and dry with paper towel. Toss with the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil, pinch of cinnamon, paprika, and chili powder, and season with salt and pepper. Spread seeds on a second baking sheet.
Transfer both the squash and the seeds to the oven. Roast the seeds for 5-10 mins, or until crisp and golden. Roast the squash for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant and their skins begin to crack (about 10 minutes). Allow to cool slightly before chopping them coarsely and setting aside.
In a small bowl, combine remaining honey with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and mix until honey dissolves.
To assemble salad, toss dandelion greens with dressing in a large bowl. Divide among 6 small plates, arranging one or two squash wedges atop the greens. Sprinkle with squash seeds and hazelnuts. Enjoy!
Modified from Bonny Reichert’s recipe found here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/recipes/fresh-dandelion-greens-with-roasted-squash-and-cracked-hazelnuts/article6818634/
We are super excited to announce we have created a new meetup group for the St Clair West and Port Credit community! Our group Healthy People. Healthy Living. Healthy Community. aims to spread awareness and knowledge of different topics related to health. Our events will be hosted by our Naturopathic Doctors at both Hillcrest Centre for Health locations and there will be no cost associated with most events.
Events will be focused on the topics of : Nutrition · Holistic Health · Alternative Health & Wellness · Natural Health ·Naturopathic Medicine · Health and Support · Natural Fertility · Healthy Lifestyle · Acupuncture · Stress Management & Relaxation · Herbal Medicine · Women's Health and Wellness· Exercise · Cancer · Allergies · Immunity · Children's Health · and much more!
What is a Meetup group?
Meetup is a great service that allows groups to create and post events. It helps create a local community of people who have shered interests.
How do I join?
Go to our Meetup page and register today! www.meetup.com/Healthy-People-Healthy-Living-Healthy-Community/
We have our Spring talks and community detox up already so register before spots fill up!
Welcome to the Hillcrest Centre for Health a community focused health centre offering a full spectrum of safe and effective health care services and supplements by combining a wellness clinic, healing spa and natural health boutique all in one convenient location!