As the seasons change so do our eating habits. Our bodies know best, and naturally feel best when connected with our environment. According to health expert Andrea Beaman, when we eat locally grown, seasonal foods, our internal environment (the body and its organs) aligns with the external environment (the world around us), creating a system that is physically stronger and prepared for the elements.
You’ve probably noticed that on a steamy hot summer day you crave cooling foods like crisp green salads, juicy fruits and refreshing smoothies. But as the weather changes these types of foods don’t seem quite as appealing. Innately we desire heavier, warming foods like soups and stews.
For body, mind and spirit, it’s wonderful to eat what grows in our immediate environment and climate — it can help us feel more balanced, healthy and connected. Not only that, eating locally grown, seasonal foods tastes better; foods picked at the peak of ripeness are the most flavorful. In addition, eating everything from everywhere harms our environment because it burns large amounts of fossil fuel to ship foods to and from faraway places.
One of the best things about fall is squash! You’ll see many varieties these days in all the markets. In addition to getting the tastiest, freshest food, you’ll be supporting local farmers and strengthening the economic base of our community!
Here are a few of my favorite fall and winter recipes. Click on the links below for additional recipes. Happy, healthy cooking!
Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Gravy
Preheat oven to 375.
Stand the squash on end and cut in half length-wise.
Remove seeds. Arrange squash on lightly greased baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your squash. Removed cooked squash from oven, let cool then, using a fork, pull the strands of squash away from the sides. Scoop the strands into a container or onto a plate to eat!
Turkey Mushroom Gravy:
1 large 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ pound ground turkey
6 mushrooms, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Heat oil on medium low heat in saucepan then add turkey and sauté until no longer pink. Add garlic and mushroom; continue cooking 3 more minutes. Turn heat to low and carefully pour in the tomatoes. Stir then bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking at low boil for 30 minutes. If too thick add a little broth until desired consistency is achieved.
Divide squash onto plates and top with sauce. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of parmesan cheese if desired.
Easy Butternut Squash Soup
This soup is as simple as can be and always sweetly delicious.
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks.
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat and sauté onions for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add squash, sweet potatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil and add salt and ginger. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Use an immersion blender or remove approximately 3/4 of the vegetables and puree in a blender or food processor. Return to pot. Do a taste test and add more salt if desired. For a chunkier soup add 2 cups baby spinach and 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained.
Interested in staying on track with healthful eating and exercise through the holiday season? Try the BbG Holiday Challenge! Give it a try and send me your results! Details here.
Ginny Wright has been a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor for more than 10 years. She received her Health Coaching certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York in 2007. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 14680 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today…
Police issued a traffic ticket every six minutes, on average, during an enforcement effort in front of Nottingham Elementary on Thursday afternoon.
Police swarmed the Rosslyn neighborhood after an alleged thief led an officer on a brief foot pursuit.
It’s holiday time and the lights are coming on in Arlington. Over the next several weeks, a slew of tree lightings, Santa visits, markets, and holiday celebrations are happening around…
Join us December 10 & 11 for our Annual Handmade Holiday Workshop Series. We have a myriad of fun and festive programs from linoleum block wrapping paper printing and buttonhole book making workshops led by Eliza Clifford to a meditative grid workshop and Calligraphy Card Making with Anjelika Deogirikar. Join these wonderful artists and get creative this holiday season!
If you’re looking for a mental health professional in Virginia, Washington D.C., or Maryland, we can help.
We provide a confidential and convenient way to get the help you need from the comfort of your own home.
We offer a free 15-minute consultation to see if our services fit your needs.
The services we offer are:
Join us as we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah! Enjoy delicious Latkes, hot cocoa, donuts and more!
Clarendon Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration
Experience the festival of lights!!
*Lighting of a giant 9 foot Menorah