Your Guide To Eating Seasonally

What does ’eating seasonally’ actually mean?


Simply this – adjusting our habits to eat more of the foods that are naturally present at certain times of the year, so that we can obtain the maximum benefit from those particular foods.

With the advent of refrigeration and modern farming methods, the habit of eating to the seasons has really gone by the wayside.  And whilst this is great in some ways (certainly we are exposed to an unprecedented variety of available foods, and are unlikely to go hungry), at the end of the day, nature is smarter than we are.  Foods that are naturally available in abundance at certain times of the year tend to be well matched to our needs.  For instance, citrus trees (rich in vitamin c) fruit in winter - right when we are most likely to be needing a dose for our immune system!  Paying attention to what is available at different times of the year is truly a way of using food as medicine.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t eat foods that are out of season – it simply means that by working with nature we are able to align with the nutritional intake we were always meant to obtain, the way our ancestors have done for thousands of years.

As a keen home grower of vegetables, noticing and adjusting to the seasons is a lesson I have had to learn - often the hard way! Some vegetables or herbs will grow best (or only) during one season of the year, and trying to grow these varieties when the time isn't ideal virtually always leads to disappointment.  When I work with the seasons, instead of against them, everything runs a whole lot smoother!

The list of seasonal foods below has been designed for the Australian climate, and please keep in mind that there can also be some variation between locations, depending on where you live, and where your food has actually been grown.

You may also notice that some of these foods appear in both the summer/autumn section, as well as winter.  These are vegetables that grow over spring & summer, and then traditionally have been able to be stored as a food supply during winter (e.g. root crops such as potatoes and carrots, and pumpkin with its tough skin). 

Summer/Autumn 

Plants that are ready to be eaten in the warmer months tend to grow quickly, and have a high water content and are therefore cooling and hydrating.

Fruit

Apples

Banana

Blueberries

Cherries

Dragonfruit

Fig

Grapes

Lychee

Mangoes

Melons, 

Passionfruit

Pineapple

Pomegranate

Raspberries

Stonefruit

Strawberries

Vegetables

Avocado

Beetroot

Capsicum

Carrots

Choko

Corn

Cucumber

Eggplant

Green beans

Potatoes

Pumpkins

Silverbeet

Squash

Sweet potato

Tomatoes

Zucchini

Herbs

Basil

Chilli

Chives

Fennel

Garlic

Lemongrass

Oregano

Parsley

Sage

Thyme

Winter

Plants that are ready for the cooler months tend to grow more slowly, and tend to have a longer shelf-life and lower water content.  They are nourishing, warming, and store a lot of energy.

Fruit

Citrus fruits

Guava

Kiwifruit

Pears

Vegetables

Bok choy 

Broad beans

Broccoli

Cabbage

Carrots

Cauliflower 

Green peas

Leek

Onions

Pak choy

Potatoes

Pumpkins

Snow peas

Herbs

Galangal

Ginger

Spring

Plants that grow in Spring tend to be vigorous and full of life.  And they make us feel the same way when we eat them!

Fruit

Mulberries

Pawpaw

Pineapple

Strawberries

Vegetables

Beetroot

Celery

Silverbeet

Herbs

Coriander (cilantro)

Dill

Fennel

All Year Round

Plants that grow year-round are adaptable and reliable.  Enjoy these at any time of year.

Vegetables

Kale

Lettuce

Radish

Salad greens

Herbs

Mint

Rosemary

Linda


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