Eating Seasonally

Discussion in 'Nutrition' started by Kitabrun, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Kitabrun

    Kitabrun Member

    I was wondering if anyone here eats seasonally? I'm looking for tips, and recipes, and what you eat, when.

    I know there are lists out there of seasonal foods, but, I'd like to hear from those who prep. What do you eat? What do you store? How do you store it? Canning? Dehydrating? When do you use those items? Do you go to farmers markets? Farm stands?

    I'm sorry for all the questions, we have been eating quick, cheap, easy meals for so long, and it needs to change. I know myself and I would lean on things I "know", like only potatoes and carrots all winter... :eek:

  2. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    Winter time is for eating rabbit, squirrel, and deer.

    Summertime is for eating fish.

    Chicken is for eating year round.:)

    Fresh fruit and veggies in the summer.

    Canned fruits and veggies in winter.


  3. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Well-Known Member

    We essentially have two seasons of eating; winter and not winter. In the winter we eat lots of frozen and vacuum sealed, as well as canned fruits and veggies. We broil and crock pot meat more often than we grill or smoke. We eat a lot more soups and stews, often prepared from those frozen or canned veggies, but not completely. We still buy some produce from the grocery store and from our food coop. My wife also bakes a lot more in the winter months. In the non-winter we eat fresh from the garden, farmers markets and food coops. Usually raw vegetables and salads. We grill and smoke meats frequently and have a lot of sandwiches. We also tend to eat more cheese in the non-winter months. As far as prepping goes, we tend to treat it more like winter. Sealed and frozen foods, home canned meats and vegetables, rice, beans, etc. supplemented with dehydrated meals.
  4. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    I won't even try it. I can't get through a single day without eating let alone a week, month or an entire season. :D Just kidding.

    We eat the same "ingredients" pretty much year around. The primary difference is the change in weather due to the season. In the winter, it's too cold and dark for grilling or eating "summer" type of meals.
    What would be hamburgers with sides on the grill becomes chili in the winter. Roasts or steaks on the grill become stews.

    We do can a decent amount of tomato products but in general, freeze instead of pressure canning other things. The freezing is due to a busy harvest season schedule that doesn't allow us ample time for canning. With 2 teenage kids in a ton of after school activities in the fall with sports and such, we're running around 5+ evenings each week. Freezing has its own issues as we maintain 4 large deep-freezers so it can be an issue trying to keep things organized and for some, God-forbid, there be a power outage (but I don't worry about that since I work from home).
  5. crabapple

    crabapple I sold my soul to the internet


    Sentry 18 also.

    I agree, but most years I have a winter garden too.
    Onions, greens, radishes,turnips, carrots in garden & potatoes in the root cellar.
    This is because I am in zone 7b/8a with is mild winter with a low of 25F to 18F, sometimes one night in 14F.
    I know not everyone can do this, so they use one of 4 or 5 ways to keep food over the winter.
  6. Balls004

    Balls004 Not new, just older

    We eat seasonally in a couple of different ways...

    The first is we use our oven way more in the winter, so that means fish sticks, the occasional pizza, yeast rolls, lasagna, and other things that are best when they come out of an oven. Why? Because our oven is unvented, and during the summer time in Mississippi, it will run you out of the house and then into the poor house when you pay the electric bill trying to cool the house down again.

    Second, while we eat a lot of salads all year long, my wife generally has a winter bed of cold/cool weather vegetables that we pick from except for maybe a month and a half of winter for fresh stuff. She's gotten really good at hiding good stuff in our winter diet. I don't mind it because she does a lot of that cooking. She'll do Japanese style soups, hide it in lasagna, and other good stuff.

    We also eat a lot more chili and gumbos than we do the rest of the year, but not by much, since most of our game gets put in the freezer as soon as we process it.
  7. Kitabrun

    Kitabrun Member

    Thank you guys for all your information! It's so helpful to hear from real people. I feel like I'm on the right track now.
  8. cowboyhermit

    cowboyhermit Supporting Member

    We eat VERY seasonally compared to most people, it allows for the best quality food at the best prices, it avoids monotony for people that get tired of certain foods (especially if using your own), and it is a natural thing for our bodies.

    What do we eat?
    First off, we eat mostly food that we grow, butcher, or harvest ourselves, which does make things a bit different than if you purchase everything. Somewhere between 75-90% of our diet is food that is or can be grown in our area, not out of some radical "local food" sentiment, it just worked out that way for many reasons. We live in the Canadian prairie, so to many people that would seem like a very restricted diet but we don't feel that way in the least.

    There are a few things that don't change much throughout the year in our diets; Milk and dairy products, Beef, and other meats to a lessor degree. These are our "staples". We preserve the meat by canning, freezing, and making jerky, and beef in particular stores VERY well in terms of nutrition and taste, pretty much any of those ways. Everything else though, here goes.

    Spring! Greens, greens, more greens :) Chives, asparagus, salad stuff, etc are at their absolute peak. Fresh eggs from the hens! Rhubarb. The root crops we put away last year are getting used up. Morels poking up here and there :D

    Summer... Super busy time, tons of food to eat and harvest. Berries everywhere to eat and put away (drying, canning, freezing). Some heavier foods from the garden, crook-neck and other summer squashes are eatable, scapes, still lots of greens. Maybe sneak a few potatoes. Red-top mushrooms and some others, on a good year. I also am not around as much, so I eat a lot of what we froze or canned during the winter.

    Fall. Mountains of food from the garden, tomatoes, peppers, all the root crops we grow, squash, peas, beans, etc. Fruit from the trees here. Butchering time and hunting season means a bit extra meat getting eaten, like the mandatory tenderloin feast when a deer is taken. As all this stuff gets taken there is lots of putting away, drying freezing and canning. The "root cellars" get filled up with root crops, onions and garlic, pumpkins and other winter squash, etc.

    Winter, pretty much cooking season around here. Pantry and root cellar are topped up with everything, and it all needs to get used, we finally have some time around the house. The cooking heat is an added benefit, not a problem. Soups, stews, baking, canning, especially the more labour intensive stuff like stocks with lots of bones and prep. We make giant pots and what we don't eat soon is frozen in jars or otherwise put away. I eat a lot of frozen berries, in homemade ice-cream, "smoothies" :rolleyes:, in oatmeal, etc, or even just with milk or cream on them.

    As for buying stuff, the little we do buy, we try to buy in bulk and in season, for price and quality. That doesn't apply to all that much here in spring, besides asparagus. Summer is a good time for buying fresh berries and many other things in bulk. Some people run to the Okanagan and bring back boxes of cherries, peaches and the like for a very good price. Fall is good for a LOT of stuff, like tomatoes, peppers, root crops, etc. Winter is good for a lot too, when it is starting here there are often great deals on all kinds of hard fruits like apples, pears, etc, in a bag or large box. My one major non-local food also comes into season then, Japanese mandarin oranges, so many boxes... We often buy fish in the winter as well, that is largely regional though. "Pickled" herring is a favorite here, and we often buy a pail of them, to the chagrin of those who hate them :p

    Don't know if that will help anyone, but it's what we do and we are VERY happy with how it works for us, especially the seasonal aspects, the cost savings are just a by-product as real food is the one thing I never mind spending money on. The people who have joined our family or done similar have come from places where seasonality was never a consideration before, and they all are happier now.
  9. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    Kitabrun, I'm reading a book at work right now called "The Good Life" by Scott and Helen Nearing. They were a couple (both deceased now, I believe) who left the NYC rat race in the 1930s to become self sufficient in Vermont. They were vegetarians who ate seasonally and as locally as possible, producing the majority of their food themselves.

    The Good Life chronicles how they lived-home building, food production, trucks and tools they owned, building up their homestead, etc. It's a little bit of a dry read; I can only chew it up in small bites but the information presented is priceless.

    I refer you to this book because they go into GREAT detail about seasonal eating and food storage. You will find answers to your questions in this book.
  10. readytogo

    readytogo ExCommunicated

    Our diet is not base on the weather or seasons a good bowl of chili is just as good in the summer as winter as long as is cooked at home and not from a can or box and that’s the key ,no process foods at all ,no fast foods or super drinks ,our home is loaded with vegetables ,canned or fresh , our menu changes all the time every week ,sometimes dinner is a good western breakfast or a super loaded Mexican burrito ,as long as is homemade I really don`t care if is winter or summer. If you want better health eliminated all the junk and start by making a good menu, a good crock pot is helpful for busy day’s meals ,forget the many books sold that they claim to be experts on your diet ,your diet , make healthy changes and eliminated the junk in your kitchen and forget the weather and time ,just eat healthy.