Updated: Jul 31, 2020
We love the changing seasons in the Southern Highlands and enjoy all that each of the four seasons offers. We welcome August as the final month of winter, and our last chance to enjoy all the nourishing and warming winter produce.
Choosing fresh foods that are local and at their seasonal peak have much richer flavours as well as higher nutritional value. Vegetables can lose between 15 and 77 percent of their vitamin C within a week of harvest, and spinach can lose 90 percent of its vitamin C content within 24 hours of harvest, according to recent studies. On top of this you’ll also be reducing your food miles, so buying local is good for the planet too. For example, garlic from China can travel as far as 7800km to your local supermarket!
If you can’t grow your own vegetables, buying locally-grown, in season produce is a great way to make sure that you are supporting your local farmers, whilst also giving your body everything it needs to thrive during the current season. If we eat by the seasons Mother Nature always has our back. During winter we have an abundance of warming root vegetables (such as pumpkin, potato and carrots) as well as immune boosting citrus (such as lemons, limes, mandarins and oranges).
The cooler month of August brings an abundance of mushrooms, one of the most nutritious foods you can find! Not only do mushrooms boost immunity but they also provide a healthy dose of vitamin D - something many are in desperate need of come the end of winter. Choosing which organic vegetables to purchase can often feel confusing and too expensive to bother.
Thankfully, there is a key to shopping organic and saving money while you do it.
It is called The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen
These are the top 12 foods highest in pesticides and the 15 foods lowest in pesticides. Following this list is a great way to save where you can when transitioning to buying organic.
So here is a list of what is in season right now in Australia broken up into
Pumpkins (especially if you eat the skins)
Dig in either way:
Citrus : lemon, lime, oranges
Cabbage (remove the outer layers if non-organic)
Broccoli & Broccolini
Cucumber (peel off the skin if non-organic)
If you find yourself out and about shopping without this handy list there is a handy trick to guess if it will be safe to buy non organic. Does it have a skin or protective coat which you will not be eating? Think rockmelons, avocado, papaya, onion, pineapple etc. Or does it have porous skin that would absorb and hold pesticides? Think green leaves, berries, peaches or grapes.
As we said, Mother Nature always has our back!
Enjoy these last few weeks of winter warmers.