Store cup-board staples for Spring

April 30, 2012

‘Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.’ – Henry David Thoreau

Once the sun starts to shine, the temperature get warmer, leaves and grass show greener, its quite natural to vary one’s diet. To a greater or lesser degree most people will transition away from heavier, stodgy food and opt for lighter choices. It’s instinctive, and an example of our body’s intuition coming to the fore. The benefits are several:

  • lighter foods are quicker to digest, releasing energy for a more active lifestyle
  • lighter foods helps us to detox, giving us an internal spring-clean
  • simpler preparation allows us spend less time in the kitchen when we’re more inclined to be outdoors
  • varying our diet seasonally extends the spectrum of what we eat, vital for covering all the bases of our requirements and leaving fewer gaps
  • it keeps your body in tune with the environment around you. This has a positive affect on you emotionally, and can make you more content
  • Besides which, diverse eating builds tolerance to a wide range of food sources which in a very practical sense sustains our options throughout the year, and ultimately makes us adaptable as a species.An obvious way of marking seasonal transitions is to focus on eating fresh produce. You’ll know about this already, it’s so widely written about: if not, it is supremely easy topic to look up. Here’s a handy article and here’s a handy recipe, the rejuvenation salad by chef, Frankie G., courtesy of the Renegade Health Show.

    Less obvious but equally effective is to change the staples in your store-cupboard. Here are a few ideas for doing this:

    Grains: as breakfast cereals try using chia or flax seeds. Chia just needs soaking but flax is best soaked and ground. Add them to a breakfast smoothie or blended pick-up drink.

    Sprouted buckwheat, barley, millet and quinoa can be added to salads, made into spreads, or a light porridge. Additionally barley can be made into a water or tea. Although I love oat grouts and wheat berries, they need at least 24 hours soaking and still remain chewy – which should tell you something. Save them for the cooler months.

    Seeds: well, it is Spring-time so I have to mention sprouting. Great any time of year but especially appropriate right now. Try the softer, sweeter varieties such as alfalfa, mung and aduki. A few lentils are fine, but save the meatier chickpea, snow peas and sunflower for cooler months.

    For non-dairy milks, I tend to favour hemp and poppy seeds at this time of year instead of sesame, pumpkin or sunflower which are more intensely flavoured.

    Nuts: turn to almonds and cashews (instead of the denser brazils, walnuts, pecans or macadamias).

    I wonder how you ring the changes? If you’ve any further suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Drop me a comment.

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