This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to see what that means.
“When the seasons shift, even the subtle beginning, the scent of a promised change, I feel something stir inside me. Hopefulness? Gratitude? Openness? Whatever it is, it's welcome.”
~ Kristin Armstrong
5 Benefits of Eating Seasonally
- Nutrition: When you're on a restricted diet like the paleo autoimmune protocol, it's important to look at the allowed foods list and eat as wide a variety as possible. Every food has a unique nutrient profile. The more diverse our diet, the deeper our nutrition, and the more we are feeding our bodies for health. Eating seasonally is a great way to break out of food ruts and try something new! Whether you shop at your local farmer's market or a big-box grocery store, in addition to year-round staples, always look for unique seasonal varieties.
- Freshness: Speaking of nutrition, the sooner a food is eaten after harvesting, the deeper its nutrition as well. Nutrients start to degrade over time, so while a long shelf life is convenient, it comes at a cost.
- Flavor: The flavor is better as well! If you've ever had the opportunity to eat a fresh, ripe fruit or vegetable right off the vine, and compare it to that same food shipped around the world and eaten out-of-season in the winter, there's simply no comparison.
- Budget: Shipping food around the world is also expensive, which is why eating food in-season is great for the budget. If you notice a food's price seems to be skyrocketing, this is often the reason.
- Sustainability: Lastly, eating seasonally is better for the environment as well. Here's a shocking statistic from the book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver: “Each food item in a typical U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles…. If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.”
It's Not About Perfectionism
Eating seasonally is a worthwhile goal for us all, but don't feel guilty if you can't do it 100%. Another side effect of a restricted diet is that we are all likely to eat some foods out-of-season, because so many foods are off the table altogether. That's OK! For example, butternut squash is a staple for me in the summer as well as the winter. But we can all expand our focus to prioritize seasonal foods in our diet as well. The more we do that, the more we reap the benefits above. Now, there's a new AIP cookbook to help make this easier!
Introducing the AIP By Season Cookbook
- 101 Recipes Organized By Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. You'll find entrees, side dishes, soups, sauces, drinks, and desserts.
- A Beautiful Ingredient Index. Quickly find a recipe based on what you found at the farmer's market.
- A Seasonal AIP Produce Chart. Shopping inspiration to diversify your diet as the seasons change.
- 100% AIP. Every recipe in this e-cookbook meets the restrictions of the elimination phase of the paleo autoimmune protocol.
- It's an PDF E-Cookbook: That means it's available to purchase worldwide. If you prefer a hardcopy, there are instructions in the back of the ebook for printing off the recipes at home.
- $600 Giveaway: To celebrate the launch of this book, we're giving away over $600 in prizes! Just scroll to the bottom of the sales page, and enter before 3/2/19.
- The Work of 22 AIP Bloggers: This book was written for the AIP by people who have followed the protocol to improve their own health. That means these are flavorful recipes made and tested by people who love delicious, healthy food, just like you. Edited by Samantha Jo Teague from The Unskilled Cavewoman, contributors include many of your favorite cookbook authors including me!
- Here's a sampling of recipe titles to get your taste buds watering: Crab & Meyer Lemon “Pasta”, Risotto Style Leek Greens, Grilled Artichokes with Cilantro Avocado Dip, Lamb Ribs with Rhubarb, Strawberry Shortcake, Zucchini Piccata, Stone Fruit Roasted Chicken, Acorn Squash Fajita Bowls, Roasted Pear and Rosemary Sausage, Pumpkin Spice Mini Glazed Donuts, Orange Kabocha Squash Fudge, Thanksgiving Stuffing, Chunky Turkey & Vegetable Soup with Warm Cranberry Gremolata, and 88 more! Here's a complete recipe list.
Sample Recipe: Chicken Asparagus Soup
(Paleo, AIP, Wahls, Whole30)
AIP By Season is a collaborative cookbook with recipes by many AIP bloggers, including me! This is one of the recipes that I contributed, and I've been given permission to share it with you as a cookbook preview:
Spring – Asparagus and Arugula
1+1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning chicken
1/3 cup water
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 pound Japanese white sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 pounds asparagus, cut off the tips and set aside, cut stalks into 1/2-inch rounds
3 cups bone broth
pan juices from cooking the chicken
2 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
2 cups baby arugula, packed
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Melt 1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Pat chicken breasts dry. Season both sides with salt.
- Place them smooth side down in hot skillet. Sear 2 minutes per side. Add 1/3 cup water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Note: This won’t seem like enough water, but it is. The chicken will release more liquid as it cooks.
- While chicken is cooking, prepare other ingredients.
- When chicken is done, remove breasts to cutting board and chop into bite-sized cubes. Reserve pan juices – you’ll be using them later in the recipe.
- Melt remaining 1 Tablespoon coconut oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds (just until fragrant). Add sweet potato and asparagus stalks (not the tips), along with bone broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and pan juices saved from cooking the chicken. Add thyme if using. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer covered 15 minutes.
- Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Transfer soup to high-speed blender. Add baby arugula and blend until smooth. (You might need to do this in 2 batches).
- Return puréed soup to pot. Add asparagus tips. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer 3 minutes. Add chicken to pot and simmer another minute, just until chicken is warmed through.
- Stir in lemon juice. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
Other Books in the Paleo AIP Community E-Cookbook Series
Update ~ The Giveaway Has Ended
The winners were selected through Rafflecopter on March 2nd and have all been contacted to redeem their prizes.
To celebrate the launch of this e-cookbook, there's a HUGE giveaway happening, with over $600 in prizes. There will be 16 winners, and the digital giveaway is open to anyone around the world. Entering is easy. Just click over to the purchase page, scroll to the bottom, and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter box. The winners will be chosen randomly on March 2, 2019. Good luck!