Having just relocated from LA, I was really excited to explore the local, spring offerings of the Seattle farmers. For this Cook Together, I perused the Capitol Hill Farmer’s Market and was blown away – blueberries from Growing Washington, Nash’s Organic tomatoes – everything was in full bloom during this gorgeous last week of May!
Menu 2’s theme highlighted the benefits to our health and wallet by eating seasonally, organically and locally. Eating foods at the peak of ripeness enhances flavor and nutrition. When food is locally sourced the transit time is reduced, and the cost savings is able to be passed on to the consumer. Purchasing local organic produce also promotes sustainable farming practices and builds community.
Another premise of promoting sustainability includes decreasing waste. When buying foods locally less packaging is needed. Arrive at the farm with a cotton tote and you just eliminated much of the packaging, labeling and bags that are often used in grocery stores. Another way to decrease waste is to not waste food. Not one piece of the beautiful Pacific caught halibut used on menu 1 was wasted. After the halibut was filleted the remaining pieces were smoked with wood, rendering a delicious smoky sea flavor profile that had us all at an oceanside campfire
- Carrots – Carrots are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fiber. They are also a rich source of the antioxidant beta carotene which promote vitamin A production, essential for healthy eyes. Carrots can be found year round, but the more colorful varieties tend to be more prevalent in spring and summer.
- Kale – Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and has more than deserved its honorary label as a superfood. It is high in vitamins and minerals, but compared with other leafy greens, kale’s oxalate content is very low. This allows for its calcium and iron to be more absorbable. This delicious and versatile green can be eaten cooked, raw or blended into smoothies for a delectable flavor combination with your favorite fruits. (1)
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes are the premier dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits including lowering risk factors for cancer and heart disease.
- Leeks –This sulfur rich vegetable has a much sweeter, subtler and sophisticated taste than garlic and onions. Sulfur rich foods support the detox pathways in the liver and aid in the body’s abilities to heal and repair. October through May is peak season for leeks. (2)
- Hummus – Hummus is a great plant-based protein source and simple to make at home from ingredients that most of us have on hand. Hummus is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and high in fiber to support healthy digestion.
We over load our body everyday with lot of toxins that are present in our food, water, and environment and also produced within the body. These toxins can negatively impact our health. In order for our body to function at its best, it’s important to get rid of accumulated toxins. Our body will work much more efficiently when it’s clean inside. When your body is free from toxins it will be better able to heal itself too. One of the best ways to detox your entire system is with the use of cleansing herbs.
A powerful antioxidant called curcumin is the active ingredient in this herb and is what gives it its ability to improve and maintain your health. Turmeric is a great natural liver detoxifier. Studies conducted at The University of Maryland Medical Center suggest that it works as an antioxidant, protecting the liver against damage by free radicals and helps increase the production of bile by the gallbladder.
The acids found in lemon juice also encourage your body to process the good stuff in foods more slowly. This drawn-out absorption means insulin levels remain steady and you get more nutrients out of the foods you consume. Better nutrient absorption means less bloating. Lemon water benefits the enzyme functions in your body, stimulating the liver and flushing out toxins.