As part of our “quest” to go green and live healthier, we’re trying to do more shopping at our local farmer’s market and Co-op. Did you know that, on average, an item of food on an American table has traveled 1000 miles before we purchased it? Buying locally not only cuts down on the costs to transport produce from across the country (or world), but also supports local small farms and organic farming practices that are better for the environment. I’m also all about keeping as many chemicals as possible off our plates.
This goal creates a new problem, however. Buying locally means that I’m limited to what’s currently in season. Hmmm….this requires some creative planning and cooking. Not so easy for a gal who tends to have a few favorite recipes that she keeps recycling over and over (Hey! Recycling is GOOD, right?).
Thankfully, the cookbook Simply in Season, is a wonderful help in this area. It includes an entire section of itemized fruits and veggies with descriptions, selection tips, nutrient information, conversions from raw weight to cleaned/prepared cups, and summaries of how to store, handle, prepare and serve. This section also includes general information on how to keep fruits and veggies fresh and preserve their nutritional content. The rest of the bok is divided into seasons. Each season contains a table of contents by categories like soups, salads, main dishes, etc. The final section is called “All Seasons” and includes recipes prepared with things that are available throughout the years.
The index makes quick reference a snap. I can look up a fruit or vegetable and flip right to recipes that use it. A few of the recipes (like “Persimmon Pudding”) we might take a pass on, but what cookbook doesn’t have a few recipes that make you say, “Wha??” The majority of the recipes sound absolutely delicious and require relatively few and easy to find ingredients. I also love that the cookbook is spiral bound (although it’s also available in paperback) and that the sections are color coded.
I think you’ll love it too!
This just in!!! Today I found Simply in Season Children’s Cookbook and purchased it! It’s wonderfully illustrated with interesting facts for kiddos about fruits and veggies. Like this fact: “Fresh apples float because 25% of their volume is air.” Or this one: “Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.” This cookbook is also divided into seasonal sections, with easy, KID-FRIENDLY recipes for younger kids to help with, or older kids to do on their own. Need a way to make vegetables fun? How about “Green Monster Soup” with broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes? It looks delicious to me, and something tells me if kids hear that name and help make it, they might be at least a little more interested…. I can’t wait to try the “Secret Chocolate Cake” made with beets and applesauce. It looks scrumptious (even though it sounds kind of gross…). This book is also spiral bound and has a quick reference index in the back.