The Food We’ve Been Given

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
 -Genesis 1:29

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At the end of every month, I make a menu plan for the next month. I used to always plan our meals around what my husband and I desired to eat, instead of planning our meals around the foods that are in season. There was a time years ago, when we wouldn’t have had access to the variety of foods and produce that we have access to today during each season. But just because we have access to certain produce all year long, doesn’t mean it’s cheap or fresh! I’m sure you’ve noticed, when certain produce isn’t in season, the price at the market goes up and the quality of that fruit or vegetable goes down. So why not eat foods that are actually in season, fresh, and local (and save a chunk of money)!

I highly recommend the book, ‘Simply in Season.’ This is the book that changed the way I began cooking and menu planning. We now enjoy meals that are rich with fresh, in-season produce. We’ve also started saving a lot of money on our monthly groceries!

So what produce can you get each season? The following list is by no means complete. And there are some foods that can be found locally in more than just one season. This list is to just give you a general idea of the different varieties of produce that you can cook with in each season.

Spring:

  • Green Onions
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • New potatoes
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Wild Greens

Summer:

  • Asparagus
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Melon
  • Peaches
  • Peppers
  • Plums
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes

Fall:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collards
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Pears
  • Pumpkin
  • Swiss Chard
  • Winter Squash

Winter:

  • Apples (able to be kept in cold storage)
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash (butternut, acorn, etc.)

You might be wondering what kind of meals you can make with the produce that’s available in the winter. Here’s an example of what one week of our meals looks like:

Sunday: Roast a chicken with potatoes and carrots (make bone broth overnight).

Monday: Chicken soup (use leftover chicken and homemade bone broth from Sunday) with potatoes, leeks, and carrots. (I had enough to freeze for another meal!) Serve with homemade bread and homemade applesauce.

Tuesday: Sweet potato quesadillas (Filling: sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and seasonings. Sometimes I’ll add chicken if we still have some leftover from Sunday.)

Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner (Apple spice oat waffles with bacon and eggs)

Thursday: Bean potato soup (with homemade bone broth from Sunday). Serve with roasted veggies (Whatever we have extra of… sweet potato, carrot, squash, etc.)

Friday: Leftover Bean potato soup (and I still had enough to freeze for another meal!)

Saturday: Butternut squash shepherd’s pie. Serve with applesauce.

I hope that gives you an idea of how cooking in the winter can be delicious and easy. Especially when you double recipes for the freezer. I do freeze some produce in the summer (canning is another great way to preserve summer produce), so we can still make a meal that calls for bell peppers, green beans, etc., without paying a high price for those foods.

We are learning to be grateful for the foods God has placed before us in each season. It’s also fun to have seasonal favorites with certain meals. Then they become even more of a treat!

Do you cook your meals based off of the produce that’s in season? What are some of your favorite winter meals?

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