Eating in season saves nutrients, pennies, and resources by preventing the need for long transportation distances and storage times, and provides fresher, more nutritious food. "Eating the rainbow" has the additional benefit of a more varied array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in skin and flesh, whether eating raw, steamed, roasted, and/or whirled into a smoothie.
If you're fortunate enough to live in our neighborhood, do try some of the products used to enhance the flavor of this salad, a beautiful burst of health and beauty. If you live away, suitable high quality substitutes can be found in your local markets, farm stands, CSA boxes, and quality grocery stores. The more you search out these products, the more familiar you'll become with the entirety of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables available to you.
1/2 container Mother Culture onion chive yogurt dip
1 T raw Round Rock honey
2 T Kala’s Cuisine Preserved Lemon, rinsed and minced fine
2 t Texas Hill Country Olive Co. lemon-infused olive oil
Mother Culture whey, to thin
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 bunch parsley, leaves chopped fine
1 large watermelon radish, sliced thinly crosswise
1 small bunch (3) Chiogga beets, shaved thin, crosswise
1 small bunch young carrots, scrubbed well & shaved thin crosswise
1 carton purple kohlrabi microgreens
Toss each prepared fruit & vegetable individually into dressing, folding to coat each. Top with microgreens and serve at room temperature or refrigerate to chill.
Why buy organic, raw, local honey? Prior to filtration, honey contains royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis -- three major sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. When heated and filtered, honey loses vitamins A, C, D, E and K, various B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium and live enzymes. Buying local, organic raw honey ensures that you receive these nutrients at their most powerful, and it acclimates your body to the region.
Fresh lemon juice and lemon peel contains Vitamin C plus bioflavonoids. This is a good reason to eat the white part between the peel and the fruit, called the pith. Most avoid this because it is considered to be bitter, but it should be consumed with the fruit whenever possible. Preserved lemons allow for the consumption of the entire fruit, which also provides greater fiber and concentrated nutrients than does juice and pulp, alone.
Beyond creating an Instagram-worthy meal, what are the benefits of 'eating the rainbow'? Consuming a variety of colored fruits and vegetables provides an array of nutrients. Red foods contain phytochemicals including lycopene and anthocyanins, orange and yellow foods are packed with carotenoids, green foods are rich in chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants green, loaded with antioxidant power that promotes well-being, and blue and purple foods are loaded with anthocyanin and resveratrol.
Eating in season saves money, provides optimal nutrition, and supports local farmers. If you find yourself in the Austin area in the month of March, please stop by the Texas Farmers Markets at Lakeline, Saturday, March 17 and the TFM Mueller on Sunday, March 24, where I'll be sharing ways to make the most of the seasonal best you'll find waiting for you from Austin's local farms and farmers.