I’m super excited to be doing a feature this week on how to eat seasonally with food intolerances. Perhaps there are already foods that you avoid or maybe you’re currently following a free from type of diet like Paleo, Whole30, I quit sugar or the Ketogenic diet and find it hard to cook seasonally balancing it all. I meet so many people who suffer from food intolerances and gut related health conditions, with symptoms ranging from excessive bloating and IBS to a range of autoimmune conditions like arthritis, chron’s, fibromyalgia and coeliac disease. I know only too well what a detrimental impact these conditions and their respective symptoms can have on your life.
We’re told by health experts and top chefs to eat with the seasons, including ingredients in our diet that are grown at the same time of year that we eat them. Sounds great, but how easy is it really if you have food allergies or intolerances and already have a restricted diet? Well it’s actually really easy, you just have to get creative. And that’s where I hope to help!
I’ve picked a selection of ingredients in season this month that are usually well tolerated by people with food intolerances and I will cook and share the recipes with you each day this week on Instagram and here on my blog. Hopefully I can inspire you to eat seasonally and get creative in the kitchen. I love to eat seasonally when I can but lets explore why eating this way is better…
One of the key reasons people eat seasonally is because it’s cheaper. When you buy what’s in season, supply is plentiful, costing farmers less to harvest and distributors less to transport to our shelves. This cost saving is then reflected in the prices we pay for our veggies. Research from Eat Seasonally shows that fruit and vegetables bought in summer can be as much as a third cheaper than the same basket out of season. Result!
Who doesn’t love vegetables that are bursting with flavour? My real bug bear is a duff tasting carrot, drives me nuts. Carrots should be crisp and sweet and that all comes down to how they’re grown. Eating seasonally means that food is grown closer to where it’s sold so it doesn’t lose freshness during transportation. Harvesting happens mid peak season and is sold straight away so you’re getting fruit and vegetables before they have time to lose flavor or nutrients.
Variety is the spice of live
Eating with the seasons also means you get a wider range of foods in your diet, especially important if there’s certain things that you currently avoid like grains and dairy. It’s also a great opportunity to challenge yourself and get creative in the kitchen with foods you wouldn’t ordinarily buy. We all have our staple favourites that we fall back on, me included with my roasted vegetable reliance, so I’m looking forward to the challenge this week. This could help you eat a more balanced diet especially if it’s currently quite restricted.
Support local farmers and communities
Eating seasonally means you’re supporting businesses and farmers local to where you live. Shopping at farmer’s markets is a great way to get your hands on seasonal produce and you’ll make great friends along the way too. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a potter round my local farmer’s markets in Earlsfield and Wandsworth. Living in London I’m so fortunate to have a wide choice of markets on my doorstep, Borough being one of my favourites. You can find a list to the best London Farmer’s Markets here or for outside London, try local foods, it lists farmers markets, farm shops and pick your own farms. I hope there’s one close to you. If not, don’t worry, companies like Riverford organics and Abel and Cole offer great local seasonal shopping alternatives… and they deliver too!
Better for the environment
Eating seasonally also means eating more sustainably. Less chemical fertilizers, pesticides and need for artificial heating and lighting to accelerate growth means less pressure on the environment. Bonus!
So how do you tell what’s in season?
The easiest and simplest way is to see what’s at your local farmer’s market or farm shop. Keep an eye on prices. If they’re going up, you can pretty much guarantee that item is heading out of season. The rising costs mean it needs to be imported. Maybe carrots are on sale, there’s loads of them, that’s another indicator they’re in season
This seasonal eating calendar from Eat the seasons is also useful as a guide.
What’s in season this June?
The table I’ve put together above shows what’s in season this month. The ones in red are not paleo and best avoided. Whilst some fruit is ok, be mindful of quantities as fruit is still a form of sugar so tread with caution.
If you’re interested to read more on sustainable and seasonal eating, you might like to explore:
Good Fish guide – choose fish from sustainable sources. Pole and line tuna for example.
Soil association – buying organic and supporting local farmers
Love food hate waste – shop for what you need, waste less.
Recycle now – start composting and then feed your flowers! Remember to also recycle all your empties where possible.
I hope you’ll follow along on Instagram this week and revisit the blog for recipes on how to eat seasonally if you have food intolerances. A little clue for tomorrow’s ingredient… I’m a soldier alternative to the egg parade!
Share this Post