What I eat and when has always been well influenced by seasonal produce. Obviously, personal choice is a large factor in this, but I have always been a firm believer in listening to your body and it will tell you what it needs. Our lives these days are so busy, hectic and cluttered with stuff and things to do that sometimes we don’t always give ourselves the time to listen to our bodies and to recognise that it will tell you if its running low on something, whether it be hydration, sugars, protein, essential vitamins and nutrients. Most of us recognise cravings but don’t pay too much attention to them unless they involve instant sugary hits or comforting mouthfulls of chocolate, sweets, maybe a glass of wine. But, often times, we need much more than just these instant hits of sugar and comfort.
In April last year, I went on a wild food foraging course, and I think it was then that I really clicked that the seasons are always in tune with what our bodies naturally need at that moment in time. In the spring time, many of the wild foods you can forage for are absolutely jam packed with vitamin c. Why is this? Because its springtime and we are coming out of a long dark winter where, historically before the days of year round grown produce, our bodies will have long spent its reserves of vitamin c provided by the harvests of summer fruits etc, so this is what the body craves. Similarly, as we face into winter time, we should be stocking our bodies up full with essential vitamins and minerals that will help to stave off nasty winter bugs and to keep ourselves strong through the winter. Is it any wonder then that at this time of year, dark green leafy vegetable are so abundant? Packed full with zinc, iodine and of course iron as well as vitamin c, b and loads of other really good and essential nutrients, we should not only be eating as much chard, beet, spinach, kale etc as we possibly can, but it is also a great idea to preserve the goodness as much as possible too.
A great way to do this is by batch making soups and freezing them to be pulled out in a time of a big vegetably vitaminy need! You can make the base of this soup in big batches, portion off and freeze down. When you are ready to eat some, just roast off some squash (any kind will do, and squash keep so well over the winter so it makes sense to team up with it) for a tasty, healthy and nutritious soup. Adding in some general all round ‘do you good’ flavours such a ginger, chili and garllic and this really is a Be Well feast for your body! This soup needs little cooking, which is important if we are to preserve as much of the goodness from the plants as possible.
For the green soup base:
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