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How Eating with the Seasons is a Vote for Holistic Health

June 15, 2020

First, you may have heard the term holistic before, especially if you’re already a customer of Dutch Meadows because it’s a big part of how we operate. That being said, like many other terms used in the food industry and agriculture, it can be abused by greenwashing and, unfortunately, then shift consumers’ understanding of what it actually means or shift their perception and trust in the term.

In simplest terms, holistic means “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole”. Regardless of your beliefs or values, this concept is really rooted in science as the law of conservation of energy where “energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another”. We know the way we treat our animals, land, and plants, the way we process our goods, and the way we distribute them create energy that will be transferred in some way and therefore impact other elements in the world. This is why we do all of those things mindfully, and consider the whole, to ensure that the overall impact is not a harmful one.

Part of this includes growing with the seasons, instead of against them. In Pennsylvania, that time is now which is why our Produce Patch is overflowing with fresh, beyond organic produce from local farmers who DON’T USE chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, or any harmful sprays. As a consumer, you can do your part by consuming and preserving as many of these seasonal goods as possible while they’re available. Preserving is especially critical since it can minimize the amount of produce consumed in the “off season”, which means less being trucked and shipped all over the world all year long and less intervention with how the planet naturally operates. With that in mind, we thought we’d share a few recipes we found that make it easy to consume a lot of great produce when it’s in season and preserve some of your favorites, too.

Broccoli Pasta Salad with Zucchini Noodles

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cut green beans
  • 2 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced and cut into half moons (or spiralized)
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more for squeezing at the end
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons water

Full recipe:

https://www.loveandlemons.com/broccoli-pasta-salad/

SIDE NOTE: pasta, bean and other non-greens salad are a great way to use up a lot of seasonal vegetables and easily feed a crowd. They keep in the fridge all week long, making them great for making in bulk and enjoying yourself, too.

Refrigerator Garden Pickles

You’ll need:

  • 6 cups sugar
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup celery seed
  • 1/4 cup mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons canning salt
  • 10 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium cucumbers, sliced
  • 3 medium sweet red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large onions, halved and sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

Full recipe:

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/refrigerator-garden-pickles/

Light & Easy Summer Slaw

You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium cabbage (chopped)
  • 1/2 large red onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 medium cucumber (seeds removed and chopped)
  • 1 tomato (seeds removed and chopped)
  • 4 green onions (chopped)

Full recipe:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/light-and-easy-summer-slaw-3053908

Radish Rainbow Salad

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb. mixed radishes, trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 oz. Piave cheese or Parmesan, divided
  • ½ cup basil leaves, torn if large
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Full recipe:

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/radish-rainbow-salad

Are you cooking your heart out and still up to your eyeballs in fresh produce? Try preserving. It’s a great way to support responsible agriculture and eat healthy all year long. Here’s a great roundup from Cooking Light on the best ways to preserve all sorts of produce, with links to further instructions. Go forth! Seize the season!

Dave Stoltzfus

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