Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving & 5 Seasonal Foods I'm Grateful For

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, family, and readers! May your day be filled with gratitude and yummy delicious food. 
We had our first snow here in Ottawa yesterday, and while everyone started to complain, I'm still choosing to get excited by how magical the first snow fall looks! So to go along with the whole theme of the day, here are 5 foods that I get really excited about during this time of the year and that I'm grateful Mother Nature decided to give to us:

1) Persimmons
So, I know a lot of people who didn't grow up eating persimmons find them gooey and weird, but there's something about their strange texture that I just can't get enough of. I can't say I know much about other types of persimmon, but hachiyas steal my heart away every winter. Their awesome colouring shows that they are high in anti-oxidants like vitamin A, B, and C, beta-carotene, and lycopene, amongst others. They also contain a carotenoid, called zeaxanthin, which is really good for your eyes (something to do with protecting your retina and light-filtering functions). So, eat your gooey fruit!

2) Clementines
Ah, nature's candy. They're perfect to fight colds and flus because of their high levels of Vitamin C and they're like little bursts of energy in the cold dark winter months.

Speaking of being grateful, can you imagine what kind of expectations we put on presents and stuff around Christmas time nowadays? Before, people would be really excited just to get an orange or a clementine for Christmas because they were so rare and came from so far away. There's perspective for you!

3) Pomegranates
Gotta love the sweet tartness of these awesome alien fruit. Hey, go figure, another winter fruit very high in Vitamin C! Pomegranates have gotten quite the PR boost over the last few years because everyone realized just how high in anti-oxidants they are. Because of that, they're heart healthy, help combat Alzheimer's and bone loss, are good for lady problems, and are great for your teeth! I also find it very meditative to peel them...

4) Hot Chesnuts
"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." There's a reason we put them into song. They're part of the quintessential deliciousness of winter. I don't get to eat these all the time, but on those cold winter days in France, there's nothing to me like going up to a hot chestnut vendor and wrapping your hands around the toasty warm paper packaging for a winter treat. 

On top of that, chestnuts are one of the few nuts that are relatively lower in calories. They're also one of the best "repair food." They're great for building muscle because they help build and mend damaged body tissue, for your teeth, and to help patch up holes or leaks in blood vessels and capillaries.

5) Soup

One of my favourite non-raw allowances in the winter is just a bowl of plain ol' hearty vegetable soup. They're nothing quite as satisfying as warming yourself with soup when you come in from those minus 30 degree temperatures. I'm sure I'll be posting more recipes for these in the next couple months since one of my goals is just being more creative about my soups in general... Actually, I have a pretty good squash soup recipe in the making!!!

See, even our kitty likes his seasonal foods:
Have a lovely weekend!

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