tuesday, july 03 2012 eating seasonal – summer, july

The more we commit to following a paleo lifestyle, the more it seems to be a liberator of food choice, rather than a limiter. One of the most gratifying aspects of altering our relationship to food is the increased sensitivity of our tastebuds. It has piqued our curiosity in new fruits and vegetables never before considered when choosing the produce that lands on our plates.

Something we've enjoyed lately is letting the season influence the meals we choose for our week. Not only do you get to be adventurous with new tastes, textures and cooking techniques when trying seasonal produce, you also can save some money! Check out the Whole9 seasonal produce guide for other good reasons to try eating seasonal as well as for a list of seasonal produce to choose from!

Beets (golden)
Beets are a little intimidating the first time you grab them in the store. They come with huge greens attached and look like they came straight out of the ground (which is good). They're extremely nutritious supplying a good amount of folate, manganese and fiber. To pick the best beets, buy them in bunches with their green tops still intact. The greens are a good indicator of freshness as they show wilting very quickly. Find beets that feel heavy for their size, with smooth firm skin, void of any cuts on the surface. For maximum freshness store in a tightly sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to a week. Beets make an excellent flavor and color addition to your salad!

Maximize your beets.
To get the best flavor and nutrition, cook beets with their skin on and roast them while wrapped in foil at 350° F, until the skin is easily punctured with your fork.

We used golden beets in the Moroccan Chicken Salad

Okay, so we had no idea what was coming our way with endive. To be honest, we had to pull up a picture on google to even find them. By the looks of it, you'd never guess it would such a great addition to your paleo arsenal. They are slightly rigid, crisp and very fresh. Perfect for dipping or as a replacement for taco shells, plus they don't wilt as quickly as other greens! Endive is an excellent digestive aid and can be eaten raw or cooked. To pick the best, look for endive that are crisp and bright green. If choosing Belgian endive, select heads with tips that have a pale, yellow-green color. To store for up to a week in the refrigerator, wrap in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag.

Before you prepare...
Rinse endive in cold water just before use. If the leaves look wilted, soak them in a bowl of cold water to revive.

We used endive in Ground Pork in Endive Boats

Chard is very noticeable in the produce section, seeming almost exotic with its rich, dark greens leaves and rainbow of red, purple, and yellow stalks and veins. It contains high levels of Vitamins K, A, C as well as magnesium. Find leaves that are vivid in color (green or deep red) without brown spots or holes. Stalks should also be crisp and under about an inch in diameter as they tend to be more fibrous and harder to eat. Recipes often serve chard in its cooked, wilted form, often by sautéing it with other flavors of the dish you are preparing.

Freshness tip:
Use chard within 5 days and store in your refrigerator's crisper drawer, preferably in a perforated vegetable storage bag.

We used chard in the Lamb Osso Bucco w/Wild Porcini and Fennel

Our grocery list contains 6 main-course paleo recipes, as well as one breakfast option. We used the seasonal produce discussed above as well as many more summer-specific items you can find easily at the grocery store. All of the recipes included are Whole30 approved.

Each week we whip up a large batch of egg loaf for quick and easy breakfasts. Lunch every day is left-overs from the night before, so be sure to adjust the serving size appropriately in the grocery list to ensure you have extras. Then, one night during the week, we make an event out of researching a local restaurant that looks like it has some paleo-friendly options and have ourselves a date night. If you find a paleo restaurant in your area that you enjoyed, let us know!

summer seasonal eating grocery list for july

As always, enjoy the food and have some fun making it!

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