Seasonal Eating: Pea Shoots

With the weather changing, I can’t help but think of fresh food, whether its planting the fire escape, joining a community garden, or finding my way to a farmers’ market.

Learning to eat in season is one of those healthy lifestyle practices that contributes to weight management without emphasizing calories. There’s no reason to force a salad on the coldest days of the winter, when your body is craving warm, hearty nourishment. Sticking with the foods of the season is an intuitive practice that can help us improve synchronicity with our environment and thereby balance our internal rhythm, which promotes better metabolism, better sleep, better mood.

And it makes sense from a nutrition perspective, too. For example, root vegetables, which are abundant over the winter, are rich sources of starch, which provides more calories than many other vegetables. We need extra energy to help us stay warm in the winter (yes, I know we have radiators and advanced technology in underwear these days). Still not convinced? Sweet potatoes and squash, vibrant orange vegetables, are packed with vitamin A, a nutrient critical to immune function and healthy, soft skin. Who else finds that radiator always drying their skin out?

Now that the weather is warming up, all I can think about is light vegetables. Weather its a mixed baby green salad topped with cheese, nuts, and dried fruit, or spinach with olives, hard-boiled eggs and chickpeas, fresh and raw veggies are on my mind now more than ever.

Sprouts are first up at the farmer’s market come spring. The variety of sprouts is awesome. I find myself staring at pea shoots, daydreaming about their tender young leaves packed with active enzymes, the soft tendrils loaded with B vitamins meant to power that plant from seed to fruit, and how delicious their spinach-y flavor is over a pillow-y ravioli in the lightest of sauces. A perfect mash up of winter and spring.

So, I scoured the internet and found this drool worthy recipe winter-spring transition recipe.


Ravioli with Snap Peas, Pea Shoots and Minty Pea Pesto

 

Lettuce, shoots, & greens; Apr'11; FS=Kevin Crafts; PS=Emma Star Jensen

Ravioli with Peas and Shoots, Sunset.com

Source: Sunset.com (a whole bunch of delicious seasonal recipe ideas are available here!)

Tip: Make your own ravioli with wonton wrappers — I recommend butternut squash. Here is a recipe for that.

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