Everything is a shade of white…
This morning I took my dog for a run. Flurries of lightly falling snow could be seen in traces along the path and on the limbs of trees and the cold gray air had kept the usual hoards to a minimum. It was peacefully quiet, refreshingly crisp, but oh so very gray! As we ran along at a slower pace than normal, both of us a bit tired, I couldn’t help but scan my eyes across the horizon, dark gray skies gave way to light gray rooftops, dirty white leafless trees, gray wet roads, snow white blanketed sidewalks and puffs of gray-white breath condensing quickly in front of me.
Looking for a bite to eat later that day I was disheartened to find an almost empty refrigerator with only a half-full bottle of milk, a few potatoes, two parsnips and some Jerusalem artichokes from the previous week’s farm box. Everything colorful I had stocked on the shelves was quickly eaten leaving behind a white-gray filled, very unappetizing array of foods.
In the heart of January, eating the white starchy foods that are in season, when the season itself seems to be bringing you down all on its own, can feel like locking yourself in a gray padded room and waiting to go crazy. But once again nature reigns in the creation of things that work symbiotically and, as it turns out, there are numerous reasons why we should not shy away from locally grown foods in all shades of white during this gray time of year.
Cold air, wet weather, less time outside, the flu season, stress, travel and the fewer hours of daylight that accompany the gray winter season require increased immunity, efficient energy production, attitude adjustments and motivation from all sources available. Luckily, foods like potatoes, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac contain an array of nutrients and health building properties you need to help you endure the winter.
Don’t fight the season. Compliment the weather, mood and environment around you with the best of the season’s bounty. Keep your body and mind healthy, optimistic and strong with these wintry whites:
Potatoes: A good source of vitamin C and B6 as well as potassium, manganese and fiber, potatoes are great for immune system and energy building this time of year. Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that produce great antioxidant activity. To get the most nutrients for your buck buy organic and eat the skins too.
Parsnips: Parsnips are rich in vitamins B1, B2 and C as well as minerals, potassium and fiber, making them a good antioxidant, immunity builder and energy source. Parsnips have been shown to have pain-relieving properties and to help lubricate the intestines and promote healthy digestion.
Jerusalem Artichokes: This tuber contains a large amount of inulin, which has been linked to intestinal health because of its pre-biotic and good bacteria promoting qualities. Jerusalem Artichokes help promote healthy and efficient digestion and have high amounts of vitamin C that provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In the winter months this tuber is especially helpful in nourishing the lungs and decreasing asthmatic symptoms.
Celeriac (or Celery Root): Low in calories and high in fiber and vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron, this food defies its ugly appearance. Celeriac’s high water content helps flush the body of toxins while its nutrients help re-build and nourish. Health benefits include easing digestion, circulating antioxidants, building immunity and helping blood flow.
Beautiful Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac/celery root are coming straight to you from Full Circle Farm this time of year. Take advantage of the healthy and still local foods you can get your hands on and use these winter weather foods to your nutritional advantage.