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    News — #vegetarian

    Eating Seasonally: Spring

    It’s September, which means spring and we can certainly feel the change in climate in sunny Queensland already! After a couple of months of warm, cosy winter stews and soups we’re ready to dive into some of our favourite lighter dishes again.

    Spring means warmer weather, leaves on the trees, flowering plants, and the appearance of fresh, light spring veggies. Spring is all about detoxifying foods that are refreshing and regenerating. They’re light and fresh, like crisp asparagus (a classic spring veggie), beets and green leafy veggies.

    We know that certain fruits and vegetables flourish at certain times of the year, and it’s a good idea to buy seasonal produce however because grocery stores stock just about everything all year round, it’s sometimes easy to forget what’s in season and what’s not. 

    A good tip is to take a walk around your local farmer’s market and see what kinds of produce are available – these will usually be the ones that are in season.

    There are many benefits to eating seasonally.  The food is at its freshest, tastes the best, is best for you, is more sustainable, and is usually cheaper. It also allows us to get back to the roots of local and sustainable eating, by supporting local businesses and our local community as a whole.  

    Seasonal fruits and veggies that have been allowed to fully ripen on the plant and picked at the peak of freshness are better quality and higher in nutrition compared to produce that is picked unripe and then transported to different areas or countries.

    Foods that are harvested in your local area at a certain time are also dealing with the same environmental factors that you are. For example, summer fruits and veggies are often higher in water content (e.g. tomatoes or watermelons), which makes sense given that during summer we are often hot and sweaty and need more hydration from our diet.

    Tomatoes also contain an antioxidant called lycopene which research has shown to be helpful in protecting our skin against the sun’s rays…so it does make sense why tomatoes thrive in warmer weather. Eating local sustainable produce allows for maximum nutrition that is tailored to your local environment.

    Eating foods that are in season gives you the opportunity to appreciate the foods that are available, and allows for more variety in your diet as seasonal foods are constantly shifting – a wonderful cycle that allows you to experience each food.

    We’ve been cooking dishes that feature lots of Spring seasonal veggies the past few weeks, like our one-pot Greek Chicken with Zucchini and Potatoes, and our Roast Fennel with Chickpea Skordalia, Grilled Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes. 

    What veggies are in season this spring? Print out our handy list of spring seasonal veggies and hang it on your fridge!

     

    This Month is Meat-Free May!

    This Month is Meat-Free May!

    Meat-Free May is an Australian campaign that began about 7 years ago, and each year more and more Aussies give it a go! If you missed Veganuary and need a challenge to keep you going through the current pandemic, why not give Meat-Free May a try?  (And if you are looking for inspiration watch "The GameChangers" if you haven't already).  ISO has given many an opportunity to do some Netflix binging.  Unfortunately, many have also found themselves binging a bit too much on junk food or processed foods.  Why not teat May as a "detox" opportunity?

    Going vegan or even just vegetarian opens up a whole new world of foods, some that you may have never tried before or even knew existed. Tempeh? Quinoa? Nutritional Yeast? They may have funny names but some of the best vegan staples are bursting with nutrition and health-promoting factors.

    With a vast kingdom of plants to choose from, plant-based cooking introduces new variety into your diet, and allows you to try new cuisines and new recipes. Many studies have shown that a diversified and varied diet is an essential component of healthy living and reducing disease risk, and the introduction of more plant-based foods is the perfect way to do that.

    Are you up for the challenge? So many delicious veggie-focussed dishes to try! Read on for some ways you can participate this month…

    1. Simply just being aware:
    You can still participate in Meat-Free May without committing yourself to anything. Simply just being aware of your choices and what meals you can veganize or make more plant based can help you to explore and get out of your comfort zone. Who knows, your perception might just shift and you might end up cooking lots of veggie meals this month!  
     
    2. One day a week meat-free:
    Did you know that going meat-free one day a week is a fun and free way to reduce your risk of chronic preventable diseases, limit your carbon footprint and help save resources in the environment like fresh water and fuel?

    Going meat-free just one day per week is enough to introduce more variety into your diet, as well as extra vitamins, nutrients and fibre, all while being exposed to some seriously delicious food!

    Choose a day of the week that will be a complete vegan or vegetarian day for you (Monday might be a good option because it’s the start of the week and is a great time for setting your intentions for the rest of the week). Write down a few breakfast, lunch and dinner options – make sure they include foods that you like, but also try to incorporate some new foods here and there.
     
    3. Go all in:
    The third way that you can participate this month is to jump all the way in! You could choose to go vegan or vegetarian, whichever is better suited to you at this time. A month may seem like a long time (especially if you are a big meat-eater), but it doesn’t have to be hard or stressful.

    The first thing that you can do is think about what you eat that’s already vegan or vegetarian. You probably already have a few recipes up your sleeve that are vegan or vegetarian, but you just don’t label them as such. For example, pasta with tomato marinara sauce, or a vegetarian chilli.

    Veganise recipes that are familiar favourites. For example, leave out the meat in your favourite stir-fry and use tofu or tempeh instead. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth in your favourite soups, add a variety of beans to your chilli instead of meat, or make a “chickpea tuna” salad for sandwiches using mashed chickpeas instead of tuna.   

    Learn a few new recipes. There are lots of resources out there, as well as plant-based cookbooks with amazing healthy plant-focussed recipes.

    Support your local grocer or food business. Our vegan plan is always available, and during the month of May we are going to be putting some extra love (and there's already a lot in there) into our vegan range to ensure there is lots of variety. Stock your freezer up with a few of our vegan gluten-free meals and Meat-Free May will be easier than you think!

    Are you going to be participating in Meat-Free May this year? If you are, let us know!