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Eat for the Season!

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Eat for the Season!

Here are 5 reasons to eat what’s in season, and a delicious recipe for September harvest!

We have all heard that it’s good to eat what’s in season but it’s good to know why. Here are some of the best reasons to eat seasonal produce:

1. Nutrition - Plants get their nourishment from the soil and from he sun. Seasonal produce is harvested when it’s ripe and fully developed. The plant has had more sun exposure, which means it will have higher levels of antioxidants!

2. Flavor - You know if you’ve veer eaten a tomato right from the garden that produce that has been fully ripened in the sun tastes amazing! Crispy, fragrant, juicy and colorful- seasonal produce packs the most satisfying palette pleasers.

3. Economy - When there’s abundance of produce, prices go down. Seasonal food is much cheaper to produce for the farmers who would rather sell their products for a lower price, than not at all. If we eat what’s growing, less food is wasted.

4. Community - Support your local farmers and join a CSA. Know where your food comes from, who is growing your food and how they do it. CSA’s and farmer's markets create a sense of community around food and encourages us to talk bout it. It’s important to learn and to teach our children about the food that sustains us.  

5. Get Creative! - Eating seasonally and belonging to a CSA are things that lend variety to your diet. You will eat a larger variety of nutritious vitamins and minerals and learn how to cook with new foods.

*Food grown locally (in it’s natural environment) and eaten seasonally (reduces the amount of pesticides needed to grow and harvest a food) will most likely be a “cleaner” product. Don’t just look for “organic”, there are a lot of farms that have a pastoral approach to growing- ask questions at you local farmers markets.


Here’s a chart you can keep on the fridge to help you know what is in season in Illinois!



No-noodle Zucchini or Eggplant Lasagna (gluten free):

Instead of noodles, use thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant strips instead.

Layer in seasonal veggies like squash, tomatoes, bell peppers and carrots and you have yourself a healthy, seasonal dish that goes  along way!


    2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    1 small onion, finely chopped

    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    4 chopped/sliced carrots

    1 bell pepper, diced                    

    2-3 large diced tomatoes

    3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

    2 teaspoons salt

    2 medium zucchini or one large eggplant

    1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

 *if using eggplant, pre-slice and salt laid out on a paper towel to “sweat” the  eggplant for about 30 min- pulling out extra moisture improves lecture and keeps it from becoming too rubbery.


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. In a large straight-sided skillet set over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add carrots and bell pepper and cook until tender. Add the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until it thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in the oregano and salt. Let cool.

3. Slice the zucchini/eggplant lengthwise into thin strips (about 1/8 inch thick). Put 5 or 6 zucchini slices, overlapping slightly, in the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Top with 1 cup of the sauce. Dot with 1/4 cup of the ricotta. Repeat the layers twice, alternating the direction of the zucchini. Top with the remaining zucchini and brush the top with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon oil. Dot with the remaining 1/4 cup ricotta and season with the black pepper. Top with the Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the lasagna is bubbling and the top is brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

*Freezes well- try portioning off for individual dinners or lunches on-the-go!



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