One of my favorite things about The Original CrockPet Diet, is the ability to rotate the ingredients with the changing seasons. Not only do seasonal vegetables provide your pet with lots of new, exciting flavors, but seasonal eating is really beneficial to their health. Here’s some of my favorite, seasonal fall produce, and the reasons why you should look for local, seasonal vegetables for your pet’s next CrockPet batch!
Seasonal Eating for the Win
In today’s global economy, the concept of seasonal eating has become a little blurry. When you shop in major, metropolitan grocery stores, seasonality is hardly ever an issue. You can buy strawberries in December, and cauliflower in May. So, what’s wrong with that?
The science behind seasonal eating is strongly rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the world of food energetics. Mother nature designed the cycle of the season, and the produce available during each one, to work together perfectly. This means that produce harvested during warm months will help cool our hot bodies, and produce harvested in the cooler months work to warm us back up. Pretty cool, huh?
Four Fantastic Fall Ingredients for The Original CrockPet Diet
Cauliflower is a vegetable that falls into the brassica family, and will provide some delicious nutrition for your pet. It’s high in B-vitamins and vitamin K. Plus, it has lots of fiber for healthy digestion and choline for great brain health. Plentiful antioxidants and phytonutrients help protect against cancer, and put this veggie on the CDC’s list of "powerhouse fruits and vegetables."
These sprouts are another awesome fall brassica veggie. The little guys will add some major micronutrients to your pet’s CrockPet meals. Vitamin C and vitamin K are abundant in these little green power veggies. Lots of fiber will help regulate blood sugar levels and digestion.
Don’t overlook this nutritious, white vegetable. Parsnips pack in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Potassium, folate and fiber are bountiful in this little root veggie, and high manganese and zinc content promotes good bone health. You can use parsnips in place of carrots and even potatoes in your pet’s CrockPet Diet.
Despite what the name suggests, winter squash is actually best harvested in the fall. It bring sloads of nutrients and antioxidants to the table, including lots of fiber and potassium. The anti-inflammatory properties and nutritional makeup of this squash make it great for digestion, healthy blood pressure, and even healthier skin and coat.
Tips for Seasonal Eating
The best recommendation I can make, to help make your seasonal endeavor easier, is to shop locally! The Local Food Movement is doing so much to reintroduce the idea of seasonal eating, and making it fun. Heading to your local farmer’s market for produce will guarantee that the veggies you’re sorting through are in-season. Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of being able to chat with the farmers who are growing these seasonal veggies and fruits about their growing practices. No guessing games about where your food came from, or how they were grown; what a win-win.
If you don’t have a local farmer’s market accessible, you can still shop at any grocery store for your ingredients. Seasonalfoodguide.org is a great resource for finding out what produce is in season in your region. By following the guidelines for where you live, you’ll be able to select the produce that’s best for you and your pet from any grocery store, any time of year. Buy organic, if you can, to avoid pesticides and other chemicals that crop up in lots of mass-produced fruits and veggies.
Remember to always change you pet’s diet gradually, and work new ingredients in a few at a time. This will make it easy to know which ingredients agree best or least with your pet. Slow transition also helps prevent any GI upset.
Your Pet’s Health, Year-Round
Following a seasonal eating plan is a great way to keep your pet healthier all year round. As I’ve said many times, rotation of ingredients is super important for your pet’s diet. This keeps them from developing food sensitivities and leaky gut syndrome. And if you’re feeding local ingredients, the seasonal produce will help keep their bodies and hormones balanced.
Remember, that I am always here as Your Pet’s Ally, year round. Your pet’s health doesn’t need to wax and wane with the seasons, and I’m here to help them stay healthy, no matter the time of year. Let’s talk about your pet today, so we can start them on a long term plan for health. A healthy balanced formula in your pet’s CrockPet Diet will help their good health last longer than that pumpkin on your porch!