Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We Are What We Eat (Expensive and Best in Summer)

I am far from spoiled when it comes to fresh produce. I take one quick look at my friend's Facebook album dedicated entirely to local, California fruits and veggies and am envious of the colours, variety and price! But after living in the North for 3 years, and circumnavigating that obstacle along with learning to feed my young family well, I have figured out how to make the most of what's available here. I have learned what can be frozen (whole bell peppers!) and what cannot (potatoes!). I have learned how to maximize the nutrition content of the fruits and veggies I do get by buying in-season, freezing, buying frozen, or sucking it up and paying way too much for a bushel of asparagus in February.
Summer in Whitehorse means I have already moved a step closer to eating fresh from living 5 hours away from civilization in Ross River: I can make weekly trips to a produce aisle, or even scoot down daily if I miss something. I can buy organic at Riverside Grocer or Extra Foods, and it is usually just about to ripen. I pretend sweet corn doesn't cost under a dollar at home in Ontario, or that my "local" peaches come from southern BC, and I'm smiling with my daily fix of beta-carotene.
Today I opened up my on-sale copy of Deceptively Delicious to get some inspiration. If you don't know about this book, especially if you have kids or picky husbands, do it. I bought because while we aren't picky eaters in my house, it's always helpful to find new, tasty ways to sneak sometimes-yucky vegetables into food. We can always use more vegetables, right?
So today I made French toast using banana and pumpkin purees (mixed in with the egg and cinnamon coating), and this afternoon my sister and I baked banana=peanut butter muffins with carrot puree. Both recipes had a minimum of sugar, none white or refined at that.
Tomorrow: whole wheat spaghetti with squash puree, and then pita pizzas with hidden spinach!
And, for the record, I am just pretending the lack of colour in the produce section come winter time will forgo the Whitehorse grocery stores this year. I wish we could eat like Californians all year long.

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