Late summer is that special time of transition between summer and autumn; it is the hinge between hot and cold when the westerly wind brings cooler air and the sun withdraws slowly. Late summer brings more nourishing food to more people than any other time. The fruits taste sweet, the root vegetables reach their full maturity, the grains ripen and harvesting occurs.
Fall is also a time to gather energy and reinforce your natural defense. Studies have shown that eating nutrient rich foods increase the strength of our immune system. Food sources containing vitamin A from carotene are said to activate the thymus gland and energize our immune system. These vitamin A rich foods include carrot, sweet potato, kale, parsley, spinach, turnip and beet green. In addition, pungent foods like garlic, onions, ginger and horseradish all have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
As the temperature outside turns colder, we choose to enjoy warmer dishes. These dishes often require a longer cooking time but the comfort and nourishment that braised meats, roasted vegetables, soups and stews bring to our body is worth the extra effort. Small amounts of traditionally fermented food like miso, sauerkraut and kefir to accompany richer meals are also beneficial to insure proper digestion and enhance immunity.
I invite you all to be inspired with the harvest of late summer and experiment with the colourful bounty with which fall provides us. These nourishing recipes will bring you and your family renewed strength to weather the approaching winter season.