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Why you should eat with the seasons

Why you should eat with the seasons

At Step One Foods, we pride ourselves on using the best, highest-quality ingredients.

And since we are making products for tens of thousands of consumers every month, we have a few advantages over the home cook: We can source the freshest, best tasting ingredients directly from the growers.  For example, the walnuts used in our products are shelled just before they are shipped our way.  That ensures the nutritional benefits are most preserved and we can avoid loading up our foods with artificial preservatives to extend shelf life.  The Saskatoon berries are dried in a special way just for us - to maintain the highest antioxidant levels.

The equation changes when you’re one person shopping for small quantities of food for a small number of people:  Unless you own the grocery store chain, you have far less control over the ingredients available at your local supermarket.  So how to minimize this disadvantage?

Shopping for and consuming foods that are in-season will give you the biggest bang for your wallet - and your health. Just because strawberries are available in the produce aisle year-round doesn’t mean you should eat them in November. Not only will the price be higher, but the berries will probably taste bland and lack any discernible strawberry aroma. And that lackluster berry won’t have the same nutrient quality, either.

Remember, your taste buds and your olfactory prowess are designed to help you find the healthiest, most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables.  When a cantaloupe is at its sweetest, juiciest and most aromatic, that’s when it’s bursting with nutrients. That’ll happen during the fruit’s peak season and when it’s closest to having been plucked from the ground. Artificial chemical preservatives aren’t needed to keep a food fresh when you’re picking it and eating it the same day.

Of course, this means that people living in certain regions can enjoy seasonal foods for much more of the year. I live in Minnesota, where prime farmer’s market season is condensed to about four months. The good news is that freezing and canning many of these goodies preserves nutrients pretty well. (I would rather whirl up the local blueberries I bought and froze in June than the cartons of mushy berries that the grocery store shipped thousands of miles in December.) And it makes late spring and early summer an exciting time of year!

Eating seasonally also has many side benefits that go beyond physical health: There’s an equally long list of environmental benefits from shopping close to home. And your local farmers really appreciate it too!  For spring, that means thinking green: The first shoots of green onions and spinach are a tender treat after a winter of pale iceberg lettuce. Make sure to incorporate them into spring salads.

Of course, you can continue enjoying Step One Foods year-round. But I’m guessing you’ll appreciate our smoothie mix even more when it’s complemented by the berries you found at a local fruit stand. (Confession - as someone pressed for time, I don't usually make a smoothie - I sprinkle the smoothie mix over yogurt and add even more berries.  Easy peasy.)  By the way, I also think our dark chocolate crunch bar pairs really nicely with winter citrus.  Chocolate and orange were just made for each other.

Tested & Proven Results.

  • Cardiologist formulated
  • Supported by over 500 publications
  • Clinically-proven, in a double-blind randomized trial with Mayo Clinic and The University of Manitoba

80% of participants lowered their cholesterol in just 30 days. With just two servings per day, Step One Foods offers a proven-effective way to naturally lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

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