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  • Caroline O'Connor

Seasons' Eatings

Not only is consuming in-season food cost-efficient, better for the local economy, nutritious, and flavourful, but it’s also better for the environment. For instance, what does it mean when you see ingredients in your grocery store that can’t be naturally harvested in your country that time of year? It means that the food has been transported internationally, requiring more energy for refrigeration and storage than it would if being transported on a local level.


In other words, the transportation and storage required for out of season food releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the local transportation of in-season food, contributing to global warming. In addition to an increase in greenhouse gases, the transportation of off-season food often requires more packaging in an attempt to keep the food fresh on its long journey, ultimately meaning more greenhouse gases are released during the making of the packaging and more garbage is ending up in landfills.


Furthermore, the longer food has to travel the higher chance it has of spoiling and becoming waste. In fact, more than half of all food waste occurs along the supply chain. Not only, is this wasteful in terms of food not making it to the shelves for consumption, but if not disposed of properly food waste can release methane that is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide for trapping heat in the atmosphere. In other words, consuming in-season food is good for you and the environment, so let’s take a look at a couple of recipes that use in-season ingredients in North America during October.


Stuffed Squash (Serves 6)


Ingredients:

3 large acorn squash

1 cup of water

1 1/2 cups of diced apples (unpeeled)

1 cup of chopped celery

1/2 cup of butter (can use a non-dairy substitute to make vegan!)

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp of salt


Tools/Appliances Needed:

Glass baking dish

Measuring cups/spoons

2 small bowls

Oven


Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F

  • Cut squash into halves and scoop out the seeds

  • Place squash cut side down in the baking dish

  • Add one cup of water to the baking dish and bake in the oven for 45 minutes

  • Dice apples, celery, pecans, and other ingredients you would like to add to your squash and combine them in a small bowl

  • In a separate bowl melt butter and blend in sugar, cinnamon, and salt then pour over the stuffing mixture (the apples, celery, etc.) and toss lightly

  • Remove squash from the oven and drain

  • Turning the squash cut side up spoon mixture into squash and put back in the oven

  • Bake for 20 minutes or until tender

Note: You can prepare this ahead of time by cooking squash and preparing mixture to just fill and bake for 20 minutes.


Pumpkin Scones With Maple Glaze (Vegan) (Serves 6-8)


Ingredients:

Scones

2 cups of flour (spelt, all-purpose, or light whole wheat)

1/4 cup of sugar (pure cane or coconut sugar)

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon of vanilla

A pinch of salt

6 tablespoons of hardened coconut oil (or vegan butter/margarine)

3/4 cup of 100% pumpkin puree

1/2 cup of non-dairy milk

Maple Glaze

1 cup of organic powdered sugar

2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon of unsweetened almond milk


Tools/Appliances Needed:

A lined baking tray

Measuring cups/spoons

Mixing spoon

2 Mixing Bowls (one medium/large one small/medium)

Oven


Directions:

  • Make the glaze first so it has time to thicken

  • In a small/medium bowl mix powdered sugar, maple syrup, and non-dairy milk then set aside or place in the refrigerator to thicken

  • Preheat oven to 425F and line or lightly grease baking sheet

  • In a medium-size bowl mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, pumpkin spice, and salt, then add and mix in the hardened oil (or non-dairy butter/margarine)

  • Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, and non-dairy milk to the mixture, stir to form a dough

  • Using your hands, knead the dough into an even ball then move to a lightly floured surface to pat into an 8-9 inch circle approximately 1 inch high (does not need to be exact)

  • Using a knife, gently divide the dough into 6-8 slices and place the scones on the prepared baking sheet and into the oven on the center rack to bake for about 18 minutes or until lightly golden along the edges

  • Remove from oven and let cool before applying the glaze

Note: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container either on the counter or in the refrigerator, and should be eaten within a couple of days.

(Scone Recipe found from https://simple-veganista.com/)

Caroline is a Sociology and Environmental and Sustainability Studies graduate from Acadia University. She hopes to continue her education and have a career in conservation. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors as well as staying in on the colder days to discover/try new recipes, inspiring her latest blog!



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