Tis the Season to Shop Local
Today's post is written by guest blogger, Audrey Embersics. Her blog, Audrey's Healthy Helper seeks to create and promote simple, delicious, nutrient rich recipes to support individuals and families on their journey towards a healthier life.
According to recent television advertisements, tis the season to shop local! These positive endorsements not only share the beauty of supporting family and neighborhood businesses, but even provide incentives for doing so. Even though I am not associated with any of the businesses running these campaign ads, nor providing incentives of my own, I can personally testify shopping locally is good for your health, your budget, and your environment.
As a single income family, we are always looking for ways to provide the very best for our family without breaking the bank. Shopping locally was a game changer for our household groceries. About a year ago, we were expecting our first child and stressed with maintaining our healthy lifestyle, while adjusting to major changes in our budget. The hunt for the answer began. While reading through health articles, I came across a concept called "eating the seasons." The article explained the benefits of diets focused on local seasonal foods. Benefits included nutrient richness, variety, and expense. I was on board!
Opposite of the campaign ads, the season didn't convince me to shop local, but shopping local taught me about the seasons. My cooking became more adventurous. I am now creating recipes with ingredients never imagined in the year prior. Items I used to grab off the shelf are now homemade including hummus, salad dressings, and bone broth. Best part, our grocery bill is about half of what it was.
Recently, as an ode to tomato season coming to a close in central Texas, I whipped up a batch of homemade tomato sauce. Homemade tomato sauce is a great way to pack a variety of vegetables into a meal. This batch included season friendly onions, garlic, carrots, and spinach. My combination changes with the seasons. Other vegetables that work great are mushrooms, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Mother Earth Marinara Sauce
Prepare your vegetables by cleaning them thoroughly and cutting into approximately 1 inch chunks. Place prepared tomatoes, onion, carrots, and whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and mineral salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Then, gentle toss to combine.
Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes at 425 degrees. Then, remove from oven and allow vegetables to cool.
Place roasted vegetables in a food processor or blender with fresh spinach and basil. Blend until combination reaches desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is so simple, healthy, and affordable. Anyone can do it! Shopping locally for seasonal items will help any health focused family stay on track, while respecting the budget. Tis the season to start shopping local!
- 4 tomatoes, quartered
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 carrots
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp basil
- cracked pepper
- mineral salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves and carrots on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and mineral salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Lightly toss to combine.
- Roast vegetables for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow 10 minutes for cooling.
- In a food processor or blender, combine roasted vegetables with fresh spinach and basil. Blend contents until desired texture. Add cracked pepper and mineral salt for desired taste.
- Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze.
Audrey Embersics is full time mother and Juice Plus Direct Distributor. Her passion for inspiring and supporting a nutrient rich lifestyle stems from her own personal journey, research and education. She also served the San Antonio community for multiple years in the dance fitness and wellness industry. Audrey’s blog, Audrey's Healthy Helper, seeks to create and promote simple, delicious, nutrient rich recipes to support individuals and families on their journey towards a healthier life. Audrey looks forward to helping you jump start and maintain your own healthy lifestyle.
For more recipes and information, please visit https://audreyshealthyhelper.wordpress.com/