I love eating fresh, local, seasonal, organic produce! Let’s be honest, fresh food looks and tastes the best. No one wants to eat wilted brown things. Even so, sometimes the wonder of Earth’s bounty of natural organic foods created specifically to sustain and provide us with nourishment is overshadowed by our busy days and convenient grocery shelves stocked with imported, out of season produce.
Local, seasonal foods grow along side us, we share a common environment. Sourcing and consuming local foods is a great way to feel connected with the world around us. We feel the kiss of the same sun and are blown around by the same wind. We feel the same water fall from the sky, touch the same Earth and witness the same sunsets.
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Here in Ecuador, grocery stores are usually small single rooms lined with shelves, the proprietors live above or behind the store front. Most places sell a small selection of fresh local fruits and vegetables along side cold beverages, ice cream bars and processed snacks. There are only a hand-full of big brand names, the stores are more or less all the same so it is really exciting to find little gems of locally made, healthy organic products.
I feel very inspired by today’s low-carb grocery expedition and want to share my success with you. I found so many healthy keto diet approved foods!
Recently all of our produce has been coming from the weekly farmers market (which is one of the very best ways to source local and seasonal) and I have not had a reason to visit my favorite little fruit and vegetable store. I’m so happy we went today!
You never know what you might find until you look.
Fresh basil and broccolis are on the left. I am food processing steamed broccoli into a fine crumbly mixture with butter and spices. All three of us enjoy eating it! This simple technique is an easy way to portion control when you want to track macros as well as a nice dish that our daughter enjoys.
Next up are our butter balls. There are five in the picture, each is slightly less than a cup of grass-fed butter and usually lasts us one a day. This is special, delicious, yellow butter, so good our family brought it back to the States as a souvenir. I use it for cooking, butter sauces, and some times in Aryana’s smoothies.
Currently there is a half pound of liver defrosting in our fridge and I am looking forward to making a liver pate. I plan to spread the pate on these celery sticks. Stay tuned for the recipe!
Here is the true star of today’s purchase – 100% cacao. These dark chocolate sheets are lightly roasted, cacao beans pressed together and melted into little oval shapes. We prefer to support organic farmers that produce shade grown cacao, preserve old local cacao trees and the local ecosystem as opposed to mono-crops of cheap quality, hybridized cacao. There are a few different regions of Ecuador that produce much of the higher quality cacao on the market. Keep your eyes out for Arriba Nacional, Ecuador’s heritage cacao bean. Look closely at these pictures, you can see the swirls from where the oils separated a bit. I think the patterns are beautiful! We were fortunate to buy eight pounds which will surely last us a few months.
Peruvian olives are finally back in stock! There has been a many month long hiatus since I last saw these olives around. They are a super delicious treat to add on to our mackerel breakfast, giving a tart, tangy flavor.
Our daughter enjoys nutrient dense foods everyday. The milk in the bottle on the right, is for her and will last throughout the week. Every morning a lady visits town with milk from a dairy located on the mountain across the valley from our house. She brings the milk in a big container, we bring the bottles to fill. While neither Tristan nor I currently consume milk, Aryana drinks a cup or two a day. I feel very comfortable supplying her with fresh raw, unpasteurized milk – milk as it was made to be sourced from healthy cows and a hygienic dairy.
Focus on what you HAVE, not what you lack.
Today I am celebrating bringing home healthy nutritious foods that my family can enjoy together. Wherever you live you can find nourishing, fresh, organic foods native to your area.
Learn to forage, contact local farms, buy direct, support farmers markets and celebrate the local bounty you have access to!
I hope you also celebrate the treasures your local environment has to offer.
Here is a fun challenge – visit your favorite store and find something new, local, seasonal and nourishing to try this week! Post your findings in the comments below.