Organic Seasonal Eating Part 1

Written by Chris Hawkins

Organic Seasonal Eating Today

Eating natural foods can bring us in touch and in tune with the earth and our bodies, especially if we harmonize our diet with the changing seasons, eating the foods that grow around us. Here Northern hemisphere, partaking of the fresh, new growth in the Spring, the sun-kissed bounty of the Summer, the harvest gifts in the Fall and the stored treasures of the Winter, can help create an ever-renewing sense of wonder, satisfaction and gratefulness.

Beans Around the Globe

In the world’s natural diets around the globe, beans are eaten in moderation throughout the year, balanced with grains and local seeds, vegetables, seafoods, etc. In the Five Element Theory of Oriental Medicine, beans are emphasized in the winter months as being particularly helpful. Beans balance the urio-genital system, and makes the kidneys happy, keeping colds and the flu at bay. Aduki and kidney beans are especially harmonizing at this time. The bean, like other seeds and grains, is a potent and nascent life force appropriate to the beginning of a New Year.
The Southern states in the North America have a tradition of serving black eyed peas on New Years Day for good luck. My mother cooked them with a ham hock and served them to her  family and drop-in visitors along with corn bread. Peas and beans made a lovely crock pot meal, with or without the ham hock, and can stay on simmer throughout a long, cold day.

Below is an Asian version of a healthy black eyed pea recipe.

Dr. Ho’s Chinese Peas

1 cup raw peanuts
2 cups black-eyed peas, dried
1/2 cup red dates, soaked (available in oriental grocery stores or online) regular dates can be used- pitted and chopped

Approximately 8 cups of water
Tamari or soy sauce to taste, about 1 1/2 Tbs.
Simmer until tender about 1.5 hours. Beans may be soaked beforehand to shorten cooking time. The age of the pea is a factor on how quickly they cook. Sometimes peas can take 20-30 minutes to cook well. Never add salt or soy sauce until bean or pea is soft, or it may not cook properly.

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