Roasted Red Pepper Dip
6 peppers (red, orange, and/or yellow)
1 small clove of garlic
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, for serving
1/3 cup roasted almonds
- Heat grill to high or arrange oven rack 6 in. from broiler and heat broiler.
- Grill or broil peppers (on rimmed baking sheet), turning occasionally until blackened and charred, 8 to 10 min. total.
- Transfer to bowl and cover at least 10 min. (this helps skin separate from peppers, making it easier to peel off).
- Meanwhile, finely grate garlic into bowl. Add vinegar, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper and stir to combine. Let sit while prepping peppers.
- Peel peppers, then remove stems and seeds. Cut into pieces. Stir olive oil into vinegar mixture, then toss with peppers. Let sit at least 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, before serving. Toss with parsley if desired.
- In food processor, pulse 1/3 cup roasted almonds until finely chopped. Add 1 cup marinated peppers, 1 scallion (chopped), and 2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley and process until nearly smooth. Adjust seasoning with vinegar, salt, and pepper as neede
The Benefits of Eating Seasonally
Seasonal food is produce, fish, or other food that is purchased and eaten around the same time it is caught or harvested. The variety of seasonal food will differ depending on the time of year and your location. Those living in Hawaii will have a much different seasonal food selection than those living in Hampton Roads. Adjusting your diet for seasonal eating is also a great way to eat healthier without breaking the bank.
Seasonal eating often ensures you receive a varied diet. Each season your choice of fruits and vegetables will change. For those on the coast, seafood like fish, oysters, crabs, and more will be available at different times of the year. The more varied your diet, the more nutritional value you’ll receive. Eating seasonal food can also cut down on grocery costs because food suppliers don’t need to pay for costly shipping fees accrued when out-of-season produce is shipped from other parts of the world.
“Every food provides you with a different array of nutrients,” said Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator, Gale Pearson of TPMG Nutrition Services in Newport News, Virginia. You can’t get a variety of nutrients unless you have a variety of food. Eating the same food every day, even if it is a healthy food like vegetables or fruits will lead to a lack of nutrition. An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it won’t give you the potassium that you could receive from a banana or cantaloupe.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables will also often be fresher and contain more nutritional value than other out-of-season crops due to modified growing techniques required to grow food out-of-season. Eating food in season will also cut down on transportation emissions caused when food suppliers ship crops to areas where the foods are out-of-season.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has a comprehensive chart of fruit and vegetable produce broken down by availability month to month. Right now, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, and more are in-season. Click here to take a look at the full list of summer crops.
Although eating seasonally is a great way to maintain a nutritious diet, not everyone can afford to eat seasonally all year long. Frozen produce and produce that is out-of-season will still have nutritional value. The most important thing to remember is to keep a balanced diet full of a variety of foods with an array of nutrients. Whether in season or from the freezer, you can add nutrition to your diet, if you know where to look.
About Gale Pearson, MS, RDN, CDCES
Gale Pearson, MS, RDN, CDCES is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with over 25 years of experience working with patients on dietary and nutrition wellness planning. Gale received her undergraduate degree from Hampton University and her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Howard University.
With extensive experience in nutrition counseling, Gale works with her patients to develop strategies to improve their eating habits and lifestyles, in turn helping them to manage their weight and medical conditions. She credits witnessing her patients’ symptoms and overall health improvement as a result of the lifestyle changes as one of the most gratifying and rewarding aspects of her career.
At TPMG Nutrition Services in Newport News and Williamsburg, Gale provides one-on-one consultations, nutrition and weight management counseling, and diabetes education.