SAVOUR THE BENEFITS OF SEASONAL FOOD
Here in the UK, our hearts’ desires are rarely more than a couple of clicks away – and we can eat what we like all year round.
But if you want to taste the best that fruit and veg has to offer, putting convenience on the back burner and eating what’s in season is a little step that will make a world of difference.
Grown closer to home and in tune with the climate, seasonal produce is simply better:
• It uses fewer planet-polluting pesticides and fertiliser
• Less energy is consumed for heating, lighting and travel
• It ripens naturally, so is bursting with flavour and is more nutritious
• It’s cheaper to produce, so is cheaper to buy
Fruit and vegetables really are magical gifts from nature, and we should always strive to get the most from them – which is why we use as much of the vegetable as possible in our Veggie Snacks.
Choosing food in harmony with the seasons is a more natural way to eat – lighter in the summer and heartier in the winter, helping you reconnect with the rhythms of the year. You can read more about the healing power of nature here.
So, here’s a little guide to some of the ingredients that are seasonal stunners right now:
Basking in the late spring sun, pak choi bristles with fibre, vitamins and minerals and tastes mildly of spinach. Lightly fry or steam till it wilts, then toss into stir fries, or serve young and raw in salads.
Apparently, it looks like a lamb’s tongue. We can’t comment. We do know it’s good raw in salads, steamed as a side dish and with its earthy, tangy taste it’s perfect in sandwiches.
This versatile little legume hits its stride heading into summer. Simply stir into risottos, soups and salads and enjoy a tasty little pack of protein, vitamin A and a line-up of vitamin B5.
Yes, carrots are great in wholesome winter stews, but they come into their own in May and June. Sweet and young, just give them a scrub and grate for coleslaw or peel into salads. You can even eat the carrot tops! Discover some more healthy and surprising parts of veg you don’t need to throw away. And if you’re in a hurry, grab some carroty goodness with our Carrot Veggie Bites.
A spring sensation, artichokes are delicious lightly steamed and dipped in vinaigrette, while offering a healthy collection of antioxidants.
This one is spring and proud. It’s the first of the cabbage family to make an appearance and it’s softer and sweeter than its big cousin and fortified with vitamins C and K. Another one that’s great in stir fries or steamed and drizzled in melted butter.
These succulent spears are only in season from April to June, so grab them before peak summer, steam them and dunk them in a soft-boiled egg or enjoy with some fresh salmon.
New potatoes like Jersey Royals are smaller and sweeter than the regular ones, which means they’re perfect for salads, potato salads on the side of your barbeque, or light spring and summer stews.
The year-round strawberries are less tender and tasty, so enjoy seasonal strawberries at their juicy and flavourful best. It only takes about seven to count as one of your five-a-day.
There’s an earlier forced crop of rhubarb, but from late April it’s ripening in the fields with a more intense flavour and deeper red stems, just waiting to be made into crumbles or letting its tart taste cosy up to some meat.
To ensure you’re getting the best of the best, try to buy organic and local produce wherever possible. And to sample food from as close to its source as possible, check out our tips to foraging away from the high street.