Eat the Seasons: Winter Special

Why seasonal & local produce is better for you and your purse strings!

Nutritionists and foodies both agree that it’s important to incorporate seasonal produce in your diet. Not only will it have a positive impact on your health and on the planet but on your purse strings too.

It’s also a great opportunity to vary your diet, try news things and experiment with different foods. Plus, you’ll probably find that your taste buds change (for the better) and it’s heaps healthier. So what’s all the fuss about seasonal foods?

Here are just five reasons why seasonal produce is a much smarter choice:

IMG_6925

  1. Seasonal Local Foods Taste Better

Firstly, seasonal fruit and veg will always taste fresher, lovelier, sweeter and riper. When that piece of fruit or veg has naturally ripened and has been harvested at the right time, it will have stacks more nutritional content and flavour too.

When overseas crops have been imported, usually they have been harvested early and then chilled so they travel well. However, when they are refrigerated, this reduces the flavour.

Before they even make it to the supermarkets, they’re often kept at a holding house where they’re heated so that they can complete the ripening process. This of course is artificial and doesn’t yield the same quality, flavour or texture.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this with things like watery, bland tomatoes and pale tasting strawberries!

IMG_6924

  1. More Nutritional

 Local produce that has been purchased in-season and close to its natural harvesting time, will have a better nutritional content. When overseas produce has been stored for some time, it will loose a lot of its goodness.

Local fruits and vegetables will also look brighter and less limp and dried up. Supermarkets often buy out of season produce that’s been treated to kill germs and sometimes they are preserved in wax to extend the shelf life.

IMG_6919

  1. No Nasties

 When fruit and veg has been imported, you just can’t guarantee what’s happened to them after they’ve been picked! Regulations for pesticides and herbicides vary drastically. The UK is pretty good but there are loads of countries, even those within Europe, that have relaxed laws about chemicals being sprayed on fruits and vegetables.

IMG_6923

  1. Easier on your bank balance

It’s a known fact than when farmers have a huge crop of seasonal produce, the cost to consumers will go down. Plus, they don’t need to worry about travel expenses and storage, production and therefore this is passed onto us the customer!

IMG_6921

  1. More Environmentally-Friendly


 Eating seasonally reduces the demand for out of season produce which further supports more local produce and supports local farming in your area which means less transportation, less refrigeration, less of those hot houses and less irradiation of produce.

IMG_6920

It’s a no-brainer, right?

However, it’s easy to loose track of what’s ‘in’ and what’s out of season. So starting this winter, I’ll be blogging about foods from each of the seasons over the coming year. Below is a list of seasonal, local foods for the winter.

UK Seasonal Winter Vegetables

EAT THE SEASONS
December January February
Cauliflower

Cranberry

Lettuce

Pear

Pumpkin

Quince

Apple

Beetroot

Sprouts

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Celeriac

Celery

Chestnuts

Jerusalem artichoke

Kale

Leek

Onion

Cabbage

Pak choi

Parsnip

Pear

Romanesco

Salsify

Spring onion

Swede

Sweet potato

Turnip

Apple

Beetroot

Sprouts

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Celeriac

Celery

Chestnuts

Chicory

Jerusalem artichoke

Kale

Leek

Onion

Cabbage

Pak choi

Parsnip

Pear

Rhubarb

Romanesco

Salsify

Spring onion

Swede

Sweet potato

Turnip

 

Apple

Sprouts

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Celeriac

Celery

Jerusalem artichoke

Kale

Leek

Onion

Parsnip

Purple sprouting broccoli

Romanesco

Rhubarb

Spring onion

Swede

Sweet potato

Turnip

 

In the Spotlight:

My Favourite Winter Seasonal Veg

I’m currently addicted to Romanesco. It’s half between a cauliflower and a broccoli. Try it roasted in the oven with a generous drizzle of olive oil and with slices of shallots or thin slices of red onion and some garlic. Cook for around 20 – 25 mins on 180 degrees. It’s great as a side dish to fish dishes and other veggie mains.

 

Fruit and veg stall pictures taken at Mike & Debs – Norwich Market, one of my favourite spots in Norfolk for local veg. www.facebook.com/MikeDebsandSons

One thought on “Eat the Seasons: Winter Special

Leave a Reply