In-Season Eating: Winter

Nutrition

In-Season Eating: Winter

How can we eat sustainably through the winter months? Sustainability can be described as actions to preserve a particular resource, in this instance, how and what we eat.

There are multiple benefits in considering sustainability when making food decisions or shopping for groceries, and now that we have left the EU market, it isn’t just environmental sustainability that comes into play, but also economic sustainability. We can all play our part by eating seasonally and reap the benefits both environmentally and economically.

We have become accustomed to eating exactly what we want, when we want with access to anything all year round. Mangoes in winter? Sure. Blackberries in spring? No problem. So, navigating what is and isn’t seasonal can be more of a challenge.

So what are the benefits to eating seasonally?

Eating locally produced, seasonal food is not only more tasty and potentially nutritious, but better for our environment too.

It can also be found to be more affordable as it hasn’t had to be imported and is more readily available during that season. Buying directly from a farm shop or arranging for a seasonal veg box delivery can be an easy way to optimise eating seasonally.

This simple guide from Head of Nutrition Rachel Butcher, along with recipe ideas from Natural Fitness Food, has been designed to help you make seasonal fruit and vegetable choices for the coming months.

 

January

  • Apples
  • Beetroots
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Swede
  • Turnips

NFF Recipe idea: Shredded brussel sprout salad

Cook time: 10 mins
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Lemon juice to taste
2 tbsp parsley
200g brussel sprouts, trimmed & shredded
3 slices of bresaola (optional)
50g hazelnuts
50g shaved parmesan

1. Roast hazelnuts at 180 degrees C for 10 mins then remove from oven and roughly chop.
2. Whisk oil, mustard and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.
3. Arrange sprouts on the plate (with bresaola if using) and scatter over hazelnuts.
4. Drizzle over the dressing and scatter over the cheese.

 

February

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Chicory
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Purple sprouting broccoli
  • Rhubarb
  • Swede
  • Turnips

NFF Recipe idea: Kale risotto

Cook time: 30 mins
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

1 large bunch of kale
1 onion
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fennel seeds
400g risotto rice
250ml white wine (optional)
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
Dash of balsamic vinegar

  1. Blanch kale in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and refresh in cold water, drain again and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Add onion and soften for 5 mins.
  3. Add garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 2 mins.
  4. Add rice and stir for 2 mins.
  5. Add the wine (if using) and a ladle of stock – simmer until absorbed.
  6. Gradually add the stock, stirring regularly until rice is tender (approx 25-30 mins.) Add the kale at the 20 min mark.
  7. When the rice is ready, add a dash of balsamic vinegar. Season to taste and serve topped with some grated parmesan (or plant-based alternative).

 

March

  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Purple sprouting broccoli
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Spring onion
  • Swede
  • Wild garlic

NFF Recipe idea: Cauliflower and chickpea curry

Cook time: 30 mins
Serves: 6 people

Ingredients:

1 cauliflower (head and leaves)
800g potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 green chilli
8 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp oil
400g chopped tomatoes
400g tin of chickpeas
Salt

1. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and shred (ready to use later).
2. Cut cauliflower into florets.
3. Roughly chop the potatoes and cook in boiling water for 10 mins, then drain.
4. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and onion, then finely slice the chilli.
5. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large pan over a low heat and saute the cauliflower florets and shredded leaves, garlic, onion and chilli until softened.
6. Stir in the garam masala, season to taste with salt and cook for a 2-3 mins.
7. Add the potatoes and chopped tomatoes, then simmer on a low heat for 10 mins.
8. Drain and add the chickpeas. Cook for a further 2 mins.
9. Serve with rice, a squeeze of lime and chopped coriander.

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