Give your winter menu a little bit of a shake up! Take a look at the fruit and vegetables that are in season right now, that’ll keep serving up fresh meals night after night…
Eat the Seasons: Winter
What’s in season now?
A menu focused on seasonal produce has never been so cool. But why is it so important to eat the freshest, most abundantly available produce there is? The answer is pretty simple – it’s better for everyone, from yourself to the farmers, and the planet as a whole. The less distance and time we put from the moment the vegetables are pulled from the ground to when they sit on our plates, means we are getting the best possible nutrition from our food, taking out the pesticides and preservatives.
Come winter people seem to think that all the delicious, fresh flavours have gone along with summer – but they couldn’t be more wrong. There is so much in-season produce that can be used to create healthy, tasty and nutritious meals and not only the stews and roasts associated with the cold weather.
Fruit & Veg in Season for December:
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Cranberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Winter Squash
Vegetable of the season? British Organic Carrots
Research has shown that over £3m was spent on the humble vegetable in 2017 alone, making the carrot the most popular organic vegetable of the year. It’s currently carrot harvest season, meaning there’s no better time to crunch into it – and buying organic means that they’ve been produced to the highest standard, with fewer pesticides, no artificial additives or preservatives and grown in a sustainable way to avoid affecting wildlife. Look out for the Soil Association organic symbol on the produce you buy to ensure it’s the best possible quality.
“Every time we choose organic we are choosing food as it should be. Choosing organic means that you are supporting farming practices with a more traceable production process and you’ll always know what’s in your food as well as moving the UK towards a more sustainable food system which is great for ourselves and the land, especially at Christmas.” Clare McDermott, Business Development Director for Soil Association Certification
Where to buy?
Although supermarkets are great and have become more organically conscious with places such as Whole Foods, the best way to ensure you’re getting the freshest of fresh is to head down to a farmers’ market. Country dwellers will be well aware of their closest market, but Londoners, fear not; there are plenty of options in town, too. These are some of the best:
Alexandra Palace Market
There is huge variety of fruit and veg, which is sourced from all over the country. Alexandra Palace Campsbourne School. Every Sunday from 10am-3pm. weareccfm.com
Marylebone Farmers’ Market
Quickest to get the new seasonal produce, you’ll be first to grab the just-in raspberries. Cramer Street Car Park. Every Sunday from 10am-2pm. lfm.org.uk
Pimlico Road Farmers’ Market
Full of fresh produce with a twist, this market possibly has the fanciest products around. Orange Square, Pimlico Road. Every Saturday from 9am-1pm. lfm.org.uk
This market is Britain’s best-known for a reason– with over 100 stalls, you’ll find everything you need and more. Southwark Street. Monday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. boroughmarket.org.uk
The Organic Collective Christmas Marketplace
To tie in with the festive season, The Soil Association have launched the UK’s first Organic Christmas Marketplace online hub – the ultimate online one-stop location for fresh and festive ways to find, try, and buy organic food, drinks, gifts and other essentials this Christmas. soilassociation.org/christmas
If you don’t have time to get down to the markets, Abel & Cole do some great seasonal fruit and veg boxes. They get delivered straight to your door and the best part is, there’s no guilt involved as it’s all locally sourced and organic! Check out their fab seasonal recipe ideas, too.
To help you get inspired by the produce that’s in season now, we’ve found a few recipes which will make sure you get the best out of the season’s produce.
Make the most of British apples by baking a delicious honey and apple cake, with this recipe from Mary Case.
Feeling lazy? Try this recipe for raw butternut squash soup, which doesn’t even require an oven! Healthy, tasty and simple – just how it should be. Full recipe here.
Cauliflower is a great vegetable to cook with in the colder weather. Packed with flavour, it’s delicious boiled and drizzled with olive oil as a side or even deep fried if you’re feeling naughty. When mixed with spices, it makes a great curry which is light and guilt-free. Why not try this Abel & Cole recipe for curried coconut and cauliflower quinoa? Find the full recipe here.