Foods Of The Season - January
With modern food processing techniques and rapid global shipping routes, we have access to whatever ingredients we want throughout the year. The shelves of our supermarkets and grocery stores tend to look exactly the same in December as they do in July.But how does this affect us nutritionally? Well there is no doubt that eating seasonally means that you are eating food when it is at its best. This not only means the best flavour, but it also means maximum nutritional content. Think about it – you plant a bed of kale and it starts to spring up and flourish when the conditions are right for it (usually the colder months). Temperature, sunlight hours and soil content are perfect, so it thrives. It’s healthy. We then pick it from our little patch, or collect it from our local farmers market and sauté, blend or steam the leafy wonder, and are immediately ingesting the very best of what fresh kale can offer! Take kale when it is out of season and think about where it has come from. Firstly, we must think about the carbon footprint of this kale and consequently the environmental effect of this. Most food travels for between 4 - 7 days and often between 1,300 and 1,500 miles (and much more for more exotic items) before it reaches our supermarkets. Secondly, how has this kale been kept ‘fresh' so to speak, considering the journey it has endured? Has it been sprayed, radiated or tampered with to maintain its shape and colour for this longer period of time? I know it’s easy to say eat only with the seasons, and difficult to practice when we are constantly surrounded by interesting and diverse ingredients. By all means indulge from time to time, but always try to have the seasons at the forefront of your mind.
Here are some ingredients to make the most of at this time of year:quick and easy recipe to try.
Beetroot: Try our delicious Beetroot and Walnut Dip Recipe.Parsnips: Are a great source of soluble fiber, enjoy them roasted with whole garlic and garnished parsley or in a warming soup. Jerusalem Artichokes: A fantastic ingredient to use when cleansing. It is a diuretic and helps to stimulate good bacteria in the gut. Horseradish: We don't use this ingredient enough. It’s not just for having with beef. The powder is fantastic in hangover boosting juices – recipe coming in our new book. Cabbage: Chop it into quarters and steam. Drizzle it with a parsley dressing and garnish with chopped chestnuts. Pomegranate: A classic winter fruit. Have a go at this pomegranate molasses recipe & drizzle it over your porridge in the mornings. When we think of seasonal food, most tend just to think about fruit and vegetables. However it is really important to remember that meat and fish are also seasonal. Sea Bass, pheasant and venison are good options to choose at this time of year. Remember to choose organic though and try to limit the amount of meat that you are eating (it should be part of your 30%). And finally DON’T eat New Zealand lamb – it has travelled 11,000 miles to get to your plate (if you are in the UK) and we have a fantastic sheep farming industry of our own – support them!