Eating seasonal food is in this season!
Not only is eating seasonal British food super tasty, it’s also great for our health, our bank balance and the environment. Plus, it adds wonderful variety to our diets, giving us the opportunity to try different things across the year.
The benefits of eating seasonal produce are:
- Fresh and tasty Locally produced, seasonal food reaches our shops much quicker than imported goods, which means we get to eat fresh ingredients that are tastier, as they’ve reached us while they’re still at their best.
- Variety Eating with the seasons gives us the chance to try a wide variety of foods every few months, discovering new flavours.
- Carbon footprint Buying British is a good way of reducing our carbon footprint, as food has travelled a shorter distance, producing less CO₂.
- Sustainability Consuming fresh fish that’s in season reduces the risk of depleting existing stocks.
- Nutritional value Seasonal produce boosts our overall health, as different foods will provide different nutrients, ensuring we get what we need.
- Cost Ingredients that are in season are often cheaper, due to increased supply compared to demand.
How to know what is in season?
We’ve put together a British seasonal food calendar (below) to help guide your food choices. Remember to check the label, so you know it’s local, and choose ingredients grown or reared in Britain whenever possible.
To help you make the most of the seasonal food available, we have recipes from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food that utilise some of these ingredients.
Winter’s Seasonal Recipe- parsnip and ginger soup
What does Jamie Oliver have to say about his recipe?
“This is a great soup with an unusual combination of flavours. The parsnips work fantastically well with the fragrance of the ginger. My own favourite way to serve this is with some crunchy croutons, fried with smoked streaky bacon, scattered over the top.”
- Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions, parsnips and ginger. Peel and slice the garlic.
- Put a large pan on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10-15 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.
- Put the stock cubes into a jug or pan and pour in 1.8 litres of boiling water from the kettle. Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then add to the vegetables.
- Give the soup a good stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Pick the coriander leaves and discard the stalks.
- Season with salt and pepper, then using a hand blender or liquidiser, pulse the soup until smooth. Divide between your serving bowls and sprinkle over the coriander leaves.