Eat seasonably - which fruit and veg to eat when
There's a prime time to enjoy your favourite fruits and vegetables - whilst some are great to enjoy for a large part of the year, others are at their freshest, ripest or juiciest for just a month. By eating seasonally, you'll enjoy produce at its best - and that means you'll get maximum nutrition from your fruits and veggies. You'll also save money, as buying locally produced seasonal vegetables will be cheaper, and you'll be supporting producers in your area, reducing your carbon footprint and doing your bit for the planet! Our handy guide will tell you what's in season, and when, so you can eat seasonably!
Packed with iron and vitamins C and K, kale is at its best during the chilly month of January - brrrr! Its fibrous texture means it works well in soups and stews but it's equally good served in warm salads.
Delicious both raw and cooked, carrots can be used in hearty soups, smoothies, juices, salads, stews - even carrot cake! They're packed with beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A for healthy skin and eyesight.
Crinkly Savoy cabbage has a nutty flavour and cooked properly, it's a world away from the bland, soggy cabbage of your childhood! Serve it as a side dish or add it to Asian stir fries with some garlic, ginger and chilli.
Leeks are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants - chow down on them in the winter months to boost your immune system and keep colds and flu at bay. Add leeks to soups, stews or even chop some up and add to your mashed potato for a veggie boost.
Spring Green Cabbage
Spring has sprung and along with it spring green cabbage; the perfect addition to those healthy salads. Or you could always make some bubble and squeak for a lazy Sunday brunch, topped with a poached egg for added protein.
We have to confess, cauliflower is one of our favourite vegetables, and for good reason! It's loaded with vitamins C and K as well as B vitamins for energy, plus antioxidants which protect the body from free radicals. It's also high in fibre so great for your digestion, and it's super-versatile too. Try switching regular carb-heavy rice for cauliflower 'rice' or make a healthy cauliflower pizza base for your favourite toppings. Classic cauliflower cheese or a cauliflower and potato curry are also great options.
Is there anyone who doesn't love a sweet, sticky, tart rhubarb crumble? Perfect when you're craving something sweet (as long as you don't eat it everyday), you can make your crumble healthier by preparing an oaty topping. Rhubarb is rich in vitamin C and it's also a great addition to sauces.
This renowned aphrodisiac is actually only in season for a few weeks and there's nothing quite like fresh, tender Asparagus spears dunked into your soft boiled egg at breakfast time! Or serve them the classic way - griddled with some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan over the top.
Fresh peas in their pods are sure to bring back happy childhood memories and June is the time when peas are at their freshest! Did you know that one cup of peas contains more protein than an egg? Why not try adding them to risotto or pasta, or make this amazing pea bruschetta. Mash raw peas with some olive oil, salt and pepper, spread on toasted, sliced ciabatta and top with some mozarella and mint. Yum!
You know it's summer when strawberries are in season, and whether you like your strawberries served in an Eton Mess, with cream, ice cream or blended into a healthy fruit smoothie, they're one of the most popular fruits around. Shop at your local market for the best deals - you should find strawberries are cheaper in season as the rest of the year they will be imported from other countries.
At their best in June, these little green nuggets are packed with protein and fibre which can help you to stay fuller for longer - great if you're trying to lose weight. Enjoy them raw with some pecorino cheese, boil them as a side dish or add them to your favourite salads. They also make a great low-calorie snack!
Cooling cucumber is the perfect salad vegetable and it's also a great addition to natural beauty treatments. Try this delicious marinated cucumber as an accompaniment to spicy Asian dishes or Dim Sum. Peel and slice your cucumber into ribbons or spirals. Pour over some warmed rice vinegar and a little caster sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Drain and serve.
Cherries are high in anthocyanins and one cup contains just 77 calories, making them a super-healthy choice. They're said to be nature's painkillers, reducing inflammation and helping to fight migraines. Cherries are packed with melatonin, so they could improve your sleep cycle. Make a classic cherry pie or clafoutis, or enjoy your cherries raw or in a fruity smoothie!
Also known as round lettuce, this affordable lettuce is packed with vitamins and minerals. Use it in all kinds of salads with homemade vinaigrette, or make low-carb lettuce wraps!
Fruity raspberries are a vitamin C-packed summer crowd pleaser. We love using them to top morning granola, serving them with pancakes and a dollop of Greek yoghurt or chucking some in a berry smoothie.
Perky plums are at their juiciest in August, and they're best eaten raw. Or you could make a delicious homemade spiced plum compote that's the perfect accompaniment to Sunday roast. Simmer plums with port, five spice, cinnamon, vinegar and orange juice and zest - delicious!
What would a Caesar Salad be without Cos Lettuce (also known as Romaine)? The sturdy leaves make this lettuce ideal for creamy dressings or lettuce wraps.
Delicious crunchy runner beans are great served in a fresh new potato and pancetta salad, with an olive oil and lemon dressing. Or stir-fry them with some oil, rice vinegar, garlic, chopped red chilli and some sugar as an accompaniment to a spicy chicken dish.
One of our favourite things to do with sweetcorn is to make healthy sweetcorn fritters! But enjoying your corn on the cob is just as tasty. Try blackening the cobs in a non-stick frying pan before removing the kernels and mixing with chopped tomatoes, chilli, lime, mint and mango for a tasty salsa! Or add some corn to your Mexican bean salad - arriba!
Beautiful, vibrant and versatile, red cabbage is low in calories yet high in fibre and vitamin A - in fact, it contains 10 times more vitamin A than green cabbage! Add chopped raw red cabbage to salads or home made slaw, or braise it with spices, apples and booze for a festive side dish that goes well with pork and roast meats.
As long as you're not on a no-carb diet, potatoes are a great choice - they're affordable, fat-free and full of vitamins and minerals. Try making some olive oil mash, or a healthy potato salad (skip the mayo and make an olive oil dressing) with plenty of fresh herbs. Or enjoy a Spanish omelette for a super-satisfying breakfast before your busy day.
Loaded with vitamin C, the pungent flavour and smell of Brussels may be enough to remind you of soggy, overcooked sprouts as a child. But provided you don't boil them until they're soggy, sprouts are delicious. Cook them until they're just tender then toss in butter, crispy pancetta, chopped rosemary and crumbled chestnuts for an amazing side dish!
White cabbage is delicious for making healthy home made slaw, or try shredding it raw and adding it to salads and stir-fries. Cooked white cabbage can be chopped and chucked into creamy mash to ensure you get your five a day.