Written by Charlotte Campbell
Seasonal eating is not a recent phenomenon. Before advances in farming and transport, the food available was automatically restricted to whatever was growing at that time of year. Of course, in the modern developed world we can have whatever foods we want whenever we want them. But are you missing out on the benefits of seasonal eating?
One of the benefits of seasonal eating is it encourages you to be varied with the fruits and vegetables you eat. If you’ve fallen into a meal prep rut, it can be a great way to shake things up. You may even find yourself trying out recipes or foods that you hadn’t considered before. What will your new favourite dish be?
You may have wondered why chefs always seem to specify that they serve local produce. Well, this is to do with seasonal eating. The more naturally a fruit or vegetable grows (e.g. without artificial lighting or chemicals) the better it tastes. This can make a huge difference to healthy eaters who are serving up plenty of fruit and vegetables with their meals and snacks.
Seasonal eating can make a really positive impact on our environment and climate change. The fewer sprays, lights, heaters and other influences a plant needs to grow, the smaller the carbon footprint. In addition, when the plants are grown locally, they don’t damage the environment through gas-guzzling transport methods.
Because of the reduction in production and transport costs, fruit and vegetables tend to be cheaper when they’re in season. So you can stock up without seeing your shopping bill hike up!
What’s in Season?
Whilst there is always a variety of produce available in season each month, we’ve outlined the stars of each month to get you started on your seasonal eating.
January – Carrots and superfood kale are the stars in January, so get out your spiralizer for carrot noodles and snack on kale chips.
February – After being in the background last month, leeks and cabbages are the best in this month. Kale, carrots and cauliflower are still around too.
March – Spring greens should be packing your plate with iron this month.
April – Cauliflower is in its prime this month, so bulk out your meals with lovely light cauliflower rice.
May – Rhubarb is in season this month, so make yourself a crumble (using protein oats for the top and sugar-free syrup to sweeten, of course). Asparagus is also in, making a really nice addition to grilled meat and fish.
June – Stock up on strawberries this month, and you’ll be amazed at how much better they taste in season. A perfect dessert or snack!
July – Curly lettuce and cucumber are in season now, and just in time to make a refreshing summer salad. For snacks, cherries are at their best, so grab a punnet full at the grocers.
August – Raspberries and plums are in season, so it’s ideal for anyone with a sweet tooth. Lettuce is also at its best, so you can continue to perfect your salad recipes.
September – Courgettes are perfect this month, so courgette spaghetti lovers can rejoice! Blackberries will also be tasting amazing this time of year.
October – Snack on apples this month. Side dishes are also sorted, with sweetcorn being perfect for seasonal eating meals.
November – Potatoes are at their best in November, and remember they have a very long shelf life for fresh produce. Red cabbage is also in season, which makes a lovely winter warmer side dish.
December – Of course, the traditional Christmas vegetable the Brussels sprout is at its prime in December. White cabbage is as well, so make sure to dish it up with your turkey dinner.