Why should we eat with the seasons, you ask? Well, apart from mixing up your foods throughout the year to get a nice range of nutrients, the soil content and hence the nutrients in the food we grow varies by season too. Certain crops of food were meant to be harvested in certain seasons and before we started meddling with nature and importing, we could only ever eat with the seasons. Now you can find pretty much anything in the supermarket that can be shipped in from overseas, regardless of the season.
But how does the nutrient content of food vary by the season? Well, researchers in Japan found three-fold differences in the vitamin C content of spinach harvested in summer versus winter. Likewise, the diets of the cows through various seasons can affect the iodine content of the milk they produce. So eat local food and go for the foods currently in season.
For fruit: bananas, mandarins, oranges, lemons, kiwifruit, grapefruit. There’s a lot of vitamin C there, thank you nature !
For veggies: beansprouts, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, mushrooms, potatoes, spinach. Sounds like one big bowl of winter veggie soup right there!
Remember in winter .. we really need to boost our immune systems. Vitamins A, C, B and zinc are all really important. I’m eating mandarins like they’re going out of fashion at the moment. Let’s pile up the garlic, citrus (add zest as much as possible to stews and chopped orange to salads), Carrot, Turmeric and ginger. And lots of bright colourful veggies for antioxidants.
Some winter salad inspiration right below. These are all hearty enough to fill two thirds of your plate and leave a little space for a side of fish or lean meat, no need for pasta or rice fillers. Your serve of fish or lean meat should be the size of your palm.
Freekeh with Brussels Sprouts, Apple, Dried Cranberries and Pomegranate
Warm Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad