Whether it`s fruit, vegetables, freshwater fish or seafood you fancy, eating what`s in season now can mean tasty, nutritious, sustainable and cost-effective choices.
This page will help you discover what to eat right now and what foods you can look forward to throughout the year.
Ever wondered how broccoli grows? Above the ground very much like a flower with its large leaves growing out around the head. Often we discard the stem but it is equally delicious, and gives you an extra portion.
Broccoli has had somewhat of a resurgence ever since the media and marketing agencies branded it as a "˜superfood`. It appears in many a salad whether it is "˜charred`, "˜burnt` or raw, it goes beautifully in a soup and when mixed into a tomato-based sauce for example it adds its own unique texture to the dish, or even a stir fry.
In supermarkets the popular green headed broccoli is often found wrapped in plastic, and this is because by reducing the contact the vegetable has with the air, it keeps it fresher for longer, therefore any broccoli being sold without the plastic wrapping is most probably the freshest.
Steaming broccoli is the best way to retain its nutrients, as when cooked in water some B vitamins and vitamin C will be lost to the water. For example boiled broccoli has half the amount of folate (vitamin B9) of steamed broccoli.
Nutrition: one steamed portion is a source of (contains 15% of the recommended intake) potassium, vitamin E and thiamin and is high in folate, vitamin C and vitamin A! The 'high in' claim must be met with at least 30% of the NRV of that nutrient being provided by the food.
Quite a delicacy and very much seasonal in terms of their availability here in the UK. Bought fresh they have the stalk still attached, this is because they have to be picked from the stalk, otherwise if they were picked from the body they would bruise easily.
Cherry trees are best planted in late autumn and winter, this then gives them time to grow and fruit and have cherries ready for a few months over the summer period. They will either be sweet cherries which are typically paler and the kind we eat fresh, or acidic cherries which are a darker, deeper red and used in cooking, however can be tart therefore need sweetening, hence their popular use in jams or desserts, especially pies and crumbles.
Recipe inspiration: Cherry and Cocoa overnight oats
Plums vary in colour from green and yellow to the more commonly known deep red and purple fruits. They are unusual with the cloudiness to their skins, which is of no concern and is natural to all plum varieties. Plum trees can be planted over winter and then the fruits should be ready for picking when it comes round to summertime.
With its velvet skin and sweet, juicy ï¬‚esh, plums are perfect in puddings such as crumble and tarts. They are also great added to meat, especially duck and pork, and plum sauce is popularly used in Chinese cuisine.
Due to their size two plums is considered one of your five a day, they are a perfect snack or chopped up on top of your Weetabix (or other cereal of choice).
When it comes to their micronutrient content, unlike many other fruits plums are not a source of vitamin C, however they do naturally contain a lot of vitamin A which is important for healthy eyes, skin and the immune system.
There are thousands of varieties of tomato! An extremely popular fruit (not a vegetable) worldwide due to their versatility being edible both raw and cooked, they are found tinned, sundried, and in hundreds of sauces too. Sauces that are made fresh from tins of tomatoes are fantastic as they can provide one of your 5 a day, and that`s before any vegetables have been added in.
Plum, cherry, salad and beef tomatoes are the varieties us Brits are most familiar with, the former two are sweeter being smaller fruits, whilst the latter two are less so with a meatier flavour.
If growing tomatoes at home be aware that there are two ways in which differing varieties can grow, they can either be cordon which grow tall and need support to grow, or bush tomatoes which grow freely on their own without any support. Bare this in mind if choosing you plant your own.
Tomato tip: if you ever buy tomatoes that are not yet ripe and they need a little help, storing them in a brown paper bag at room temperature will encourage them to ripen. Room temperature is generally the most delicious way to enjoy a fresh tomato, so if you have time take them out of the fridge for a little while before you tuck in, you`ll notice most restaurants will do this whether you`re ordering them in a salad or in bruschetta.