After a few too many mince pies and all the expense of Christmas, many of us go into January resolving to eat healthily and get our bank balance into better shape.
Eating seasonally can help us to achieve both, since not only will food be at its most flavoursome and nutritious, but it will cost a fraction of the price you’d pay out of season (because it hasn’t had far to travel and needed less intensive farming). And – as if these benefits weren’t convincing enough – it’s more environmentally friendly to boot.
January boasts an array of seasonal delights, including beetroot, brussels sprouts, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, parsnips, swede, turnips, apples, blood oranges, pears and rhubarb.
Here are a few suggestions to putting some of those lovely winter fruit and vegetables to good use.
Add winter vegetables to your favourite meats and fish for a comfort-food meal and winter will feel much warmer.
Try: nutty-flavoured turnips, parsnips and carrots, to enhance the flavour of casseroles and stews. Check out our delicious recipe for slow cooker beef stew.
Beetroot and sweet potatoes are sweet, nutrient-rich and versatile: shred beetroot in salads or juice, and bake a sweet-potato pie.
These low-calorie, high-vitamin vegetables pack a load of vitamins A, C, B6 and K, potassium and folate. Maybe nature knows we need health reinforcements for winter.
Try: Pumpkin, butternut and acorn squash roast up nicely with root vegetables or can be baked or mashed. They also make great soups. Try this recipe for pumpkin soup.
Leafy green lettuce substitutes available in winter include kale, chard, collards, mustard greens, escarole and beet greens, which are less bitter in chilly temperatures.
Try: Endive spears are delicious with roasted beetroots and walnuts, while cabbage and radicchio, which are sweeter in winter, mix well with blue cheese.
Not convinced kale smoothies are for you? This recipe could change your mind!
Citrus fruits may not be local but they’re juicier in winter. Seedless and easy-to-peel Satsuma or Clementine tangerines are a seasonal treat. Lemons and grapefruits ripen and stay sweet from January into summer.
Try: Apples, pears, persimmons and pomegranates straight from the fruit bowl are hard to beat.
On the other hand, few of us would push away an apple crumble!
Have your got any great seasonal recipes? Let us know in the comments section below.