I've been looking into the advantages of eating seasonal fruit and vegetables recently and thought I'd note down the benefits:
Reasons why we should be eating seasonally
Seasonal food is generally fresher and, at its peak ripeness, has the greatest nutritional value. It also doesn't need chemicals for preservation and generally tastes better.
When food is grown in optimum conditions it is cheaper to grow and so we don't have to pay premium prices for it.
Eating local seasonal food is better for the environment as you are reducing the energy and associated CO2 emissions needed to grow and transport food that is grown further afield
Different fruit and veg contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, following the seasons means we are forced out of our comfort zone and enjoying a really varied diet, meaning we absorb a greater range of nutrients.
Pretty convincing stuff! From hereon I aim to stick to the seasonal food agenda for the rest of the year and see if it makes a difference. As I write it is National Apple Day so I will start with a nice crunchy Pink Lady. After all, the common cold season is upon us and I certainly intend to keep the doctor away.
Apparently it is a good idea to eat your fruit and veg from the five main colour groups - red, green, purple, yellow and orange. Different coloured vegetation contains different nutrients and combining them is the best way to get all you need.
Here is an easy and useful guide for ideas on healthy snacks and light meals; the suggestions include seasonal fruits and veg for autumn. Each suggestion counts as one complete adult portion at 80g. Pick one from each colour per day.
Eat a 5-a-day rainbow
Massage a pomegranate until soft, then halve and tear along the segments. Scoop out the fleshy seeds and eat with a spoon.
Coat red pepper pieces in a batter of beaten egg white and cornflour then shallow fry to make tempura. Dip in soy or sweet chilli sauce.
Roast two handfuls of sliced red cabbage with sliced red onion, red wine and brown sugar.
Dice a small pear onto hot porridge. Serve sprinkled with sunflower seeds and sugar.
Fry green apple wedges in a pan with browned sausages. Serve with mash and gravy.
Stir-fry broccoli with strips of frying steak, cashews and sweet chilli sauce for a fast lunch.
Layer slices of cooked aubergine with passata sauce, basil leaves and mozzarella, then bake in the oven until golden and cooked through.
Cook blackberries with sugar, a little water and a spiced apple teabag for a quick compote. Remove the teabag before serving.
Cut a cross in the top of two figs and pop a square of chocolate in each. Microwave for about 30 seconds for a warm chocolate hit.
Make an omelette, adding half a sliced, fried yellow pepper, cooked pasta and chopped herbs. Grate cheese on top and grill lightly.
Semi-dried pineapple from the fruit and vegetable section makes a quick snack.
Spoon fresh vanilla custard or toffee yogurt over a banana, sprinkle with caster sugar and grill until caramelised. Serve when cooled.
Skewer the segments of two clementines. Brush with orange juice and coat with golden caster sugar. Griddle until the coating is crispy.
Juice an orange, a carrot and a little root ginger for a zingy morning drink.
Cut a ripe papaya in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with lime juice and eat with a spoon.
For more information on seasonal fruit please check out the Waitrose website