In our opinion, there are four key reasons behind eating seasonally:
- It’s good for you and your wallet, if you eat what nature provides when it is at its optimum, not only will you benefit from beautiful fresh food, but as it is ‘in season’ it is reasonably priced – for example, if you buy cherries at Christmas time, you won’t be getting much change from £5!
- It’s good for the planet – less air freighted produce means less carbon emissions. Granted there are some foods we cannot grow here in the UK such as bananas, but, if you buy local, fresh produce which is in season for the majority of your shop, then you will notice a difference in the price of your trolley load.
- Natural cycles – nature provides us with what we need and when, according to which season we are in – there’s a reason she doesn’t give us lots of salady things in December, it’s because without the help of a greenhouse, they can’t grow, whereas hardier veg like sprouts, squash and parsnip in abundance and can tolerate everything the weather can throw at them at that time of year; pretty clever really.
- The best things come to those who wait – this ties in with nature and cycles, if we eat food when it is at its optimum point, it will taste better (and cost less). A good example of this is British strawberries, if you eat these little beauties in June when they are at their sweetest, the taste is incomparable to those big, beefy numbers that we import year round from the likes of Spain and Israel, which can be a bit watery and lacking in flavour, they certainly don’t seem to have the heady perfume of ripe British Strawbs.
What to eat in November….
This is some of the produce which is in abundance at this time of year, look it out and give it a whirl on your plate:
Apples, celery, beets, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chestnuts, cooking apples, kale, leeks, field mushrooms, parsnips, pumpkins, squashes, pears, sweetcorn, broccoli and spinach. Game is still at its peak if that’s your thing too. Check out this pdf from the Marine Council too for seasonal fish. http://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/fisheries/BuyingFishInSeason.pdf
Autumn is the perfect time to get cracking with making preserves and pickles. Mrs N loves a bit of chutney or onion marmalade to go alongside her cheese (under the blatant delusion that the fruit/ veg content of the chutney counteracts the cheese). There are recipes a plenty online, though preferred ones to follow for us come via Nigel Slater, Jamie, Nigella, Abel and Cole (not too much faffing required!). Pickles, preserves and homebrews make great gifts too…there’s a rumour afoot that Mrs N & Mrs W may attempt sloe gin making this year…watch this space