Cooking seasonally is a really great way to cook. Seasonal produce is fresher, tastes better and offers more nutritional value than out of season fruit and veg, plus is often cheaper to buy as it’s more readily available. It’s also far more environmentally friendly as it supports local farming and produce and minimises transportation. And if that isn’t enough, it also encourages you to taste and experiment with lots of different foods throughout the year that perhaps you don’t often cook with. So here are some March (and early April) seasonal fruits and veggies, plus some suggested recipes for you to try. Happy Spring!
Citrus fruits – specifically oranges, blood oranges and pink grapefruit
Health benefits: oranges are a great source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system and protect cells in the body. They’re also packed with soluble fibre and potassium which helps to lower cholesterol and keep our hearts healthy.
Purple sprouting broccoli
Health benefits: purple sprouting broccoli is a brilliant source of iron, which helps to promote healthy blood cells, strengthens your hair and nails and prevents fatigue. Purple sprouting also contains folic acid, a type of B vitamin, and vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy skin, vision and brain function.
What to do with purple sprouting: I like to steam a large handful for 5-6 minutes, drizzle with a little chilli oil, add a squeeze of lemon juice and top with a handful of pumpkin seeds. Perfect as a veggie side to pretty much any dinner or as part of a light lunch with various salads and some sourdough bread.
Health benefits: spring onions are packed full of vitamins, including vitamin C, B2, A and K. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine benefits and are great for cardiovascular health. The anti-bacterial properties also fight against colds and promote healthy digestion. Who knew!
Spring onion recipes:
Health benefits: kale is one of the heathiest and most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Like other leafy greens, it is packed full of antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammatory and lower blood pressure, plus a whole load of other minerals that our bodies often don’t get enough of, including calcium, magnesium and potassium. It is also among the world’s best source of vitamin C and vitamin K, the latter of which is essential to building strong bones, preventing heart disease and helping your blood to clot properly. It’s a real superfood.
What to do with kale: these leafy greens are incredibly versatile and can be served as part of almost any dish, including soups, stews, salads and stir-frys. Kale is also a great accompaniment to a hearty brunch or omelette and can even be blitzed to make pesto. My favourite way to eat kale, without a doubt, is simply sautéed in a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and served alongside roast chicken and sweet potato mash. Perfect for a mid-week dinner.
Other seasonal foods include leeks, sardines, cockles, clams, mussels, oysters and venison.