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Best Seasonal Veggies to Cook with Right Now
January 7, 2016
Save some pennies and boost the flavour of your dishes
by buying in-season veg
There are so many benefits to buying seasonal veg each month, rather than settling for sub-par-snips or lacklustre lettuce.
Seasonal veg is often cheaper, extra flavoursome, and more locally available than out of season produce. They can also be healthier as they aren’t grown with the help of pesticides or other chemicals. It’s time to go au naturel.
We’ve rounded up the best veggies in-season right now, along with some top recipe ideas.
Kale grows best during the coldest months, making it the perfect choice for January.
It’s become a firm favourite with health conscious foodies over the past couple of years, so there’s a ton of delicious recipes around featuring the green stuff. Kale is low in calories, contains 0 fat, and is high in fibre to boot. There’s all sorts you can do with it, people have blitzed it into smoothies, created alternative pesto with it, and used it to bulk out pasta dishes. Vegan blogger-turned-chef, Áine Carlin, has a super tasty recipe for ‘Macaro-no-cheese’ (dairy-free mac and cheese) that’s topped with salty kale crisps.
Our attempt at ‘Macaro-no-cheese’
Leeks are packed with vitamin K, which helps keep bones strong, as well as being really heart healthy, too. Again, leeks are at their best during the chillier parts of the year, so they’re good for adding some extra, natural flavour. They’re also a great veggie for seeing you through the winter, as they provide nutrients that help keep colds and flu at bay. Leeks go nicely with bacon, and as part of a stew or soup. This recipe makes a great side dish for leek lovers. Try Food 52’s recipe for ‘Garlicky leeks in olive oil’ for a veggie taste sensation.
For anyone not sick of these traditional winter vegetables yet, parsnips make a great January staple, especially if you’ve got any knocking around from Christmas. Filled with vitamin C, potassium, and dietry fibre, parsnips really do pack a healthy punch. They’re another January winner, as they actually taste sweeter when harvested after the first frost. Along with having them on the side of your Christmas dinner, there’s loads of ways to use this root veg. BBC Good Food have a ‘Honey-mustard parsnip & potato bake’ recipe that’s perfect for thawing January nights.
Swede provides vitamins C, and A, making them essential for maintaining a strong immune system, and healthy eyes. It’s another veggie that’s great for bulking out soups and stews, as well as being yum when roasted. It’s a favourite when mashed with other root vegetables, too. You can even incorporate this root veg into baking, as swede can be used in cakes!
There’s loads of other veggies in season right now too, like cabbage, beetroot, onions, and Brussels sprouts.
Buying fruit in this seasonal way too is a great way of saving even more cash, and getting the best produce for your money.