Eating seasonally doesn’t have to be boring and we can prove it. Winter brings us lots of delicious fruits and vegetables, and eating fresh food that is in season not only helps the hip pocket, but you can save the planet at the same time! Fruit and veg that has been transported a long distance has to be harvested early so it doesn’t rot during the journey. Harvesting early doesn’t allow the taste or nutrients to fully develop which means that while we can buy tomatoes all year round, a winter tomato just won’t be the same. Your alternative? Eat local, seasonal produce — this means that everything is picked as close to the time it will be eaten as possible, which means lots of flavour, colour and nutrients. Not to mention the lower greenhouse gas emissions from those big trucks.
This season we’ll see:
Apples, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, jerusalem artichokes, kiwi fruit, leeks, lemons, lettuce, limes, mandarins, onions, oranges, parsley, parsnips, pears, potatoes, rhubarb, silverbeet, snow peas, spinach, spring onion, turnips.
Here are some recipes so you can make the most of your organic, seasonal produce at home.
Roasted pumpkin & chickpea mash
Roast pumpkin pieces with a couple nobs of garlic in the oven on 180°c for 35mins. Whilst pumpkin is roasting use a saucepan to sauté half a thinly cut red onion, add 1 can chickpeas and 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp ground coriander. Fry gently for 5mins. Take off heat, add juice of 1 lemon and a good handful of chopped parsley. Add pumpkin and garlic and mash it up!
Orange and almond cake
250g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
250g almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
Wash the oranges and cook in boiling water for 2hrs. Drain and allow the oranges to cool before pureeing. This can be done ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 190oc. Butter a 20cm spring form cake tin and dust it with a little caster sugar. Place the eggs and 250g of caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat well. Stir in the orange puree followed by the almond meal and baking powder. Pour into the tin and dust the top with more caster sugar. Bake for 1 to 1 and half hours, until the top is golden brown. Dust with icing sugar to serve. Invite a couple of peeps over for a cuppa and serve up a piece of this cake, you’ll win hearts!
Cauliflower and broccolini soup
Start with a good stick of butter. Melt her a little with garlic, while that happens, chop up an onion and throw it in the pan. Stir and move back to the chopping board to shape up the cauliflower and baby broccolini, at this point, throw the veggies in, along with some good quality chicken stock. Bring to boil, then turn it down and pour a glass of red. After 25mins, take her off the heat and allow to cool somewhat. When ready, bring the blender over and let her make her magic. Blend!
Serve with a dash of sour cream, chives, salt, pepper and a funny joke for the person opposite you. eg ‘I just ate a frozen apple, hardcore.’
Moroccan style orange and carrot is the new black salad
You will need for this super easy and quick salad:
Bunch of Dutch carrots, ones from last week or the ones coming next!
2 oranges, peeled, segmented
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/4 cup of fresh coriander from your garden
Cut carrots into thin strips or ribbon them if you have a fancy kitchen thingy! Combine carrots, oranges and other chopped things in a salad bowl. Whisk caster sugar and lemon juice together, pour over the salad. Serve! Perfect with duck breast on a warm winters night.