Seasonal Food Focus for Winter

Veggies are order of the day this season, and more and more people embracing more seasonal, plant-based eating. Here are the fruits and vegetables to embrace the coming months:

After the abundance of the Autumn harvest and the over-indulgence that often comes hand in hand with the holidays, December and January are frequently times of reflection when it comes to food, with the new year inspiring new, more conscious eating habits.

In 2019, we saw record numbers of people signing up to participate in Veganuary – a charity campaign that aims to encourage people to give being vegan a go for the month of January (and if possible, beyond), providing advice, inspiration and support along the way.  It comes as concerns for the environment and climate change mount, cited as a catalyst for the number of vegans in the UK alone climbing to more than 3.5 million in 2018 and ‘vegan’ very nearly being awarded the accolade of ‘word of the year’ for 2018 (pipped to the post by ‘single-use plastic’).  Such is the momentum building that various publications and campaigners have declared 2019 to be the year of the vegan

Choosing a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle has never been easier – with more and more supermarkets and restaurants bringing out vegan and vegetarian ranges and menus (or even entire meat-free eateries); coffee shops offering dairy-free milk alternatives, and even Greggs bakery this week bringing out a vegan sausage roll.  But it is also as simple as utilising the abundance of wonderful fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes on offer to create incredible, plant-based dishes (see Deliciously Ella, Bosh.TV, Vegaliciously and Eating with Max for instagram recipe inspo).

Even if you’re not ready or able to commit to a fully vegan lifestyle, there are many benefits to be had from reducing your meat intake and experimenting with plant-based cooking. The good news is that many of the fruits and vegetables that were in season before the holidays are still available, and there are a huge number of delicious fruits and vegetables in season right now. 

Not so long ago – before long-distance freight became a thing – eating seasonally was the norm, and it has seen a resurgence in recent years. Eating seasonally helps to reduce the environmental footprint of your food, using less energy (and associated CO2 emissions) to grow and transport produce. It also helps to supports the local economy and, as seasonal fruit and vegetables are picked at their natural taste and nutritional peak, quite often tastes better too.

If you want to embrace more seasonal eating in 2019 but are not sure where to start, an organic fruit and vegetable box delivery such as Abel and Cole and Riverford Organic Farmers could be the answer. Every week (or fortnight), a selection of seasonal fruit and veggies will be delivered to your front door – providing you with organic produce from local farmers. Then all you need to do is get creative in the kitchen devising what to cook with them. 

Whatever your personal food preference, whether you’re trying out more plant-based cooking or looking to embrace more local, seasonal food, January is the perfect time for dining on the following:

SEASONAL FRUITS: apples, blood oranges, clementines, lemons, pears, pomegranates, forced rhubarb

SEASONAL VEGETABLES: Beetroot, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, chicory, jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, spring onions, squash, swedes, turnips

For more tips, see our food inspiration and seasonal recipes.