Although the supermarkets would have you believe that strawberries are readily available all year round, when we eat fruit and veg out of season, it usually means that it’s been grown in a hotter country and flown all the way around the world, which is obviously terrible for the environment. Opting for produce which is in season not only allows you to do your bit for the planet, it can also help you to discover foods that you may not necessarily usually eat and add a little variety to your plate. Here’s what you should be looking for in January and February:
Salsify is a root vegetable which is actually a member of the sunflower family and although the tough, black skin is practically inedible, the flesh beneath is tasty and full of nutrition. As well as being a good source of dietary fibre, which will help combat bloat, it’s also packed with vitamin C and potassium.
Blood oranges may sound a little unappealing but are, in fact, simply named because of their dark red flesh. The dark redness is actually caused by a compound called anthocyanin, which protects against a number of diseases, such as cancer and liver dysfunction. They are also less acidic than normal oranges and have a sweet, almost raspberry-like flavour, making them ideal for anyone who suffers from digestive issues whilst being packed with vitamin C.
Pomegranates are a bit of a love/hate fruit because they are fairly expensive and are pretty tricky to eat, but their nutritional benefits and versatility make them something you should definitely be adding to your shopping list at this time of year. Pomegranates are fairly high in sugar, as are many fruits, but they also have a relatively high fibre content too, which means that they release their energy slower and won’t cause big spikes in your sugar levels, something which is important for diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
Okay, so this may seem like a rather “lofty” suggestion as truffles are a notoriously expensive ingredient but one of the reasons that they are so prized is that they are probably the most nutritious mushroom on the planet! As well as being 8.6% protein (fab for anyone trying to build muscle) truffles are also rich in minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, sulphur, chlorine, silicone, AND amino acids!
Leeks are often overlooked as a vegetable but they’re actually one of the most nutritious veg around! Part of the onion family, leeks contain a whole host of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and anti-oxidants. A 100g serving contains 39% of your RDA of vitamin K and 55% of your vitamin A, whilst only containing 61 calories!