Should I be eating with the seasons?

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We’ve all heard it before. “Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables is much better”. It’s something we often brush off assuming it’s a marketing ploy or an ‘old-wives’ tale. But besides the actual cost benefit (you can easily save a pretty penny), there are other reasons as to why it is actually important to buy fruit and vegetables that are in fact in season.

  1. These foods are nutrient dense and wholesome.

Seasonal foods have been harvested when they are in the ripest form, and usually, minimal or no preservation methods are needed, so the fruit or vegetable you are buying in the grocer is at its freshest. Seasonal fruit are usually super tasty too.

  1. We are directly and indirectly helping the farmers.

Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables reduces the demand for out of season produce which further supports local farming in your area which means less transportation, less refrigeration, less hot houses, and less irradiation of produce. Win-win!

  1. It allows us to get in different types of foods.

Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables offers us natural diversity. By eating fruit/vegetables you wouldn’t normally buy, provides you with a larger range of vitamins and minerals.

Autumn fruit and vegetables are the bomb. March to May allow for some delicious produce. Have a look at the list below and then feast your eyes on some easy and nutrient rich recipes below.

Fruit:                                                                                             

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Figs
  • Granadillas
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Naartjies
  • Oranges
  • Pawpaws or Papayas
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Pomegranates
  • Quinces
  • Sweet melon
  • Watermelon

Vegetables:

  • Aubergines or Egg plants
  • Baby marrows
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butter beans
  • Hubbard squash
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Turnips

Broad bean and quince bulgur wheat salad with a honey and chilli dressing (serves 2)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 100g bulgur wheat
  • 150g broad beans
  • 1 large quince
  • Handful of sugar-snap peas
  • 4 radish, very thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Fresh herbs (mixed)

For the dressing:

  • 50ml Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes

Method:

  1. Place the bulgur wheat in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Cook the beans and peas in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain thoroughly and skin the broad beans
  3. Peel and chop the quince into small chunks. Place into a pot and boil in a small amount of water for 15 minutes or until soft.
  4. Fluff up the bulgur wheat using a fork and combine the bulgur wheat, beans, peas, cooked quince, sliced radish and chopped red onion in a bowl.
  5. In a small bowl mix all the dressing ingredients together.
  6. Pour the dressing over the salad, add in the fresh herbs and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy as a side dish or a delicious and satisfying lunch-time salad.

 

Pear stuffed chicken with beetroot baba ganoush

Ingredients:

For the stuffed chicken:

  • 1 whole free-range chicken
  • 2 (ripe) medium-sized pears (peeled and cut into 4)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ tsp Paprika

For the beetroot baba ganoush:

  •  1 Tbsp Olive oil (for grill and drizzling)
  • 4 large beetroot
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • ½ garlic clove, finely grated
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C
  2. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the cut and peeled pears.
  3. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika
  4. Roast the chicken at 190°C for 1 hour 10 min or until cooked.
  5. In the meantime, prepare a grill for medium-high heat.
  6. Lightly oil grill surface.
  7. Grill beetroot, turning occasionally, until skin is charred and flesh is fork-tender (50–60 minutes).
  8. Let the beetroot cool slightly.
  9. Halve beets; scoop flesh into a food processor.
  10. Add lemon juice, tahini, and garlic and process until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
  11. Serve as an accompaniment to the delicious roast chicken.