In January most of us tend to think just that little bit harder about healthy eating. But before you spend a lot of your hard-earned cash on an expensive juice-cleanse, consider more gentle, and ultimately sustainable, methods of improving your diet.
A smart, natural way to do something beneficial for your health is filling your shopping basket with a greater sense of what is in season. Not only will you get exposure to a broader variety of food, helping to break up the routine of the same four weeknight meals on rotation (is that just us?), there are a number of other benefits, too.
We spoke to Pippa, sustainable and healthy food expert, who told us what’s in season now and what she’s cooking with it.
There are many great reasons to eat locally and in accordance with the seasons. For me the three biggest are:
- Seasonal produce is fresher and so tends to be tastier.
- Food that spends less time travelling and being stored retains more nutrients.
- Sourcing locally and in season also reduces the carbon footprint of your meal, by reducing the energy spent in transport and storage.
So what should we be eating in January? My three faves at this time of year are kale, carrots and cauliflower.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, folate and calcium, which makes it a great choice for anyone following a dairy free or vegan diet. For an indulgent side dish; remove the tough stalk, roughly chop kale then sauté with a little butter and grated nutmeg until wilted. Or for a quick and easy nutrient boost, just throw a handful of kale into your salad or breakfast smoothie!
Carrots are super versatile and amazing raw, roasted, steamed or sauteed. My favourite way to cook carrots is to roast them with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of cumin seeds. You can serve this as a side to a roast, or toss the roasted carrots through a salad with a little feta. The sweetness of the carrots and the saltiness of the feta is divine.
Cauliflower like broccoli is packed full of the good stuff and a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. This underrated vegetable is a brilliant winter comfort food. Try a classic cauliflower cheese or experiment with cauliflower rice. You can even use it as an alternative pizza base!
Preheat your oven to 200°C and line two baking trays with grease proof baking paper.
Roughly chop 1 head of cauliflower and blitz in a food processor. Tip the cauliflower into a large mixing bowl and combine with 3/4 cup ground almonds, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 3 lightly beaten eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Divide the mixture in half and form two pizza bases on the baking trays. They should be about half a centimeter thick. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden and crisp.
You can then top with your favourite toppings and return to the oven for a further 8-10 mins. Try this delicious recipe from Epicurious.
Pippa is a foodie entrepreneur passionate about making the most of surplus food and reducing foodwaste. She is the creator of surplus food event, the Wonky Supper Club.