Winter's here, which means it’s time for wonderful winter fruit and vegetables.
Just because some of your favourites are out of season, it doesn’t mean you have to stop using local producers to get your healthy food. There are plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables being grown in the UK in the colder months.
Here are some of the season’s tastiest foods for a healthy, balanced diet, plus a recipe for a sensationalsoupthat will keep you warm through those long, dark nights. So long, winter blues!
Pears are a splendid autumn treat, and come in many different varieties and flavours. Try them in desserts, salads or with after dinner cheese.
• Try ourPear and almond traybake
Don’t be put off if you’ve only ever tried it soaked in vinegar – beetroot has a delicious, sweet flavour of its own, and goes great in salads.
• Try ourBeetroot hummus
Turnips are rich in fibre, phosphorus and vitamin C. They’re great in the winter, when they’re normally more mature and tastier, with a sweet, slightly peppery taste.
Mashed, roasted or stewed, swedes make a delicious side dish, and go brilliantly with mashed potato.
• Try ourCarrot and swede mash
The smooth exterior of a butternut squash hides a deliciously sweet flesh. It’s used in a range of dishes, from curries to stews. It even makes a delicious side dish for a Sunday Roast.
'Tis the season to be jolly? No – 'tis the season of parsnips! Cheap and simple to prepare, their soft, slightly sweet flesh is the perfect accompaniment to any winter dish.
• Try ourParmesan parsnips
Celeriac may look ugly – but don’t be fooled! Its flesh has a delicate taste, similar to celery or parsley, with a slight nuttiness. It goes great with potatoes and garlic.
• Try ourCeleriac puree
Unlike most green vegetables, kale is more abundant and flavourful during the coldest months of the year. It makes a great side dish and is delicious in soups.
• Try ourKale and green lentil soup
Leeks are a tasty ingredient for soups and stews. Go for medium sized ones, as larger leeks are more likely to be tough and woody.
• Try ourChicken, butter bean and leek pie