Spring and summer is a pretty exciting time of the year for chefs. This is when you see all of the fresh new season veges coming through; vibrant, full of colour and packed with nutrition.
Asparagus is packed with potassium for blood pressure regulation, beetroot is full of antioxidants for enhanced oxygen uptake, chillies are high in immune boosting Vitamin C – the list goes on. If it’s colourful and fresh, you can guarantee there are great benefits.
Eating seasonally has so many advantages. Because local seasonal produce spends less time in storage for transport, you’ll find that it retains more nutritional value compared with imported produce. On that note, the local vege will have much less of a carbon footprint too – bonus! Also, because it’s fresher and has travelled less, I’m willing to bet it’s tastier too.
Eating seasonally will make you change up your meal ideas more frequently, which will increase variety and keep the excitement going at meal times. Spring and summer is when you see cafés and restaurants being lifted out of the hibernation of heavier winter dishes. This was always a welcome time of the year at my café, as we liked to keep it as seasonal as possible. So many vibrant ingredients cause a rush of ideas to test and taste.
The same can be said for your home cooking… Why not?! There’s no better way to buy (or grow) ingredients. When fruit and vege is in season locally, in terms of flavour and nutrition it’s peaking, and its cheap! If you have access to a local market or vege supplier, I believe this is the best place to find a real bargain. Your local supermarket will also normally have a good range, but you need to look for the veges that are plentiful and at a good price. Both of these things usually amount to something being fresh and local, and if you’re unsure just ask. Here’s a link to a list of seasonal fruit and vege that can act as a guide.
There are plenty of recipes that showcase fresh veges, like salads and stir fry. More often than not, the best practice is to cook the vege for a short amount of time or just eat them raw. This will help to retain the nutrition within, and maximise the benefits. The one I want to show you is a favourite of mine. It can be a great way to add different colours and textures, and is hugely open to interpretation. Have at it!
The Buddha Bowl
Such a simple recipe but it involves time. Trust me, you’ll never buy them again
- Brown rice
- Soy sauce
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
- Sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper
- Firm tofu
- Spring onion
- Grated carrot
- Toasted caraway seeds
- Cubed avocado
- Precooked beetroot
- Roasted chickpeas (store bought)
- Fried shallots
- Seaweed snacks
Cut tofu into cubes, coat in soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds and spring onion.
Mix grated carrots with toasted carraway seeds, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Mix avocado with seasame seeds and season with salt and pepper.
Cube beetroot, mix with sesame seeds, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange artfully in a bowl and top with roasted chickpeas, fried shallots and seaweed snacks and smash it. Cheers Guys.