FOOD

What vegetables are in season this spring?

Spring is the perfect time to celebrate a fresh approach to healthy eating.

Why choose in-season produce?

 

The globalised food market has enabled us to get practically any food, at any time of the year, but, eating according to the seasons has many advantages...

 

1. You’ll get more nutrients

Freshly picked seasonal produce is likely to be higher in nutrients because it spends less time being transported and stored.

 

2. You’ll save money

Abundant supplies of in-season produce help keep costs down, so you’re likely to make significant savings to your weekly grocery bill.

 

3. Your food will taste better

Most chefs agree it’s impossible to surpass the look, flavour, aroma and texture of locally grown seasonal produce.

 

4. You’ll enjoy more variety

Eating seasonally will avoid the same old recipe repertoires, increasing the variety and the nutritional quality of your diet.

 

5. It’s better for the planet

There is a significant fuel and carbon footprint involved in shipping off locally in-season produce to other markets around the world.

 

The nutritional benefits of spring vegies


1. Asparagus - contains potassium which may help to regulate blood pressure.

2. Beetroot - contains nitrates and antioxidants which may help to enhance oxygen uptake.

3. Carrots - contains vitamin A and carotenoids which may help with maintaining healthy eye-sight.

4. Chillies - contain vitamin C.

5. Spring onions - ­ contains flavonoid quercetin which may have anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Peas - contains vitamin K which may help with blood clotting and bone health.

7. Baby spinach - contains folate which may help with heart health and for healthy infant development during pregnancy.

 

Know your spring onions


There's a confusing variation in the naming of onions in Australia, so here are the true botanical names...

  • Green shallots - Long stems with narrow white bulbs. Also known as ‘scallions’ or ‘shallots’.
  • Spring onions - Long stems with larger white bulbs. Sometimes known as ‘salad onions’.
  • Eschallots - Small, brown, elongated onions. Also called ‘shallots’ or ‘French shallots’.

 

In-season during spring

 

  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chillies
  • Fennel
  • Garlic, fresh
  • Green beans and broad beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Shallots
  • Silverbeet
  • Spring onions
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

 

Fresh vegie recipes


Honey & cumin carrots
Place Dutch carrots in a baking dish, drizzle with honey and olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin seeds. Place in a 200°C oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Serve with baby spinach leaves and pork, beef or chicken. For an Asian twist, omit the cumin seeds and add grated fresh ginger and a drizzle of soy sauce to the honey and oil.

 

Braised spring vegetables
Thinly slice trimmed spring onions and sauté in a little olive oil until soft. Add peas, halved asparagus spears and a little chicken stock. Cover. Cook over a low heat until the vegies are tender. Serve with pan-fried French lamb cutlets and steamed chat potatoes.