About Time: You Discovered 2016’s Vegetable TrendsBy Angelica Malin
What seasonal vegetables should we be eating this year? This week, we’re exploring all the goodness the earth has to offer, as part of Abel & Cole Nourish Week. For more inspiration, follow Abel and Cole on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Alongside Abel & Cole’s team, we delved deep (literally) and discovered the biggest seasonal vegetables of 2016; from lemon to root vegetables, here’s what you should be pimping your dinner with this year:
1. Get to the Root
Let’s get to the root of the matter: eating with the seasons is best for the planet and for our health, so you should always try to choose seasonal vegetables. That’s why all the roots and greens, which are now in season, are so good for us – you can try some of nature’s best produce at our favourite vegetarian restaurants for lunch in London. Spice up your rooty seasonal vegetables with these flavour matches:
- Parsnips and ginger – Quarter the parsnips lengthways. Roast for about 25 mins. Sprinkle with grated ginger. If you like sweet potatoes, try the ones at Mildred’s in Soho.
- Celeriac and cardamom – Boil celeriac with cardamom seeds. Drain and blend for an exotic take on mash.
- Kale and chilli – Strip the leaves from the kale stalks. Add to boiling water for 1 min, then drain. Toss with finely chopped red chilli, pomegranate seeds and olive oil.
- Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts – Sprouts aren’t just for Christmas. Quarter them and toast in a frying pan with hazelnuts. Zing them up at the end with lemon juice and a splash of water.
Photo Credit: Mildred’s Soho
2. Shiitake Mushrooms
They make not seem like one of the most obvious seasonal vegetables, but they are seriously good for you. Deemed as a symbol of longevity throughout, shiitake mushrooms have been used medicinally by the Chinese for more than 6,000 years. Treat yourself to a shiitake-rich dish and not only will your taste buds sing, your immune system will benefit, too.
Seasonal vegetables never go out of style. The rich, creamy, buttery zest and tangy juice of this fruit is one of our top hero ingredients for flavour. Both the zest and juice are renowned for clear skin, ridding your body of toxins and keeping your digestive system moving. Add it to fish, rice, quinoa, soups, salad, porridge (lemon and cinnamon porridge is out of this world) and you won’t look back. If you’re in a need of a great lemon-filled meal, head to Pont St, where Middle Eastern flavours zing.
Photo Credit: Paul Winch-Furness
A clove of garlic or two is the flavour backbone to any good dish. It’s a key to curries, stir-fries, sauces, pesto and so much more. It’s not there by accident. Garlic’s inclusion in dishes is as much about flavour as it is health. It’s antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal… basically, garlic is baddie-fighting superfood. Try adding chopped garlic to a Pho noodle soup and let the flavours simmer – they are simply divine. If you fancy eating out, try one of these great veggie restaurants in the capital.
We know it’s a cliche, but we love kale – it was one of the most popular seasonal vegetables of 2016 for a reason. The king of leafy greens, kale is one of the most delicious, nutrient-dense foods around – no wonder people have gone mad for it. It’s a good source of calcium, can help lower cholesterol, can help fight cancer and it’s one of the best sources of Vitamin K around. We like to use it like seaweed, frying or roasting it till a little crisp. It adds a heaps of rich, minerally flavour and a fabulous crispy texture. For juice, try one of London’s best green juices – add in some kale alongside apple, fresh ginger and lemon, and you won’t even know it’s there.
Eggs have to be one of our favourite ingredients at About Time – you might have noticed, as we’re forever talking about brunch. They’re so hugely versatile and magical: how the whites can be whipped into clouds of meringue or mingled with oil to make mayos and more. When you eat them, they have work a similar magic on your insides, boosting your protein intake, which will give you heaps of energy. Choosing organic eggs gives them an extra health boost as organic hens spend more time outdoors, which translates to more Vitamin D. For an eggy breakfast in London, check out these guides:
- London’s best spicy eggs
- London’s best shakshuka
- London’s best egg dishes
- London’s most sensational eggs
- London’s best scotch eggs
7. Sweet Potatoes
Seasonal vegetables don’t come tastier than this. Regular spuds don’t count towards your five-a-day, so swap them for Vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes. They come in all sorts of colours, from a creamy white to a deep purple and they don’t need peeling before cooking. Simply scrub, chop and bake, roast or boil. Perfection. For an amazing recipe, try Tess Ward’s sweet potato surprise – it couldn’t be easier and is a real show-stopper for a dinner party.
Photo Credit: Tess Ward
Did you know the hottest part of Vitamin C-full chilli is the white membrane that holds the seeds together? Scrape it out to get more of the chilli’s fruity flavour. We also can’t get enough of chilli drinks – try one of London’s best chilli cocktails for a seriously spicy kick.
Dates are nature’s fudge and contain ace minerals like selenium and magnesium. We can’t get enough of dates – they are fantastic in smoothies, cakes and for breakfast. In fact, way back when, we did a whole week dedicated to them. Check out one of these ace guides to discover where to eat dates in London:
- London’s best date breakfasts
- London’s best date cakes
- London’s best date smoothies
- Great date recipes
Photo Credit: Deliciously Ella for BeLOVEd
A fantastic digestive support, drink it straight up or pour over fruit for an instant dessert. If you’re vegan, you can also try coconut kefir – read more about it here.