Description: Broccoli is commonly found all year round as it is so widely used, and so imported, but it is good to eat it in season. Tightly packed green florets form the heads of broccoli; other varieties grown in smaller sections, such as purple sprouting broccoli.
Nutritional benefits: Broccoli is an excellent source of folate and vitamin C. It is also packed with vitamin K.
The tiny sibling in the cabbage family, the humble sprout are a winter cropping brassica, most familiar at Christmas time. Don’t be scared or put off by any bad reputation - our recipes really will help you discover new and delicious ways to enjoy them. Season: Winter Nutritional benefits: Brussels are an excellent source of folic acid, which works together with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells.
This variety of squash has a lovely firm flesh that has to be cooked all the way through. It is excellent roasted in a little olive oil, cut into halves or smaller pieces mixed with other veg. Season: Autumn Nutritional benefits: Excellent source of Vitamin A, which is essential for vision, bone and teeth development, growth and tissue repair. Also good for Vitamin C.
The traditional carrot is well-loved as the long orange root vegetable. It’s also possible to find them in white, yellow, red and purple and taking different shapes. Carrots are related to parsnips, fennel, parsley, anise, caraway, cumin and dill. Season: All year round Nutritional benefits: Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A.
It is usually the white, bulging head of the cauliflower which is eaten, whilst the leaves are often discarded. Of four major groups (Northern Europe Annuals, Northern Europe Biennal, Italian and Indian), the cauliflower is used in a variety of dishes and can be roasted, boiled, steamed, fried or eaten raw. Season: Winter/Spring Nutritional benefits: Good source of vitamin C and fiber.
Globe artichokes are harvested young and tender in the summer. The hearts and the bottoms are edible, after the outer course leaves are discarded. They can be purchased fresh, but are also available ready-to-eat, marinated in oil for with herbs for tapas and plain and in tins. Season: June to November Nutritional benefits: Globe artichokes are used to aid digestion in traditional herbal medicine and are high in fibre, low in fat and are a good source of folic acid (vitamin B9). Quick cook's tip:
Leeks are related to garlic and onions but have a much subtler, sweeter and more sophisticated flavour, often used to enrich soups or stews Season: November-April Nutritional benefits: Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin C as well as iron and fibre. Quick cook's tip: Slice leeks thinly and steam them until soft and serve with vegan marg, salt and pepper. Cooking Leeks
Inspired by British Leeks
Whilst peas are considered as a vegetable in cooking, the pods (which are also edible) are considered a fruit. The cultivated plant is grown in many parts of the world, and peas are used in a diverse range of dishes or eaten on their own as snacks. We are more used to buying them frozen all year round but fresh summer peas are a real delicacy. Peas are also a good source of protein as they are part of the pulse family, along with beans and lentils! Add them to risottos, soups, pasta sauce, curries... endless possibilities.
Did you know there are over nine varieties of potato grown in the UK? They all have different tastes and textures and blossom when used for various purposes. Small salad and new potatoes don’t need peeling. Skins from potatoes fresh out of the ground often just come off easily when rubbed under water.
Here are some of the main ones and what they are good for:
- Charlotte –boiling, roasting and for salads
- Desiree – potato wedges, jacket potatoes, chips, boiling, mashing, roasting
- King Edward – potato dauphinoise, chips, roasting, mashing
The green pods, beans inside and also the roots are all edible and are eaten in various cultures around the world. Because runner beans contain traces of toxic Lectin, they must always be cooked before they are consumed. Season: Summer/Autumn Nutritional benefits: Runner Beans are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.