One of the keys to sustainable eating is looking out for fruits and vegetables that are in season where you live. Not only can this work towards reducing your carbon footprint, it also helps to give you a more varied diet.
As the weather gets warmer, a wide variety of vegetables are coming into season in the UK. Spring produce offers more variety than the hardier winter vegetables, including fresh peas, asparagus and spring onions. Try experimenting with new recipes to make the most of what’s in season at this time of year.
Asparagus has been cultivated for over 2000 years. This fresh green vegetable is high in fibre and antioxidants. Recent research has shown that asparagus has anti-cancer, anti-tumor and anti-epileptic effects, as well as helping to support the immune system. Enjoy it alongside eggs, blanched and tossed with parmesan, olive oil and lemon zest or simply roasted for a seasonal, sustainable snack.
While you can buy frozen peas year round, fresh spring peas are especially delicious. Peas are rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre and contain a huge variety of vitamins and minerals.
If you’re looking for ways to add more fresh green peas to your diet, there’s really no wrong answers! Simply throw in a couple of handfuls of peas to curries, pasta, risotto and more. You could even try green pea guacamole.
Native to China, radishes pop up in historical texts from Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece.
They also grow well in the UK so are a good choice if you’re looking to eat more sustainably. These peppery pink vegetables are a perfect spring vegetable that can be eaten raw, roasted or even as crisps. They are also rich in macronutrients including potassium, iron and magnesium.
Known also as rucola, arugula, and Italian cress, rocket is a peppery herb that is especially tasty in spring salads. While rocket is available in supermarkets year round, April and May is the best time to start sowing your own rocket seeds ready for harvest from June. It’s really easy to grow and planting your own reduces your carbon footprint to almost zero!
Rocket contains high levels of nitrates and polyphenols which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It also provides a nice contrast to more mild leaves such as lettuce and spinach. Try eating it raw, wilted or in quiche.
Bursting with benefits, spring onions are a brilliant and sustainable addition to your spring meals. Spring onions have strong antioxidant properties and are high in prebiotic carbohydrates, which can help improve gut health.
The beauty of spring onions is their mild flavour which makes them ideal for eating raw. Simply slice them up and add to any dishes for a hit of zingy onion flavour. Think salsa, salads and spreads.
Moving towards sustainable eating habits
If you want to focus more on sustainable eating and reducing your carbon footprint, eating seasonal vegetables is a great place to start. They can help make over your cooking in time for spring and deliver a range of health benefits too!