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Eat The Seasons

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By this point your healthy New Year's resolutions may already have fallen by the wayside. But all is not lost. To shake up your list of go-to meals, look out for what is seasonal this month and try something new by incorporating more fruit and vegetables into your repertoire. Cram more colour and flavour into your cooking and share your seasonal cooking exploits with friends and family.

We spoke to Fran Humphries from Regather to find out more about the benefits of a veg box and Gian Bohan from Shed, located at Cutlery Works, about why seasonal cooking is the way forward.

What does seasonal eating mean to you?

[Fran, Regather] Getting a weekly veg box means getting in-season, locally-grown produce to cook with. The produce is fresh and you are supporting local and UK farmers. Through the year you can learn what is best when and feel more in tune with the seasons.

[Gian, Shed] Seasonal eating is the best way to get the food you love at its tastiest and most nutritious. We also believe in the power of buying local produce as the fewer miles its travelled, the riper and better quality the ingredients are.

What excites you about the ingredients available in February?

[Fran, Regather] This time of year is fantastic because purple sprouting broccoli is being harvested. I love it braised in rapeseed oil with honey and almonds. Also, we can harvest leeks, kale, cauliflower and polytunnel crops of spinach and spicy salads.

[Gian, Shed] You've got celeriac, which can be steamed as a steak or grated into a salad. Sprouts are also in season right now and they are brimming with vitamins. Why not try them in a stir fry? Just cut them into ribbons and add some chipotle and seeds.

Theres absolutely nothing more inviting than a warming winter soup

Where do you source your produce from?

[Fran, Regather] For our Regather veg boxes we get produce from local organic farms: Wortley Hall Walled Garden (S35), High Riggs (S6) and Sheffield Organic Growers (S8). There's way more demand than supply of local organic produce in Sheffield, so in 2019 Regather will start farming 15 acres in S8, growing crops for our veg boxes and for wholesale around the city.

[Gian, Shed] We always try to source our produce from local sources when possible. In fact, we love working with Sheffield Organic Growers who take great care of the soil they use, even going as far as making some of it biodynamic.

Can you give some tips on cooking with seasonal ingredients?

[Fran, Regather] When cooking organic root veg, leave the skins on. Just give them a good wash first. It's nutritional, tasty, easy and saves wasting food. If you've got any outdoor growing space, grow your own leafy veg. Kale, spinach, herbs and salads will all grow nicely in containers.

[Gian, Shed] Cooking recipes in bulk and then freezing portions is one way to make produce last longer. You could also use the same ingredients in a variety of guises. If you take pearl barley, you can add it to soups, use it as plant-based burger filler or even use it as the main event in a dish, such as a risotto.

What are your favourite dishes?

[Fran, Regather] My friend and colleague Doug told us about a Jerusalem artichoke pesto which has revolutionised the way I approach the nutty-flavoured vegetable.

[Gian, Shed] There's absolutely nothing more inviting than a warming winter soup. Making your own at home is quick, easy and super cost-effective. You can elevate the dish by adding superfood ingredients, such as sprouting mung beans and topping it with some interesting oils. It's all about adding new layers and textures to an otherwise basic meal.

Ros Ayres

nibblypig.co.uk

eatshed.com

regather.net/box

Next article in issue 131

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