The sun is finally shining, the hungry gap is over, it’s time to start enjoying all that beautiful, seasonal summer veg. There’s lots going on in the garden in June and July and we can get stuck into growing our own. You can reap the rewards of all your hard work by cooking delicious dishes with your homegrown veg or seasonal British veg.
We believe that knowing and understanding where our food comes from is an important part of nutrition and something we can all benefit from.
There are a number of reasons why eating seasonally is better for you, one of the main one’s is that it’s cheaper. When fruit and veg are out of season, they either have to be grown in managed conditions or have to be transported from far a field, both of which incur extra cost to the grower which is then passed on to you as the consumer.
Another reason is that seasonal fruit and veg is both tastier and healthier. If a fresh product is transported long distances, it was either harvested earlier than it should be so that it’s ready when it arrives or it spoils a little during the journey, neither of which is ideal! Buying local seasonal produce is the best way to ensure you get the freshest, tastiest and healthiest produce available.
An even better way is to grow your own! The joy and satisfaction it will bring is immense, you know exactly what went into growing it and where it’s come from and that, somehow makes it taste even better.
So what can be harvested in June and July?
British grown broad beans are in the shops and if you’re lucky enough to have planted some in late autumn, they’ll be ready to pick. Broad beans are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, B vitamins and also very low in fat, making them a winning addition to anyone’s diet.
One of our favourite ways to eat them is to blanch them and add to salads with feta or peppery salad leaf like rocket and water cress.
Lots of lovely, tender salad leaves are now ready to pick and add a delicious crispness to your dishes.
Spinach and Chard
These should all be growing well now and you can either harvest the small leaves to eat in salads or cook the larger leaves and mix with ricotta to make a mouthwatering filling for a flan or vegetarian pasty.
British Asparagus is here as well; each spear is harvested by hand so it really is a labour of love for British asparagus growers, it’s almost our duty to support them! Not only is it delicious but it’s also full of vitamin C, A & K and believed to be a mild diuretic that can help detoxify the body.
One of Greenwich Pantry’s favourite ways to eat them is to make them star of the show in a tasty risotto.
The first peas of the year are always the sweetest and tastiest. They’re so full of goodness, and are one of our favourites at this time of year.
Who doesn’t love a rhubarb crumble? It has many health benefits too; it’s full of antioxidants, vitamin C & K, fibre, calcium and protein.
There are lots more seasonal fruit and veg out there at this time of year and one of the best ways to make sure you get the best is by checking out your local Farmer’s Market to see what’s on offer.
Cooking with your seasonal fruit and veg
At Greenwich Pantry we’re happy to offer tips and advice on how to cook and the cooking classes we offer can help both beginner chefs and those more advanced.
Growing your own can sometimes lead to a glut of certain vegetable and it’s easy to run out of ideas of what to do with yet another courgette. Maybe you’d be interested in learning more about fermentation and preserving to avoid food waste? Check out our classes here.
Or why not join us in one of our healthy eating classes or vegan cooking classes to get even more ideas on delicious dishes that make the most of your veg?
Whichever you choose, we can’t wait to meet you in class!
Remember, life is for cooking!