Lifestyle

Tips on Seasonal Eating

Seasonal eating goes along with my feelings on slow-living, reducing meat consumption and trying to eat as organically as possible. But besides those factors, there are a lot of other reasons to eat seasonally. 

Why eat seasonally? 

Pragmatically, fresh fruit and veg is cheaper to buy if bought in season. It also tends to be fresher, sweeter and have more flavour and nutrients. Eating seasonally also forces you to cook more and experiment with more recipes. 

Eating seasonally is also better for the environment. It’s more likely to be local because it doesn’t have to be brought in from a warmer climate.  It helps reduce the carbon-footprint of what you eat. (And if you’re supporting small business that’s an excellent benefit!) It’s easy to start to conflate seasonal with local. 

Overall, it helps you develop and strengthen a connection to where food comes from. 

pile of chard

Tips on eating seasonally: 

  • Head to your local farmer’s market (or co-op). They are more likely to sell seasonally.
  • Pay attention to food prices. If it’s super expensive it’s probably not in season. If it’s on sale/offer it probably is. (Although large supermarkets try to substitute produce grown in other places around the world to try to keep the price steady.)
  • You can always preserve some of your favourite foods for when they aren’t in season. 

Food that is in season in the UK in the Autumn (September, October & November): 
Fruit: apples, bananas, apricots, blackberries, figs, damsons, plums, pears, pomegranates, peaches, tomatoes, quinces, blueberries, gooseberries, dates, cranberries

Vegetables: carrots, garlic, peas, sweetcorn, pumpkins, turnips, cabbage, lettuce, marrow, peppers, cabbage, kale, sweet potatoes, beetroot, artichoke, Swiss chard, pak choi, radishes, leeks

Food to eat in the UK in September: 

Bramley apples, blackberries, blueberries, Brussels sprouts (slightly early), runner beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, courgettes (end of courgette season!), cucumber (also end of cucumber season), kale, leeks, cos lettuce, iceberg lettuce, marrow, peas, plums, spinach, squash, sweetcorn, artichokes, aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, celeriac, fennel, kohlrabi, mangetout, mushrooms, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rocket, shallots, spring onions, tomatoes, turnips

Do you eat seasonally? If so, share your tips in the comments for other readers! 

And as a special bonus, anyone who signs up to my newsletter will receive a monthly email about what food is in season and some recipe suggestions! 

Sign up for my newsletter today to get your September guide shortly! 

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If you liked this post you might also enjoy my posts on : 

Local Veg Box 
An introduction to Slow-living
Reducing meat consumption 
Blogging with Intent

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  • living in Taiwan it’s easier to eat seasonal because only the import stores and Costco carry certain things year round, and the price difference for what is grown local vs. import is pretty clear! have you read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver? it was such an eye-opener about the way we eat [at least in America, and probably much of Europe.] I had never thought about seasonal eating before that, or questioned the fact I could buy tomatoes and strawberries year round.

  • This is such a great post Amanda, it’s fab to eat seasonally and enjoy the tastiest local fruit and veg! We get a veg box every fortnight at home and in Cornwall Adam and I get a lot of our veg from a neighbours little stall outside her house for all the excess she’s grown in her allotment! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    • I love the pictures that you’ve posted of the veg that you’ve gotten from your neighbours allotment! xx

  • Laura Emilia

    I was so happy I saw this post! I’ve been thinking a lot about seasonal eating lately and would like to give it a go – I just wasn’t sure where to start! I looked into that veg box you mentioned in your previous post and it looks really good. I also found a sort of “farm to table” online supermarket that delivers to us that I’m looking into. I am very stuck in my ways when it comes to what I’m cooking day to day so I think I have to look into new recipes too as not everything I usually use will always be in season. Really interested in seeing the new feature in your newsletter too – I’m sure it will be a big help! xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • ninegrandstudent

    We do try to eat as seasonally as possible – I need to get the last of my courgette fix in!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

    • We’ve had so much courgette lately! I’ve also made a lot of courgette bread which has been totally worth it! xx

  • The North Left Blog

    It’s one of my goals in life to eat seasonally and locally – and home-grown if possible! There are just so many benefits to eating this way.
    Veg boxes are a pretty good way to start, at least until you start to understand what’s in season and when
    x

    • Totally! It can be better for you nutritionally and for the planet. There are no real drawbacks to doing it! xx

  • We definitely need to eat more seasonally – especially as I have that little bit more time!

  • I admit I’m a seasonal eater purely for selfish reasons, i.e. everything tastes so much better! I was spoiled growing up as my mum worked at a fruit farm, so there are quite a few things that I just don’t eat now because the versions available are nothing like what I’m used to. What I wouldn’t give to have a proper peach again!

    I’m terribly old-fashioned & love cookbooks, so I always think it’s worthwhile investing in a veg-based cookbook. The River Cottage Handbooks are really good, and so are Sarah Raven’s cookbooks. A lot of food blogs also now have indexes available by season & that’s really helpful.

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is definitely worth a read, as suggested below. I didn’t agree with all of it & thought it painted rather too rosy a glow at times, but it was very thought-provoking.

    • I love the River Cottage book – I agree it’s a great reference. (I don’t think it’s old-fashioned to like cookbooks at all! ;D )

      I’m very jealous of your fresh fruit memories! xx

  • I became a seasonal eater when I spent some time in England at the Brit’s parents’ in 2013. They have a huge garden which is mostly growing flowers and food. The taste of some of their veggies were literally amazing! I’ve also learnt to love so many more veggies. When they come up they always bring us what they have in season and it’s lovely! There’s a farmers’ market in Stirling only once a month, which is a bit sad, but we try to always go and buy some produces there – but it doesn’t last more than a week. A friend of ours who recently had a baby decided she wants only fresh and local produces for her baby so she started ordering from a coop nearby so we may try that. Because I didn’t grow up here though I found it hard at the beginning because there isn’t a lot of variety in the winter months for local grown food – like I don’t like eating potatoes and turnips all the time lol. The only thing I can’t go without is avocado – I grew up eating it literally for every meal, it’s a staple of the Chilean diet, so I buy it every week no matter the price. Which is bad because the carbon footprint for avocado can be massive, so at least I try to buy those that are from the closer countries. But I like to be conscious of things. What would you recommend for fruits in the winter? That’s what I struggle with the most.

    • Hmm.. fruits are the hardest but in Dec – Feb but local apples and pears are usually still a safe bet. If a local farm has a greenhouse it wouldn’t be unreasonable to find lemons, pomegranates, quinces and grapefruits. xx