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Those of you who try to eat as seasonally (and ethically/responsibly) as possible, how do you do it in the winter months?

(19 Posts)
HopeForTheJingleBells Sun 02-Jan-11 11:42:41

Do you really stick to only seasonal produce, complimented by frozen/dried/tinned fruit and veg?
Do you really go without eg cucumber until the first ones appear in spring/summer? Is it pickled gerkins all the way?

Or do you think that while it's not necessary to be eating fresh strawberries in December, some fruit and veg are no longer really seasonal as such because they are so readily available, locally (greenhouse grown) all year round?

Just wondering really on how everyone else does it, how strict you are, and where you draw the line.

Bonsoir Sun 02-Jan-11 11:45:37

I never eat cucumber in winter!

I really enjoy the seasonal winter vegetables like romanesco. And I make lots of soups with barley, lentils, beans etc, on a carrot/celery/onion/garlic base, with fresh stock and herbs.

norfolkBRONZEturkey Sun 02-Jan-11 11:48:29

I struggle with fuit, though we have managed to substitute bananas for satsumas at the moment.

I froze a large amount of my stuff from my allotment

We tend to naturally eat seasonally, a stew made of root veg is so much nicer in winter than summer salad is anyway (though I have grown salad indoors in winter)

I'm not too strict though I like to try. Am just crap at it

norfolkBRONZEturkey Sun 02-Jan-11 11:49:22

not that bananas make much difference really as they have to be imported as do satsumas anyway grin

trice Sun 02-Jan-11 11:49:25

You eat a lot of cabbage and swede. Very healthy. Variety? what is this strange concept?

Bonsoir Sun 02-Jan-11 11:52:04

I don't like cold vegetables (salad) in winter - I want hot, warming things. Actually, I don't like salad much even in summer! I think I like winter vegetables better.

I like summer fruit, though.

AMumInScotland Sun 02-Jan-11 11:56:32

I don't make a big deal about eating only things that are seasonal, but I do tend to buy and eat root veg in the winter and salad etc in the summer as that's when I fancy eating it. I'm not sure you can claim greenhouse grown things out-of-season as being responsible, since they presumably need a lot of heat. Though my sugar bags point out that they use the heat from refining to grow tomatoes so I suppose it depends!

You can always blanch and freeze cooking apples in autumn, and all sorts of berries, though they come out a bit mushy so better for making a sauce or crumble rather than eating on their own. Ditto lots of veg, though not really salad...

Othersideofthechannel Sun 02-Jan-11 11:59:07

I think we manage pretty well apart from bananas and satsumas.

Our fruit bowl currently contains bananas, satsumas (both imported) and local pears, apples and kiwis.

Salad at this time of year would be lambs lettuce, beetroot, grated carrot, coleslaw, cauliflower salad, leek salad. I only buy cucumber, tomatoes etc while in season.

Some things like frozen green beans and peas we have all year round.

norfolkBRONZEturkey Sun 02-Jan-11 12:14:26

Can I just be a wee bit smug here (just cos Im crap at this stuff and managed it)
I actually bottled some fruit this year. I have wild plums in syrup as well as apple sauce

fluffles Sun 02-Jan-11 12:14:47

we have a locally grown organic bag delivered and just eat what's in it most weeks. this makes the process much easier.

until i crack and buy a pineapple or something totally ridiculous from the supermarket blush

HopeForTheBest Sun 02-Jan-11 12:15:19

I really do try and eat as seasonally as possible, and I choose locally (or at least in this country) grown produce whenever I can.

Cooking food isn't really a problem. There are all those winter veg, plus the frozen/dried options. And salads can be done with winter veg, and we do eat a lot of pickles at this time of the year too.
I froze a whole load of summer fruits for use in crumbles, trifles etc over winter.

But I'm finding lunches are more of a challenge, as I would like to include some fresh veg. So typically, there would be some sliced cucumbers, or peppers, or tomatoes or lettuce.
Really, the only option atm is carrots...unless I'm missing something?

Fruit we tend to do apples (from storage), bananas, clementines (while in season, though obviously not local, like bananas) and lots of dried fruits.

Oh, I guess we also tend to have the occasional tinned (no sugar) fruit too, so I might do something with tinned pineapples or peaches etc which I would def. not do over summer.

But really, fresh veg is a bit of a problem.

HopeForTheBest Sun 02-Jan-11 12:18:24

Oh, should not have changed back to my non-Christmas name mid-thread as my posts are no longer coming up grey, are they?

AMumInScotland Sun 02-Jan-11 14:19:06

You could do coleslaw, but that could get a bit monotonous. Do you have an option of a thermos flask? Veggie soup or stew would be possible then. Or I've had some tasty roasted-then-cold vegetable mezze dishes, though you'd need to freeze some things like tomatoes, courgettes etc while they were in season - it's the planning a season or two ahead that's the trickiest bit!

HopeForTheBest Sun 02-Jan-11 17:15:01

Coleslaw and salad or thermos type things are fine for DH, but not DS who is too young and really just needs snacky type finger food for his lunchbox (he's not yet 4).

Can I ask what is in your organic box, fluffles?

GeorgeEliot Sun 02-Jan-11 20:35:16

I am very strict about only eating seasonal food ... so we do not eat fresh tomatoes in winter (buy canned and passata for soups and sauces) or much salad.

For fruit, at this time of year we tend to live off clementines/ satsumas as soon as they come in from Spain, and English apples which store well - still have some of my own plums in freezer and bottled too.

Luckily dc don't like bananas (I only ever buy produce that's been grown in Europe, preferably UK) no pineapples or mangos in this house).

Lately we've been eating lots of different varieties of cabbage, which we all love, and pumpkins - still stored from Autumn. carrots seem to be in season all year round. We do buy frozen peas and I usually have frozen broad beans, although ran out early this year.

Lots of soups (leek and potato a big favourite with dc), and if you want salad type thing you can have coleslaw or celeriac remoulade is very nice. It actually gets harder later in the winter when the cabbagey things run out and it is all root veg - one reason I gave up the veg box as was tired of getting swede every week.

OhYouSnowySnowyKitten Sun 02-Jan-11 20:52:51

We get a veggie box. The veg is almost all in season and local. The fruit not so (satsumas, bananas etc)
We do seem to eat a lot of cabbage.
<sigh>

snorkie Mon 03-Jan-11 00:47:04

A bit of a mix here, I'm fairly good, especially for veg but nowhere near perfect!

We pretty much eat veg from the allotment all year. I buy in extra carrots when I've run out (approx 6 months a year) and ditto onions which I can never grow enough of. The spuds just about last through usually and there's always green cabbagey type stuff, though I occasionally buy in a cauliflower. Peas & beans last all year fresh or frozen. I grow winter lettuce & salad leaves in the (unheated) greenhouse - it grows slowly, but we don't eat that much in the winter - summer salads inc toms/peppers are all home grown. I don't buy toms/cukes out of season (except a single pack of cherry toms at xmas) and we don't really eat gherkins either, but I do buy occasional peppers & aubergines in the winter. We eat squashes in season (& we grow quite a lot and store them for a long time too). I buy celery in the summer (no success with growing my own), but use celeriac in the winter instead.

For fruit we are less good, my apples typically last 4 months (some years longer for the cookers, which I freeze), I buy bananas all year round - they are shipped rather than airfreighted so not as bad as some things. We eat strawbs and rasberries & goosberries, blackberries and blackcurrants/redcurrants in season (growing our own) and freezing quite a few in good years too, So generally not buying soft fruit from end May-Nov and not eating any except from the freezer the rest of the year. Outside this I buy in apples, pears (which may or may not be UK grown & stored, I don't fuss too much) and oranges/satsumas (mainly when in season, but obviously still imported) and the occasional pineapple or melon or plums (we grow just a few melons too). We also eat tinned pineapple (which obviously has to be transported just as far as the fresh ones) but not much other tinned fruit.

I quite like eating things as they are ready - somehow it's usually just what you fancy at that time of year and sort of gives the year a bit of a rhythm to it too.

knottyhair Mon 03-Jan-11 08:40:18

We store some of our apples, and I froze cherries, blackberries & plums earlier in the year. Like other posters, our organic boxes govern what we eat. They do include some imported fruit (bananas, kiwis, satsumas) but none of it is air-freighted. The veg in the box can get a bit monotonous but I've got a couple of good books for inspiration - Vegetable Bible by Sophie Grigson and Growers Market by Leanne Kitchen. Also Valentine Warner's books are good. But I must admit I breathe a sigh of relief when the swede stops arriving!

HopeForTheBest Mon 03-Jan-11 17:30:22

I've just made pizza and put fresh peppers on it, when really I could easily have got some of those lovely grilled ones in oil (or indeed done my own in summer, as I originally planned to do <adds to Things I Will Do This Year> ).

I miss my farm shop and stalls, which I usually get all my fruit and veg from, but there is just nothing open at this time of year, so I'm left to the mercy of the supermarkets...

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