Seasonal January Foods and What to Cook with Them

We may all love the easy summer months but don't overlook the cooking potential of fresh January ingredients. Shopping in January may be at polar opposites to the leafy summer salads and offerings that the warm weather brings, but they never the less can make for some wonderful wintery dishes! This is the time for combining healthy with comfort eating. January is the time for ushering in the New year with some inspiring food to get positive and provide something tasty and nutritious for all the family. After the excess of Christmas and the New Year, it's perhaps the time for considering new recipe challenges that will get everyone eating a few new dishes with both a sense of curiosity and desire.

January Vegetables

One of the great things about cooking in January is the availability of such a great variety of root vegetables. It is also important to make sure you buy locally as these will often taste better, support your local farmers, and reduce the transportation required for imported fruit and vegetables. This is the season for Brussel sprouts, chard, cabbage, beetroot, celeriac, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, swede and sweet potatoes! What options we have, and that is not in any way a complete list of vegetables that are readily available in our shops and markets!

Why not use a combination of these vegetables with in a one-pot casserole or spice them up in a tagine dish. Naturally, if you fancy going vegetarian, then add a few beans or pulses to the mix and Bob may not be your uncle, but you get the point!

Seasonal Meats

After all those Turkey dishes, it's definitely time to enjoy other meat dishes despite a love for this economic and tasty option. Why not consider all the game meats out there? This is the best season for venison, guinea fowl, rabbit and goose. How about considering a dish with venison sausages with some wild mushrooms or, perhaps, roasting guinea fowl on a bed of vegetables. It is also an excellent time for roasting Goose and considering the old classic side dish of dumplings with many of these rich meats! Oh, and do not forget to brush up on your gravy technique, as there is always something to add to this very seasonal skill. One tip is to make a batch of homemade stock using up any meat on the bone and a few vegetables.

Fruit Glorious Fruit!

Quite honestly, eating more fruit is the best thing you can do to make a resolution. You can quickly boost your vitamin C and fibre intake by eating more delicious fresh fruit. So many options are available in the shops, you can select clementines, mandarins, or oranges; that is just one colour from the spectrum of fruity flavours.

Apples are also now abundant after the autumn harvest. Try Bramley apples, Granny Smith's or any locally sourced to bake into a treat for the whole family!

If you are lucky, you may find some early rhubarb on the shelves for a nice alternative to apples in your favourite crumbles. Consider a nutty mix of orange, almond and spices or why not introduce a drizzle of honey to your fruity desserts?