As produce comes into season it can be difficult to know what to make so the team behind the Better Food Traders network have come up with a range of recipes, searchable by vegetable, to make cooking easy, fun and healthy.
So on those days when you just don’t know what to do with a carrot or a radish, there is somewhere to turn for some inventive ideas. There are recipes for all seasons, including zingy rhubarb in the spring, crunchy salad in the summer, sweet and satisfying squash in the autumn and the humble root vegetable on cold wintry days. From beetroot pancakes and seasonal vegetable curries to soups and tasty BBQ side dishes, there are also ideas for all occasions.
And Better Food Traders new digital map has all the details of where people can buy their locally sourced ingredients.
Natasha Soares, project leader for Better Food Traders, said: “We want people to enjoy seasonal vegetables but sometimes it can be a challenge. This one stop shop for recipe ideas for those veg that stretch the imagination of even the most committed seasonal cook can add sparkling flavour to produce which may otherwise go to waste. There is also an interactive map on our website to find out where your local small ethical supplier is located.
“Our network supports businesses who support farmers and growers who care for the health of our planet. Our current food system is responsible for over 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and we are relying on supermarkets for most of our produce which is resulting in harm and degradation to soil and people. Buying local and ethical ensures growers get a fair price and moves money away from the exploitation faced by millions of farmers and workers in long and distant food supply chains.”
Studies have shown that when fruits and vegetables are allowed to ripen in season, their nutrient value is higher than that of plants that aren’t allowed to follow their natural growth and ripening path.
The UK imports around 45% of its vegetables and 84% of its fruit, with most grown under an industrialised food system which favours uniformity, yield and shelf life above all else, including flavour. Local traders supply in season produce as nature intended, never treated with chemicals and sold in a sealed bag of preservative gas as can be found in supermarkets.
There are recipes for vegetables including beetroot, carrots, cauliflower, leeks and squash, but also the lesser seen but UK-friendly kolrhabi and celeriac. Some of the ideas for all occasions include purple sprouting broccoli with garlic pasta, gunpowder roasted roots, veg bag mulligatawny soup and a creamed kale and leek gratin.