In Season In JanuaryMon 07 Jan 2013
Story by Food Revolution Team
We hope that you had a great time over the holidays and enjoyed some real food treats with your loved ones. Now that the holiday season (and the indulgence it brings!) is over, it’s time to find out what is in season near you and pick up some fresh, local food to get creative with this month. Start as you mean to go on, and get cooking from scratch this year!
A member of the beet family, Swiss chard has large, flat creased green leaves with thick fleshy stalks. Both the leaves and stem of chard can be used and different varieties have red, pink, white or yellow stalks. Swiss chard has a rich, slightly bitter flavor and is high in vitamins A, K and C and dietary fibre, it can can be added to salads, cooked or sautéed, in which case it lose some of the bitter taste. French and Italian cooking methods often use Swiss chard. Currently it is in season in California!
Part of the rose family and native to China, America and Europe, plums blossom in different parts of the world in different months, they are currently in season in Australia. Plums are a medium sized fruit, generally 1 to 3 inches in diameter, round and contain a single large seed (stone). Plums can be either sweet ‘dessert’ types or sweet-sour ‘cooking plums depending on their variety. The flesh of a plum is firm and juicy and plums are commonly used in crumbles, jams, and chutneys as well as being enjoyed raw.
Kohlrabi, which translate to ‘turnip cabbage’ is part of the cabbage family and has a crisp crunchy texture with a mild, sweet flavor, which is slightly milder than both a cabbage and a turnip. Kohlrabi is most commonly pale green, but occasionally can be purple. It can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted or stir fried and added to a variety of dishes, used similarly to both collard and kale. The leaves of this peculiar looking vegetable can also be eaten. Kohlrabi is rich in vitamin C, dietary fibre and antioxidants and also contains health promoting phytochemicals.
Named after its shape, the Star Fruit, also known as Carambola, is the fruit of a tree native to Asia, though also now cultivated in Latin America, the Caribbean and the southern United States where it is currently in season in Florida. The entire fruit is edible, including the waxy skin, and can be eaten raw or cooked, as well as sometimes used as seasoning. The star fruit is rich in antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C, and low in sugar, sodium and acid.
Native to South Asia, the mango is a fleshy, sweet, stone fruit popular in making cuisines. The taste and texture of Mangoes vary from soft pulpy textures to firmer more fibrous textures depending on the variety. Mangoes are grown in most tropical countries; they are currently in season in Australia where they thrive in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. Ripe mangoes are popular in juices, fruit salads and ice creams and unripe, sour mangoes are often used in chutneys or pickles. The mango contains a variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals and is rich in vitamin C and dietary fibre.
Pecans are native to North America. They have a distinctive taste as well as a distinctive ‘brain-like’ shape and the rich kernel is golden brown on the outside and beige inside. Commonly used in baking, in cakes and pies such as the infamous pecan-pie, they are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats and are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. If Pecans are in season where you live, as they are in Oklahoma, why not getting baking and add some of these to your treats!
If the growing season is a little dormant where you are, then opt for the frozen fruit and vegetables or items from storage.
Whatever you’re cooking, be sure to share your photos with us on our Food Revolution Community page or tweet them to us @foodrev.
Here’s to cooking up a real food storm in 2013!
The Food Revolution Team
Photo credit: Food Revolution Ambassador Noelia Fernandez, Buenos Aires Argentina @OhNoelia
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