Eating seasonal for summer

We are always keen for ethical food that won’t hit your wallet. And as the sun came out today for a rare reminder that summertime is on its way, it seems like a perfect opportunity to highlight one of the best ways to eat well without breaking the bank.

Seasonal food.

However limited your economics (and mine is EXTREMELY) it is easy to understand. When there is more quantity of an item, the price comes down. Supply and demand – simple!

Specific to food, the more of an item then generally the fresher it can be, as it means your food is more likely to be coming from down the road rather than across the world.

And it’s delicious too! I’d argue raspberries and blackberries at their peak are a match for any food, but there is plenty out there for everyone.

So with summer fast approaching, here are some top tips for seasonal stuff that could give you a little bit extra at teatime – both in taste and money.

The avocado, or alligator pear as it is also known as, is a curious beast. It is probably most commonly known by people for being the thing that makes guacemole, the dip that usually goes with salsa and sour cream all year round to spice up your crisps. But the true time of the avocado is coming; it is best in summer, and it is great without mushing into a dip. Avocados are super foods, they’re incredibly good for you (although calorific), but the goodness shines through. It is good enough to eat on its own, but adding sliced avocado to eggs and toast gives a healthier, tastier, fresher alternative to the English breakfast.

Sticking with veg, cucumbers are another that really come into their own in summer. Traditionally they’re perfect in a salad with tomatoes and lettuce, but they can also liven up your drinks in the sunshine. Hendrick’s Gin is a wonderful but pricy brand of the spirit, and part of its cost comes from the subtle cucumber taste in the gin. While it isn’t quite the same as a master infusion, slicing up a cucumber and putting a circle into your gin and tonic does a remarkably similar job, and saves you having to splash out on more expensive gin. And if you’re too much of a gin aficionado to believe that the taste is similar, pour yourself another and ask the question again. Repeat until an agreement is reached.

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb. It can be used in various way from sauces to jams, but the classic of rhubarb crumble and custard is always a treat. The great thing about rhubarb too is that it is incredibly easy to grow. One stick (a young plant) is all that is needed to start, and then it will grow every year, sustaining its crop on its own, meaning you’ll never have to buy any more again.

Obviously, there are sackfuls more fruit and veg that come into their own in summer (a useful list is here) but just following tips for the three things above can help both your wallet and tastebuds over the next few months.

Got any more tips to share? Get in touch – @ecoeatsuk, ecoeatsuk@gmail.com, or comment below.

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