While we wait for the summer produce, there’s still plenty of goodness to be had from British vegetables in May. Try them all in this month’s recipe!
May’s seasonal fruit and vegetables
While we wait for the summer produce, there’s still plenty of goodness to be had from British vegetables in May. We can also still take advantage of the produce from the earlier month’s of the year too. Take a look back on February, March and April’s blogs to remind you of what’s available, why they are so good for us and how you can include them in a meal.
This month’s spotlight produce is all green vegetables and there’s a delicious recipe that combines them all!
Quintessentially British and perfect for picking in May, asparagus is commonly green, but can purple and white varieties are also grown. Although it is well-known for making urine smell stronger, let us put that to one side and appreciate the health benefits it brings.
The green spear-like vegetable is low in energy (calories) but bursting with fibre, folate, vitamins A, C and K as well as a key antioxidant, glutathione – which your liver love! It’s also a winner when it comes to digestive health as it contains prebiotic fibre that feeds our beneficial gut bacteria. And it’s super supportive for cardiovascular health too, as the potassium in asparagus can help to lower blood pressure.
Asparagus isn’t in season for long but with all these benefits, enjoy it while you can!
Here’s another vegetable that supports heart health – fennel. Also rich in potassium, folate and fibre but fennel offers a host of phytonutrients too including rutin, quercetin and kaempferol – all of which are powerful antioxidants.
Fennel has an anise-like taste that is stronger when raw but softer and milder when cooked. It’s a vegetable I’ve grown to love, especially roasted with other veg or raw in a salad – it really kicks off the taste buds!
Oh, the humble broad bean – also know as a fava bean. Perhaps not the most interesting of vegetables until you know what it’s capable of…
Broad beans are part of the legume family and well-known for their phytoestrogen properties. Phytoestrogen means plant oestrogen and foods that contain phytoestrogens work in the body to help balance oestrogen levels.
Ok, let’s get science-y for a bit… Phytoestrogens work on oestrogen receptors. If the body has too much oestrogen (oestrogen dominant) the phytoestrogens will attach to the receptors blocking the hormone oestrogen from attaching, thus helping to reduce oestrogen dominance. On the flip slide, if the body is low in oestrogen the phytoestrogens can mimic the oestrogen hormone and help reduce symptoms associated with low oestrogen.
How interesting are broad beans now! Try them, and the other two veggies you’ve just read about, in the recipe below.
May’s green goodness recipe
Warm spring green salad
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium or large onion, sliced
2 heads of fennel
300g broad beans, out of their pods
1 bunch of asparagus spears
250ml of chicken or vegetable stock
A handful of crushed walnuts and hazelnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
- Warm olive oil in a large pot, on medium heat, and sauté the onion for a few minutes
- Take the head and root off the fennel and cut into wedges. Add to the pan and cook with the onion for a few minutes
- Add the stock and broad beans before bringing it to the boil and letting it simmer for a few minutes
- Add the peas and asparagus and cook until all the vegetables are cooked through and the liquid has absorbed
- Serve and finish with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and a handful of crushed walnuts and hazelnuts. Add a pinch of salt and crushed black pepper to taste
Interested in improving your health?
I hope this blog has sparked your interest in how the UK’s seasonal produce can support our health. If you’d like to discuss your nutrition, find out how you can reduce nagging symptoms and address your health concerns, book a free introductory call.
Let’s get you back to feeling your best, naturally.