Nourish - What’s in Season: Irish Winter Foods
Winter is here in all its chilly glory, bringing a plethora of wonderful foods for you to get creative within the kitchen.
These include but are certainly not limited to:
- brussels sprouts
- Jerusalem artichoke
- pears and more.
Within this post, we’re going to delve in a little deeper into what veggies are hitting the shelves this season and what you can do with them!
If you’re interested in why eating in season is better for both you and the environment, check out our previous blog post here on 5 Reasons to Eat in Season.
In season: Winter
No. 1 Brussels Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are small, leafy green buds which resemble miniature cabbages in appearance. They belong to the same Brassica family of vegetables which also includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, and kale.
Sprouts are exceptionally good for you. They provide a rich source of protein, dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These include manganese, potassium, choline, Vitamin C and B vitamins.
A lot of people think they don’t like Brussels sprouts, but often that’s because they’ve simply been overcooked. An overcooked Brussels sprout will be mushy and smelly and have turned a muted shade of green. What you’re really after is bright green sprouts with a slightly crisp texture and pleasant, nutty/sweet flavour, even after they’re cooked.
For more info on the nutrition of sprouts, have a read of this link.
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts – The Food Charlatan
- Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans – Rachelsschutz
No. 2 – Jerusalem Artichoke
Jerusalem artichoke is a bumpy, fleshy, root vegetable that belongs to the sunflower family of plants. It is native to eastern North America.
One big talking point about Jersulesm artichokes is their inulin content. Jerusalem artichokes contain lots of inulin, a type of prebiotic fibre. This fibre has been shown to stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria in the gut.
Naturally present in the large intestine, bifidobacteria help:
- fight harmful bacteria in the intestines
- aid in the prevention of constipation
- even give the immune system a boost
Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of health-promoting nutrients such as Vitamin C, B vitamins (especially thiamine), iron, copper and potassium. Plus, phytochemicals, antioxidants and plenty of fibre.
Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw or cooked, and they make a nice, health-boosting addition to soups and salads alike.
- Jerusalem Artichoke Soup – Krumpli
- What to Do with Sunchokes – Serious Eats
- Health benefits of Jerusalem Artichoke Style Craze
No. 3 – Clementines
Clementines are juicy sweet delights of deliciousness, and they come with a whole heap of vital nutrients. These include vitamin c, beta-carotene, folate, potassium, phosphorus and fibre.
Often people think of clementines as “baby oranges” or “Christmas oranges”. In fact, they’re actually the cross between a Chinese mandarin and an orange.
They’re slightly sweeter than oranges but are lower in sugar. This makes them a great snack to have on hand that won’t raise your blood sugar levels too fast.
Clementines are great as:
- an immune booster
- for healthy strong bones and muscles
- for digestive health
- skin health
- electrolyte balancing.
Want to know more? Follow this link for a little more info.
- Quinoa and Kale Power Salad – Foodie Crush
- Clementine Jam – The View from Great Island
- Mulled Wine – BBC
No. 4 – Chestnuts
Who doesn’t conjure up romantic images of the festive season, with open fires and the sweet nutty smell in the air when they hear the words roasted chestnuts?
Chestnuts only grace us with their presence very briefly due to their short season but are absolutely worth sourcing out for a real winter treat.
Chestnuts have a few unique properties that are unlike those of other nuts and seeds.
- One is that chestnuts are high in vitamin C. In fact, they’re the only nut that has vitamin C, making them stand out from other nuts.
- Also, unlike many other nuts, chestnuts are high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Fun fact!
- They are also a good source of dietary fibre, vitamins and mineral. These include potassium, copper and magnesium, amino acids and antioxidants.
They are highly versatile and can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes.
You can even purchase chestnuts flour to make gluten-free desserts and as an additive in other sweet preparations. In savoury dishes, chestnuts can be used in stews, soups and casseroles.
- BBC guide to cracking chestnuts
- Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew – Closet Cooking
- Vegan Mushroom and Chestnut Pithivier
Winter Seasonal Produce
Beetroot | Brussels sprouts | cauliflower | celeriac | celery | chicory | horseradish | Jerusalem artichoke| kale | kohlrabi | leeks | parsnips | shallots | swede| turnips | apples | blood oranges | clementines | kiwi fruit (imported) |lemons |oranges | passion fruit | pears | pineapple | pomegranate | rhubarb | satsumas and tangerines | almonds |brazil nuts | walnuts.
Brussels sprouts | cauliflower | celeriac | chicory | Jerusalem artichoke | kale | kohlrabi | leeks | parsnips | purple sprouting broccoli |salsify | shallots | swede | turnips |bananas | blood oranges | clementines | kiwi fruit | lemons | oranges | passion fruit | pineapple | pomegranate | rhubarb.
This useful info for foods available in winter has been taken from eat the seasons.
See our sister posts here:
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.