May’s Seasonal Foods
As you probably all know, the Lucy Bee family is passionate about eating as healthily as possible. From the moment I was diagnosed as being coeliac when I was a baby, we ditched processed foods, shop-bought jars, packets and ready meals.
For as long as I can remember, our diet has been all about nature. From fresh vegetables to mouth-watering fruits, organic and grass-fed meats, whole grains and eggs, we love eating foods that are as just as nutritious as they are tasty.
As part of the Lucy Bee mantra, we also try to eat foods that are organic, local and in season wherever we can. Seasonal foods are a huge favourite of ours and always find their way onto the table.
Why? Well, it’s quite simple really. We love to eat what’s in season because:
- It’s cheaper. When produce is in season locally, then it’ll drive down prices – you only have to think of that costly punnet of strawberries in December to know we’re right!
- It tastes better. Fresh, locally harvested foods are full of flavour and goodness.
- You’ll support local businesses. If you buy seasonal foods, you’ll often be buying locally and supporting farmers and businesses in your area. Win, win!
What Are the Seasonal Foods in May?
Happily, there’s plenty of delicious food that’s in season for May. From juicy apricots to mouth-watering halibut and crab, lamb’s lettuce, mint and new potatoes, there are plenty of seasonal foods you can enjoy and add to your meals.
One of our favourite foods, asparagus, also starts to come into season in May (it’s also good to enjoy in June and July). This delicious tasting vegetable is actually a member of the lily family (weird, right?) and works brilliantly as a side for meats, or even jazzed up as a starter.
When Can I Enjoy Asparagus?
Since asparagus is a naturally grown crop – grown in the never-predictable British climate – it first makes itself known at different times each year. However, asparagus farmers generally say that it’s best enjoyed from 24th April to 21st June.
It’s a fairly difficult crop to grow and takes a whole lot of time to mature. In fact, it needs to be planted three years before it yields any spears, and even then it needs to be cut by hand. This means that asparagus can be quite pricey, but we think it’s worth it!
During asparagus season, you can pick up a bunch of spears in most high-street supermarkets. However, the freshest and best asparagus will be found on farmer’s markets, at your local fruit and veg stores, or in local farm shops. You can find out where asparagus is stocked locally to you1.
Although asparagus comes in green, purple and white varieties (the white kind is usually grown over in Europe), the majority of British asparagus is green. When you’re picking your bunch, the key is to look for “firm, green spears with tight, crisp tips.”
What Are the Health Benefits?
These funny-looking green spears don’t just taste delicious – they’re also loaded with nutritional goodies. Asparagus is packed with vitamins A, B and C, and is also rich in folic acid, which is great for pregnant women.
The high fibre content keeps our insides ticking along smoothly and as a mild diuretic, asparagus can also help to fight cystitis.
Meanwhile, asparagus is rich in rutin which, when combined with vitamin C, can help to boost the body’s immune system. Asparagus has even been used as a natural remedy to relieve indigestion and was once prescribed as a mild sedative. It was even used centuries ago as an aphrodisiac!
How Do I Prepare Asparagus?
Asparagus is so delicious that it makes a wonderful accompaniment to most dishes, from salmon to chicken, or whatever else you fancy!
To prepare, you need to break off the end of the ‘woody’ stalk and wash. Depending on the size of your asparagus, you can steam for between 3-6 minutes (you can check it’s cooked by testing to see if the spears are tender with a skewer) or a particular favourite of ours is to roast in Lucy Bee for around 10 minutes.
If you’re looking for more ideas to enjoy your asparagus, why not try our Courgette and Asparagus Frittata2? Be sure to let us know your favourite ways to enjoy asparagus and enjoy!