Make the most of seasonal foods in July. I suggest foods to buy and a recipe to try…

Are you someone who likes to shop and eat seasonally? I am. And with lockdown and food restrictions in place, shopping for foods that are in season and locally sourced just makes sense.

In Ayurvedic medicine, the idea of combining all six tastes – salty, pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and astringent – means you get a good variety of fruit and vegetables. Your tastebuds are left zinging. Check out this fun quiz to find our your dosha and discover yours.

Eat seasonally

By eating foods in season in July, nature provides all you need to maintain great health. You’ll also be supporting the planet by reducing air miles and pollution.

Following the seasons keeps us in rhythm with nature. Our body desires cooling foods in the heat, and warming heavier foods through winter. Here are some suggestions for foods that are in season in July and what to look out for on your next grocery shop. All suggestions are grown in the UK, so no air miles either! 

Vegetables

Broadbeans, radish, cucumber, carrot, kohlrabi, peas and potatoes are all in season in July. I love the violet potatoes grown in Cornwall and Jersey Royals. Big and small beetroots are great for salads and soups. And tomatoes you can grow easily at home.

There’s gorgeous wild mushrooms such as Ceps and Girolles. It’s a short season but worth the wait. I use them as a treat. Marsh Samphire from the coast is also full of minerals and iodine which helps balance the thyroid.

Herbs 

Lots of lovely, fragrant varieties are at their best now. I like fennel, rosemary, chamomile, sage, basil and lemon verbena. All make great infusions by adding a few leaves and steeping in hot water. Or use them liberally to season a salad or summer soup. You can grow these in pots in the garden.

Berries

There’s berries galore at the moment. Check out the gooseberries, jostaberries, raspberries and strawberries. All abundant and available throughout the month. These juicy, high-nutrient fruits are wonderful for heart health and packed with vitamins and minerals. Black, red and white currants are all grown and harvested in the UK.

Other gems

Later this month, look out for local garlic and wild garlic leaves, lettuces and rhubarb. If you like nuts look out for walnut trees as this is the time to harvest.


A recipe to try

I rarely follow recipes. I imagine what tastes and combines well and it’s usually very good! I often decide what to prepare by looking at what’s in the fridge, rather than going shopping for a specific item. If you do like recipes, then be creative and use what is available locally rather than sticking rigidly to a plan. Substitutions are definitely to be encouraged. Cooking is creative as well as nurturing. Make it a joy rather than a chore and what you prepare will taste better!

Beetroot salad with walnuts and fennel

Cook the beetroot (or buy already packaged). Slice the fennel into long strips. You can roast the fennel if you prefer in a hot oven with olive oil for 20 minutes. Combine the beetroot and fennel.

Make a dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt, green and pink peppercorns, and crushed coriander seeds. Toss your veg in the dressing and top with the walnuts. You can add potatoes too. I would add lots of crushed black peppercorns here. 

I’d love to hear from you and share your recipes. Get in touch with me here.