Seasonal Summer Veggies

Seasonal Summer Vegetables

According to a survey by Ipsos MRBI and Dulux Weathershield, 60% of Irish people talk about the weather twice a day. Why are we so obsessed with the weather? Well, at Drop Chef, the weather plays a large role in what wonderful fruit and veggies are in season for us to include in our tasty meals, for you!

Peppers. My favourite veggie. Raw in salads, cooked in stir-fries, as a snack with hummus – the possibilities are endless.

Typically known for the red, yellow, orange and green varieties, peppers are also available in white and black/blue – have you ever seen them? Although they share many ed-pills24.com, red and green peppers have a few key differences in their nutrition profiles. Red peppers are superior in terms of vitamin A and vitamin C while green peppers win on the folate and iron scale. These differences are primarily due to the components that give the peppers their different colours.

Did you know?

Peppers have only been popular in Europe since the 20th century, particulary in Mediterranean countries.

In Ireland, peppers are grown mostly in North County Dublin.

Without a doubt, my #1 Drop Chef dish that celebrates the red pepper is the Vegetable Pad Thai with Noodles, Lime and Peanuts. This classic “fakeaway” provides lots of protein with the inclusion of egg and nuts and what’s more, when served with rice noodles, this dish is gluten free.

Vegetable Pad Thai

Tomatoes. Eaten like a vegetable but technically a fruit. Lycopene is the component found in tomatoes, and many other red/pink fruits and vegetables, which gives them their vibrant red colour. Lycopene belongs to the family of carotenoids which are considered to have health benefits in decreasing the risk of certain diseases.

Nutrition Hack

Got some green tomatoes?

Partially red tomatoes will continue to ripen if left in a warm spot, e.g. a window on a sunny day or a hot press when it’s not a sunny day.

If you place a red tomato in amongst some unripe, green tomatoes and put them in a paper bag in a drawer, the red one will help to ripen the others.

Green tomatoes work well in savoury jams and mydepression-help.com .

Tomatoes are delicious addition to salads, are an ideal snack at the desk and can add a dimension of flavour to stews and soups. Have you tried the Lamb Rogan Josh from Drop Chef? Tomatoes sit perfectly in this aromatic Persian dish.

Lamb Rogan Josh

Asparagus. Here for a good time not a long time! With seasonal availability lasting from late spring to mid-summer, it’s now time to stock up on this nutrient-rich vegetable. Like most vegetables, asparagus is low in calories, a source of fibre and high in vitamins and minerals. Ideal.

Keep an eye out on the Drop Chef weekly menu for meals with an asparagus accompaniment. The Asparagus, Feta and Quinoa Salad is a perfect summer dish with a fruity lemon dressing.

Asparagus, Feta and Quinoa Salad

Aubergine. Sometimes known as eggplant. I couldn’t fathom this at first but a bit of research put me on the straight and narrow. The most popular variety of aubergine resembles (somewhat) a large egg, hence the Americans named it “Eggplant”.

Along with tomatoes, peppers and potatoes, aubergines belong to the nightshade plant family. Aubergines possess a range of vitamins and minerals as well as being a rich source of dietary fibre – important for good digestive health.

Aubergine is the main ingredient in baba ganoush, a middle-eastern dip made from aubergine and olive oil, to which a range of other flavours can be added. For something more substantial, aubergines work great in curries and casseroles. Drop Chef’s Chicken Massaman Curry is delicious with some cubed aubergine.

Fun Facts

Aubergines grow hanging from the vines of plants that are several feet tall in a similar way as tomatoes grow.

Alternative colours of aubergines include lavendar, jade green, orange and yellow.

Aubergine is the main ingredient in baba ganoush, a middle-eastern dip made from aubergine and olive oil, to which a range of other flavours can be added. For something more substantial, aubergines work great in curries and casseroles. Drop Chef’s Chicken Massaman Curry is delicious with some cubed aubergine.

Massaman Curry

The bottom line is, including vegetables in your diet is important for good health. New healthy eating guidelines for Ireland suggest that we should be eating 5-7 portions of fruit/vegetables every day. While vegetables are seasonal, advances in growing, processing, shipment and preserving techniques means that it is possible to get your hands on most vegetables all year round. Remember:

Lots of variety = Lots of colour = Lots of nutrients

To keep up to date with what is in season, check out Bord Bia’s nifty calendar of seasonal availability for fruit, vegetables and herbs.

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