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Food In Season January
Food in Season – January

Eat the Seasons! If you want to know what food is in season for January, our Food Information Executive, Laurence Beeken takes a look at seasonal foods and New Year recipe ideas

Food in Season: January

By WLR's Food Information Executive, Laurence Beeken

January is not just about comfort food and sitting in front of a log fire!  Many of the foods available now were traditionally preserved from the autumn harvest and typically were heavily spiced to make up for the bland taste.  Today we are fortunate in having supermarkets to hand, so the foods available are much fresher and there is much more variety. 

As far as your weight loss plans go, you can’t go wrong with our selection of healthy heart foods, rich in Omega 3 to kick start your New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier!

Walnuts

Related to the pecan, this nut comes from the stone fruit of the deciduous walnut tree which grows in temperate areas. There are many varieties and walnuts are the most popular nut in Europe next to the almond.

Walnuts not only taste great but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids. Like most nuts, they can easily be added to your healthy menus. Just chop and add to your favourite salad, vegetable dish, fruit, or dessert. 

Nutritional Information

Walnuts, Average per 100g

Calories (kcal) 691.3
Protein (g) 15.6
Carbohydrate (g) 3.2
Sugars (g) 2.6
Fat (g) 68.5
Saturates (g) 5.6
Fibre (g) 3.5
Sodium (g) 0.007
Alcohol (g) 0
Fruit and Veg 0
Storage

Shelled, dried walnuts have a short life of around 2-3 months. Keep them dry in an airtight container inside the fridge or freezer to prolong freshness.

Recipes

Kale

Related to the cabbage family, kale is a great alternative to cabbage. It has a much stronger taste, which is improved after a good frost, and works really well blanched and sautéed with garlic. Kale is a great source of Vitamins C, A and B6. It's also packed with antioxidants, which are vital for a healthy immune system.

Buying

Choose kale leaves when they're still green, small and young as older leaves will be bitter and stringy.

Use it as soon as you can after buying as bitterness increases quickly after picking, so it's best eaten as fresh as possible.

Cooking

You can use it as a substitute for spinach in many recipes, or you can substitute it for cabbage in recipes that call for a strong flavour. Young, tender leaves can be used raw in salads Kale works especially well with winter season food such as soups, beans, root vegetables, ham, and game. It can be steamed, stir-fried or boiled.

Trim the stringy stalk. Wash the leaves well. Then use them as you would spinach or cabbage.

You can slice the leaves and wilt them in a little butter and garlic for a quick, tasty side dish or try mixing it into bubble and squeak to use up those leftovers, or have it as a simple side dish with a hearty fish pie or with curries.

Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutritional Information

Kale, Raw, prepared, per 100g

Calories (kcal) 33.0
Protein (g) 3.4
Carbohydrate (g) 1.4
Sugars (g) 1.3
Fat (g) 1.6
Saturates (g) 0.2
Fibre (g) 3.1
Sodium (g) 0.04
Alcohol (g) 0
Fruit & Veg 1.3
Recipes

Mackerel

Although not as delicately flavoured as some, the mackerel is a rich and tasty fish. Fantastically moist, it makes a low-cost and very healthy meal.

Health experts recommend eating at least one serving of oily fish, such as mackerel, each week. Mackerel is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin B12.

The canned varieties are very good for convenience, although try and get the ones preserved in spring water rather than oil or sauce to keep the calories down.

Nutritional Information

Mackerel Atlantic, raw Average per 100g

Calories (kcal) 205
Protein (g) 18.6
Carbohydrate (g) 0
Sugars (g) 0
Fat (g) 13.9
Saturates (g) 3.3
Fibre (g) 0
Sodium (g) 0.09
Alcohol (g) 0
Fruit & Veg 0
Buying

Look for mackerel with shiny bodies and bright eyes. They should be firm-feeling and rigid; fresh mackerel won't droop if held horizontally by the head

Storing

spoil faster than white fish and mackerel is best eaten on the day of purchase or within 24 hours if kept chilled. It can also be frozen successfully.

Preparing

Ask your fishmonger to gut the fish. At home, wash under cold running water and pat dry before cooking. Baking, grilling, barbecuing, or pan-frying are excellent cooking methods. To check if mackerel is cooked, slit the fish at the thickest part with a small knife: the flesh should appear just opaque but still moist.

Due to mackerel's richness, cream or butter-based sauces are best avoided. A spicy treatment works well, as does matching with something sharp.

Recipes

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