Pretty much every food moneysaving guide tells you to shop with the seasons.
But what does that even mean?
Well, if you’re trying to eat cucumber in winter then you may find you’re paying somewhat of a premium. It comes back to the basic principle of supply and demand. In the summer cucumbers are an abundance and the price in the supermarket can reflect this. However, fast-forward to winter and these foods have to be sourced from outside of the EU or be genetically modified – and that costs a premium.
So, instead of just telling you to shop with the seasons I thought I’d go one further. Which is why I’ve created this complete list of ‘what’s in season when’. Helping you maximise your money when it comes to that all important supermarket shop.
Spring: March – June
Meat: Beef Steaks – Chicken – Sausages – Spring Lamb
Vegetables: Asparagus – Carrots – Cauliflowers – Celeriac – Cucumbers – Curly Kale – Purple Sprouting Broccoli – Savoy Cabbage – Sorrel – Spinach – Spring Greens – Spring Onion – Watercress
Fruit: Gooseberries – Rhubarb
Fish: Crab – Haddock – John Dory – Lobster – Mackerel – Monkfish – Prawns – Sea Bass – Sea Salmon – Trout – Turbot
As the days get longer and springtime returns you’re going to be wanting to cook with very strong seasonal flavours. Recipes include; Parmesan spring chicken, easy one-pot chicken casserole and spring fish pie.
Summer: June – September
Meat: Beef Steaks – Chicken – Ham – Lamb – Pork Pies – Pork Spare Ribs – Saltmarsh Lamb – Sausages – Venison
Vegetables: Beetroot – Broad Beans – Carrots – Cauliflowers – Courgettes – Cucumber – Fennel – Fresh Peas – Garlic – Green Beans – Lettuce & Salad Leaves – New potatoes – Radishes – Runner Beans- Sage – Salad Onions – Squash – Tomatoes – Watercress
Fruit: Blueberries – Currants (black, white and red) – Elderflower berries – Greengages – Loganberries – Plums – Raspberries – Strawberries – Tayberries
Fish: Crab – Pilchards – Wild Salmon
In summer you’re going to be spending more time in the garden. You’re going to be wanting to fill up on those fresh fruits and vegetables and focusing on light meals such as; Crunchy bulghar salad, Summer chicken stew and Veggie chilli.
Autumn: September – December
Meat: Chicken – Grouse – Ham – Heather-fed Lamb – Pies Pork – Sausages – Venison
Vegetables: Field Mushrooms – Lettuce – Marrow – Potatoes – Pumpkin – Rocket – Squashes – Sweetcorn – Watercress
Fruit: Apples – Blackberries – Damsons – Elderberries – Pears – Plums – Sloes
Fish: Brill – Dabs – Dover Sole – Flounders – Oysters – Skate
The drastic shift from Summer to Autumn can be a shock. Food can play a big part in making us feel like it’s still summer (at least in some ways) with meals such as; Autumn vegetable soup with cheesy toasts and Butternut squash & sage risotto.
Winter: December – March
Meat: Chicken – Gammon – Goose – Partridge – Pheasant – Sausages – Turkey – Venison – Wild Duck
Vegetables: Bay Leaves – Brussels – Sprouts – Cabbage – Carrots – Cauliflower – Celeriac – Curly Kale – Fennel – Leeks – Parsnips – Potatoes – Red Cabbage – Swede – Turnips
Fruit: Apples – Pears – Quince
Fish: Grey Mullet – Mussels – Scallops
Finally winter, a time where our budgets post-Christmas need as much stretching as possible. Meals such as; Chicken & ham lasagne and the Summer-in-winter chicken can help us do just that.
There we have it. My complete list of ‘what’s in season when?’ complete with recipes and ideas for what tasty home made meals you can make with these fantastic ingredients. With thanks to the following resources for this information; Love British Food.