Food | The benefits of eating food of the British seasons

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You can assume that the average person is able to differentiate one season from the next, but how many of us actually change our diet as we flow through them? Depending on which season we find ourselves enjoying, we ought also to be looking to eat different types of fruits and vegetables.

We are immersed in the sweet illusion that we can get all British produce all year round. But not only would eating seasonal British produce help us cook more creatively (having to substitute ingredients and experiment with new foods), but it would also improve our health by eating a more diverse diet. Eating the British seasons can have huge environmental benefits. It does not take a genius to appreciate that growing produce when it’s not meant to be grown is going to use more natural resources. Likewise, if you are constantly indulging on foods which come from far away magical lands maybe you should stop and think twice.

Mince with butternut squash & beetroot drizzled in tahini, pine nuts & herbs

Vegetable Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash, cubed

4 quartered beetroots

Handful of roughly chopped parsley

1 tbsp light tahini paste

1 crushed garlic clove

Juice of 1⁄2 a lemon

Good glug of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Mince Ingredients

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon, cumin and chilli flakes

400g tinned tomato

1 tsp tomato puree

400g beef mince

1 tsp ketchup

Olive oil

1. In a mixing bowl place the squash, some oil and seasoning and toss until the oil has fully coated it. Transfer to a roasting dish and roast in the oven for 40 minutes at 190C in a fan oven.

2. Meanwhile, sweat the onion and garlic in a large pan with some oil over a low heat until soft. Add the chilli, cumin and cinnamon and cook for minute.

3. Add the mince and brown for a few minutes.

4. Add the remaining mince ingredients,season and leave to simmer on the hob. Take care to add a little more water if it is drying out.

5. Place the beetroot in boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender.

6. Meanwhile,in a small bowl,mix together the tahini paste,lemon juice,salt,olive oil, garlic and a little water until it has the consistency of honey.

7. In a little oil,fry the pine nuts until golden brown and set to one side.

8. When the squash is ready,remove from the oven.Transfer the mince into a serving dish (or onto separate plates), drizzle 3⁄4 of the tahini paste over the mince.

9. Place the beetroot and squash on top of the mince, sprinkle with the parsley, pine nuts and remaining tahini and you’re done.

Natasha Straker 

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