Season's best

Start 2017 in the most delicious way and take advantage of the gorgeous New Year crop, which includes wonderfully nutty celeriac. 

An often-overlooked root vegetable, knobbly celeriac has a slightly sweet flavour, and is great roasted, baked or boiled. Choose celeriac that feels heavy for its size and isn’t discoloured. Store in the fridge. Celeriac discolours quickly once peeled: if prepping ahead, transfer to a bowl of water with a little lemon juice to help keep fresh. Try slicing thinly and adding to a gratin with potato or parsnip. Or mash boiled cubes with a little butter for a tasty side.

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Also in season...

Kiwi fruit

Kiwi fruit

Kiwis are best eaten raw, as cooking reduces both their vitamin content and their vibrant colour. Ripe kiwis should feel firm, but yield slightly when pressed. If hard, leave to ripen at room temperature before eating. Use them in a tropical trifle, or finely chop with red onion, chilli, lime and coriander for a fresh and fruity salsa. If you prefer a less zingy fruit, try gold kiwi, which is super sweet and juicy. 

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Purple sprouting broccoli

Purple sprouting broccoli

Purple sprouting broccoli is sweeter than the familiar calabrese variety, with more florets. Broccoli has been grown in the UK for over 300 years, but it’s only in the last 30 years that the purple sprouting type has become popular. Look for dark, purple-green florets. Steam for 2-3 minutes, until tender, to retain more nutrients. Lightly stir-fry, then toss with puy lentils, red onion and feta for a quick, nutritious lunch.

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Pink grapefruit

Pink grapefruit

Super-sweet and juicy with a fragrant, tangy flavour, the pink variety from Florida is at its best in January. Named because it grows on trees in grape-like clusters, grapefruit is a hybrid of the orange and the Asian pomelo fruit. Store freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in the fridge and it will retain 98 per cent of its vitamin C for up to a week. Try making a grapefruit curd to use in a mix-up on a traditional lemon meringue pie.

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Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes

These versatile sweet, orange spuds have become a storecupboard staple. Sweet potatoes can be treated in the same way as white potatoes and are great for baking, roasting and mashing. For healthier oven chips, cut into wedges and toss with olive oil, paprika and seasoning before roasting. 

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Banana

Banana

Rich in potassium, riboflavin and fibre, bananas have a distinct aroma and a thick yellow skin. They are great if you need a boost of energy and make the perfect, portable healthy snack. Try them blitzed into a smoothie, baked into a tarte tatin, or blended into pancake batter. 

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