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Alex Allan Nutrition
By Alex Allan on 17/06/24 | Nutrition Tips

Why We Should All Eat the Seasons

A restaurant menu focused on seasonal produce is often a go-to sensation, but do you know why it’s important to eat seasonally?

Quite simply, when you eat locally and seasonally you know you are eating the freshest, most abundantly available produce. It is better for everyone – you get the tastiest veg, the local farmer benefits, and food miles (the distance our food has to travel from the farm to your fork) decreases so you get to save the environment, too. 

Another unexpected benefit is to reconnect to nature’s seasonal cycle. If you have children, this is especially important as it teaches that food does grow at specific times, a hard concept to grasp when imports from all around the globe ensure that supermarket shelves look the same practically every week of the year.

If you're wondering when you should start, the answer is: now. A survey in BBC Good Food magazine showed we’re not as good as we think at figuring out what is in season when. Of the 2000 people it asked, 86% claimed it was important to shop seasonally, 78% said they were doing it – and yet only 5% could say when blackberries were at their best.  

I want to help make this the year that you can embrace this concept.  Firstly, you can check my newsletter or Instagram for regular reminders of what’s in season each month and a little inspiration for what to do with it (Link to sign up to the newsletter –

Where to buy seasonally

Farmers’ markets are a great place to find local seasonal veg. Make it your mission this month to find out what’s on near you. Ask friends and family and, if you’re feeling bold, ask the question on your Facebook page to get the quickest response. 

Failing that, try these two resources to find a place near you:

Having someone else do the hard work and just bring you the goodies is also a good thing. If you’ve never considered getting an organic veg box, it can be an amazing experience. It’ll teach you super fast what is in season when, you’ll get some of the best produce available in your area and delivered to your door, and it will wake you up to the magic of cooking. 

I wonder whether this resonates with you. I actually LOVE cooking but with a family and running a busy clinic, even for me it often turns into a real chore; a juggling act between what everyone wants to eat (usually the same things week in, week out) and what I have actually got in the fridge or cupboards. Inviting a veg box into your life forces you to try something new, and this can be very invigorating. Of course, you can pick and choose the types of ingredients you want and avoid having things added that your family hates, but I urge you to have a go and see what happens. 

The following offer a huge variety of veg-only or fruit and veg boxes, some even with a ‘pick your own’ element where you can pick and choose exactly how much of what you have

Do check my blog for recipe inspiration, but let’s start off with something delicious that you might not have tried that’s in season this month – courgettes!

Courgettes are a great source of potassium, a mineral which helps to keep our muscles working properly so we can move around. Courgettes also contain a good amount of both vitamin C and folic acid. Just half a large courgette counts as one of your 7-a-day (one portion of veg or fruit is 80g raw weight).

Courgette, green bean, and feta salad

Serves 4-6

3 medium courgettes, sliced 

300g trimmed green beans

2 x 200g blocks of feta, each cut in half

4 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, crushed

Handful thyme leaves

Zest of 3 oranges

50g fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs

75g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

extra virgin olive oil, to serve

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 
  • Prepare the courgettes and green beans and lay out on a baking sheet. Pop the feta in a small flameproof tin. Drizzle 3 tbsp of the olive oil over the veg, and the rest over the cheese. 
  • Crush the garlic and mix with the chopped fresh thyme, reserving some of the thyme to one side. Add about two-thirds of this mixture to the veg, then sprinkle the rest over the feta. 
  • Sprinkle the zest of 2 oranges over the veg and the rest over the feta. Season the veg and feta to taste. Toss the veg together and tip into a bowl. 
  • Take a teaspoon of the marinade and add to a frying pan. Tip the breadcrumbs and chopped hazelnuts into the pan, and heat gently on the hob for a few minutes until crispy and golden. Set aside to cool.
  • Pop the veggies into the oven for 20 minutes until lightly browned and tender. Add the cheese for the final 10 minutes  until the cheese has softened, but not melted.
  • Add the veg to a serving dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumb/hazelnut mix. Add the slices of feta to the top and serve.
  • Enjoy!

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