If you love cooking and would like to incorporate more seasonal and local ingredients into your meals, then you have come to the right place. As a Seasonarian, cooking is all about sourcing your ingredients as sustainably, seasonally and locally as you can. But don’t panic! You don’t have to suddenly rethink all of your meal plans, buy lots of expensive ingredients or do everything perfectly. There is no perfect way. Cooking as a Seasonarian simply requires you to be mindful of where your food comes from and make your own choices from there. To discover some delicious seasonal recipes, head to our recipe page.
Cooking Seasonally: a Chef's Point of View
Bristol based chef Jake Mills is known for his local and organic way of cooking. As well as sourcing many of his ingredients from local farms, his resourceful cooking practices limit the food waste he creates while cooking. Although Jake has Coeliac disease, he believes that being a Seasonarian is inclusive of all dietary requirements and choices.
“I am a strong believer that anything that can be grown in the UK should be grown in the UK, and that’s what our main diet should consist of. Once in a while it’s nice to have a pineapple or a mango, but the fact that exotic fruits are so easily accessible means no one really considers how they came to be on our supermarket shelves or the impact they have by being there,” says Jake.
“When it comes to meat, buying smaller amounts of locally sourced meat is the way forward. It is much better for the environment than getting meat that has travelled a long way to reach your plate.”
“The Seasonarian traffic light system is a great idea. It takes the pressure off trying to change everything at once and makes you feel like you are really making a difference. I think the Seasonarians movement is great because it puts a framework around the way of living we should all be striving for, and gives clear guidelines on how to achieve this.”
Head to Jake’s Instagram to keep up to date with his recipes and cooking events.
Chef Jake Mills – My Favourite Seasonarian Style Recipes
Bone Broth – This meal is often overlooked and deemed as too complicated for home cooking, when in fact it is incredibly easy to make. Just take some roasted, locally sourced bones, a few local vegetables (such as carrots, leeks and onions) and some aromats, then simmer gently in a pan for 24 hours. As the vegetables can be past their prime, broth is a great way to use up trimmings you would normally throw away; freezing them throughout the week is a great tip. I usually source my bones from Coombe Farm in Somerset, which for someone living in Bristol is about as local as it gets. Once your broth is complete, the possibilities are endless. You can use it as a stock, a liquid for braising meats or add some soy sauce (tamari sauce if you are a coeliac or vegan) and make some ramen.
Carrot, Ginger and Turmeric Fritters with a Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce –Whether it is a picnic in the sun, a garden party or just a light snack, these fritters are both healthy and easy to make. They are gluten free and can easily be made vegan by replacing the egg with water. The main components of this recipe can easily be sourced from the UK, and I would recommend your local health food shop or farm shop for the best tasting ingredients. You may want to consider using rapeseed oil instead of olive oil as olive oil is usually sourced from outside the UK, however rapeseed oil can interfere with the use of Vitamin E in the body. Although sourcing food locally is important, so is taking care of yourself, so every now and again an exception has to be made and that is okay. Don’t forget to save any veg trimmings from this recipe in the freezer as they would be great in a bone broth!
For the Fritters:
- 300g finely grated carrot
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 red onion finely sliced
- 2 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
- 50g gram flour
- 50g gluten free plain flour
- 3tsp ground turmeric
- 1 egg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Once the carrot is grated, squeeze out some the water with your hands and place them in a large mixing bowl. This will keep the mixture from being too wet and give you a lovely glass of carrot juice to enjoy whilst you cook.
Next add all the ingredients in with the carrots and mix thoroughly with a metal spoon. Don’t use your hands or a wooden spoon as both would get stained by the turmeric.
Over a medium heat, warm up a frying pan with about 1cm of oil in. Once up to temperature, place spoon fulls of the mixture gently into the pan and use the back of the spoon to squish them down into small patty shapes.
Fry a few at a time for 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy, then place onto some paper towels to dry off the excess oil.And that’s it, your fritters are ready to serve!
For the Dipping Sauce;–
- 15g wholegrain mustard
- 15g local honey
- 10g apple cider vinegar
- 70g olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
Simply weigh out the ingredients into a glass jar, screw the lid on and shake thoroughly until well combined. Set honey will work just as well as ruby honey but will just require a bit more shaking.