Season's best: February 2024

Season’s best: February 2024

Welcome to our pick of favourite seasonal deliciousness. Catherine Milford shares some inspiration around fresh flavours and ideas for enjoying some delectable new treats.

Thirst-quencher: Coconut water

After a day’s hiking or biking, you need something to quench your thirst. There’s nothing quite like a fresh drinking coconut to rehydrate. Younger than its chocolate-brown, hairy older sibling, coconut water is clearer than the milk of a mature coconut and an entirely different experience (the coconut milk and cream in cans is for cooking, not drinking). Once only available while you were on holiday in the tropics, these days, you can get the juice of the young green fruit in its original form and in cartons or cans. Typically, coconut water comes from fruits that are around six to seven months old, and, as you’d expect from a liquid that helps nourish the mature fruit, it’s bursting with minerals and electrolytes, such as potassium, calcium, and amino acids. This abundance of electrolytes makes it an excellent option for active adventurers and is a great go-to option if you have a stomach bug or you’re dehydrated.

Crazy for corn

Season's best: February 2024

Sweet, starchy, and cheap as (corn) chips, there’s no better time of year than February to indulge in a healthy dose of sweetcorn. While some people strip the husk before cooking, leaving it on will make the corn more tender; it also takes less time to cook, whether you’re steaming, microwaving, or enjoying it straight from the barbecue. If you’re barbecuing or grilling corn in the husk, soak it first for about 15 minutes – this prevents the husk from catching fire, and the moisture helps steam the corn inside the husk. Then grill, turning often, for about 15 minutes, and serve with salt, pepper, and a little chilli butter for a true taste of summer.

Fun fact: Sweetcorn is loaded with antioxidants that can help strengthen hair and reduce hair loss

Recipe: Nutella Bread and Butter Pudding

Pantry staple: Red kidney beans

Season's best: February 2024

A simple can of red kidney beans means you’ll always have a meal ready to go. Known as rajma in Indian cuisine (they are a staple of many Indian curries, cooked with onion, tomatoes, and spices), these plant-based nuggets of protein are a healthy meal option that are known to be weight-loss friendly and are said to moderate high blood pressure. Aside from curries, kidney beans can bulk up any mince recipe (try adding to the mince in nachos for a real flavour hit) and are delicious cooked up with some pasta, a few seasonal vegetables, and a bit of salami topped with cheese.

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