With Summer on the horizon, we can begin to look forward to a lighter diet. In the month of May the asparagus harvest comes into its own, the scent of wild garlic fills the air and the broad beans are beginning to bulge inside their pods.
Our own abundance of British fruits and vegetables are all good choices. Living in London I am very lucky to have an allotment and as the growing progresses we can become a little overrun with salads, courgettes, green beans, soft fruits and tomatoes.
As I write this post I am rather glad to hear the sound of a downpour giving the seedlings, artichokes and thirsty asparagus a bit of boost. With no running water only ancient hand pumps on our plot watering duties can be pretty full on some years!
As the temperatures rise foods with cool properties can clear heat, reduce toxins, and generate body fluids. Cooling foods tend to be green and some of the coolest are lettuce, cucumbers and watercress.
Fish and seafood are also cooling additions to our diet and are particularly good on the barbecue (most meats are warming), while spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine that all heat the system so their consumption during the summer months should be reduced.
Instead drink lots of clean, pure water or add lemon and cucumber and chill in the fridge. Steer away from dairy, heavy, greasy and fried foods.
Tonight we have liberated the last of the purple sprouting broccoli, spring onions, a handful of early broad beans, the first spears of asparagus and cropped some of wild garlic growing on our Fulham plot. Combined with some fresh hake, and a few staples usually to be found lurking in our fridge a feast of grilled vegetables and fried onion encrusted roasted fish we enjoyed our first ‘almost’ home grown feast.
There’s something very hunter gatherer about cooking up your own produce that somehow flies in the face of our urban existence here in West London. Happy times.