August’s Third Fruit in the Spotlight: Pears

8 07 2009
its all going pear shaped

it's all going pear shaped

If we’re lucky, we’ll start to see pears in our seasonal fruit bags / boxes (or ready for picking in our back gardens!) from the end of August all the way through to the beginning of February.

Pears come from the same family as apples but when ripe usually have much softer flesh than ripe apples. Unlike other fruits, pears ripened on the tree are less delicious and smooth than pears that are harvested and finish their ripening off the branch. If they are left to ripen on the branch, pears develop a particularly gritty, woody texture.

One of the most interesting things about pears is, I think, that they cause the fewest allergic reactions in people of all the fruits. Which has lead many people (although not vegetarians, I’m afraid) to live on a “lamb and pears” diet for a short while whilst they reintroduce foods they suspect they may be allergic to, as lamb is also very rarely associated with allergic reactions.

Read on to find out more about buying, storing, preparing and cooking pears, and (more importantly!) to drool over our latest addition to the VBR recipes database – “Particularly Piggy Pear Pie”!


August’s First Fruit in the Spotlight: Apples

30 06 2009
howd you like them apples?

how'd you like them apples?

This month we asked a VegBox Regular to be our “Appointed August Apple Afficionado”. Read on to discover what Denise Tolson had to say to us about her love of apples, to find out what kinds of apples are in season in the UK when, and to find recipes for Grilled Apple Sandwiches, Apple Sauce and Smoked Haddock with Apples and Spinach.

July’s Second Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Cucumber

9 06 2009
DIY Tsatsiki...

DIY Tsatsiki...

Pretty much every weekday morning right now I’m mindlessly chunking up cucumber and throwing it into the box with salad leaves, peppers, spring onions, cashews, and mushrooms for VegBox Husband’s lunch. Add a bit of black pepper, a splash of balsamic or even a tin of tuna and some mayo and I can be pretty sure I’ve saved him from the pot noodle for another day!

But is there more to cucumber than salad? Is there more to cucumber even than tsatsiki? Cucumber side effects? And is it possible that it can be cooked?!

Hrm … Read on!

June’s Third Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Rocket

18 05 2009
some like it hot ...

some like it hot ...

Traditionally, after washing, there is little left to do other than savour this healthy, tasty leaf. It is said that if you want to enjoy rocket in its most natural Italian way, simply wash and dress with a good quality olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon.

But of late, a certain contingent of trendy people have been using rocket in HOT FOOD!!! Are you among them? Will you be joining them? To help you along, here are some rocket facts and a recipe for Rocket and Gruyere Omelette.

Prize Draw plus June’s Second Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Courgettes

18 05 2009
you could nab a free copy!

you could nab a free copy!

Courgettes are in their main season in the UK in June, July, August and September, and we’re celebrating their arrival on the Summer scene with:

Find out more over on our sister site,

Stay tuned for the next Fruit Feature … Raspberries!

Asparagus and Pea Recipes for May and June

28 04 2009
The Humble Pea ...

The Humble Pea ...

Not content that we’ve already loaded you up with recipes for Aubergine, Fennel and Strawbs, we also wanted to make sure you got your mitts on some Asparagus and Pea recipes to use over the next couple of months. We’d love to hear what your favourite pea meals are.


April’s Second Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Spinach

23 03 2009



When is Spinach in Season?
Spinach is best from April to September.

How to Buy
Look for bright leaves and a fresh smell. Avoid anything even slightly yellow or slimy.

How to Store
Keep spinach in the salad drawer, but NEVER wash before storing it – it will get very soggy!

Spinach leaves are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin K, calcium, folic acid and antioxidants. It is a good source of iron, but not as good as Pop-Eye would have us believe! 1 cup of lightly cooked spinach contains 1/3 of a woman’s recommended daily intake of iron, but a cup of cooked spinach is a lot of spinach!

Spinach Secrets
Spinach originated in Iran and didn’t arrive in Europe until the 11th Century. It was imported to Spain and when it arrived in Britain, it was known as the “Spanish Vegetable”.

Like tomatoes, lightly cooking spinach makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients it contains. For example, 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 10 times your daily requirement of Vitamin K, 6 times the amount of raw spinach.

How to Prepare Spinach
The absolute key with spinach is to wash it well. It tends to pick up grit and soil and nothing spoils a dish as easily as lumps of gravel in your lasagne!

If you’re going to eat spinach raw in a salad, or if you’re going to saute it, then once it’s washed you need to pat it dry again.

How to Cook Spinach

new recipe

new recipe

Check out this brand new recipe:

Tom’s Breakfast Spinach Special
Let us know how you feel about spinach using the comments box down there, and if you try the new recipe, perhaps you’d send us a photo? We were so hungry we ate it before we remembered to take its picture!