In Season Irish Vegetables

By utilising Irish produce and cooking with ‘in season’ ingredients, Irish restaurants and food outlets not only help support local food producers but can also develop a more nutritious menu in doing so. For example, vegetables such as asparagus, aubergine, pakchoi and scallions are currently arriving into season and all offer a fantastic variety of nutrients.   

Asparagus is packed with vitamin A, C, E, K and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein and fibre. Aubergines are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can aid in reaching the recommended daily consumption amount, and are high in potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Aubergines are also a rich source of antioxidants (notably nasunin found in the skin, which gives it its’ purple colour), compounds which exert protective activity against cell damage (1). Pakchoi, commonly associated with Asian cuisine, is essentially a member of the cabbage family with whom the Irish have a strong relationship. Unsurprisingly so, it grows well in Ireland and comes into season just in time for summer. Pakchoi is rich in vitamin A, C, and K in particular, providing more than 100% RDA of Vitamin A. It also contains flavonoids and antioxidant phenolic acids which are associated with protection against carcinogens (2). Scallions, or spring onions, can often be forgotten, but as a member of the onion family they’re packed with flavour and have a complex nutritional profile. They are a rich source of vitamin K as well as essential minerals; iron, manganese, and calcium. Some research points to a relationship between consumption of scallions and blood pressure control (3).

A substantial body of consumers are increasingly aware and conscious of the quality of food they eat and are embracing nutrition and food knowledge to live a healthy, balanced life. Indeed, economic data indicates this demographic as a consistent upward market trend (4). Help your food business to reap the rewards by following these tips;

  • Build your menu around high-quality, locally sourced ingredients
  • Rotate your menu to accommodate the availability of in season local produce
  • Provide supplier information to your customers
  • Create balanced dishes focused on nutrition and taste
  • Partner with a registered dietitian to increase the nutritional properties of your menu items

healthpro Menu Mentoring® is a dietitian-led menu analysis service that helps a diverse range of food businesses to market their food on its’ nutritional merits. Increase your customer base by contacting us on +35386 4119222 or by email on   



1. Noda, Y., Kneyuki, T., Igarashi, K., Mori, A., Packer, L. Antioxidant activity of nasunin, an anthocyanin in eggplant peels. Toxicology, 2000. Vol. 7, No. 148(2-3), pp. 119-123.

2. di Noia, J. Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2014. Vol. 11.

3. Chan, Q., Stamler, J., Brown, I.J., Daviglus, M.L., Van Horn, L., Dyer, A.R., Oude Griep, L.M., Miura, K., Ueshima, H., Zhao, L., Nicholson, J.K., Holmes, E., Elliot, P. Relation of raw and cooked vegetable consumption to blood pressure: the INTERMAP Study. Journal of Human Hypertension, 2014. Vol. 28, pp. 353–359

4. Health and Wellness the Trillion Dollar Industry in 2017: Key Research Highlights.


Published on 3 May 2017 | Back to May Articles