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In season early summer: Broad beans, daikon, chives

Broad beans

A half-cup serve of broad beans is low in energy (230kJ) but provides 4g protein, 4g fibre, around a fifth of our daily folate needs and a useful amount of vitamin C.

Broad beans are an easy-to- grow and abundant crop, but need to be picked regularly to encourage growth. They can be eaten at various stages, from tender young beans you can eat raw, pods and all, through to mature beans that need to be depodded and cooked. Broad beans don’t like to grow in the heat of summer.

Did you know?

If you have an oversupply, you can remove them from the pods, blanch and freeze them.

Recipe ideas

Broad bean and mint dip
Lamb with broad bean purée and roasted baby carrots


Also known as Japanese or Chinese radish, daikon is a root vegetable thought to have originated in the Mediterranean and was, later, brought to China for cultivation.

Eating daikon adds fibre and vitamin C to our diet. It also contains an enzyme called myrosinase, which is essential to activate glucosinate compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli. Glucosinates have been associated with cancer prevention. While raw broccoli contains myrosinase, it is degraded in cooking, so adding some daikon in the same meal can only be good.

Daikon has a more mild and sweet flavour than red radishes. Eat daikon raw in salads or add to stir-fries. It’s also tasty when pickled.

Did you know?

Daikon can grow as big as a large parsnip, but tastes better when harvested at a smaller size.

Recipe idea

Daikon salad with sesame wasabi dressing and teriyaki baked salmon


Chives have a mild onion flavour and are suitable for a wide variety of dishes, including bread, omelettes, potatoes and salads.

Like other herbs, their nutritional impact is small, as we use only small amounts, but they do add flavonols, a specific group of plant chemicals. The addition of all these different compounds in different plants are believed to enhance our health.

Plentiful until around March, chives are easy to grow in small spaces because they grow upright – perfect for windowsills or apartment balconies.

Recipe ideas

Chicken stroganoff
Lamb with broad bean purée and roasted baby carrots

Article sources and references


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