MONDAY, January 16, is this year's Blue Monday, supposed to be one of the most depressing days of the year.

If you do a bit of research you'll discover that the Blue Monday concept was actually created by a scientist paid by a travel company to try and sell more holidays.

Despite this, it's hard to deny January can sometimes feel a little less vibrant than the festive season that preceded it.

But, this week I have one reason to feel excited and that's the fact that we're now in blood orange season.

Although we prioritise sourcing locally at Cultivate, there are certain fruits and vegetables that, due to customer demand, we source outside of the UK.

When we do this we ensure they are organically produced and are transported in the most environmentally-friendly way possible.

A huge hit with our customers last year, I had almost forgotten about the existence of blood oranges until I saw it highlighted on our order form this week.

Blood oranges are a variety that came about through a natural mutation in the fruit.

The name comes from the fact they have a deep, blood red flesh caused by anthocyanins – antioxidants I have mentioned in this column before as they're also found in red cabbage and other purple fruit and veg.

As a result they contain greater amounts of antioxidants than a normal orange, as well as containing high amounts of Vitamin C (up to 130 per cent of your recommended daily allowance), perfect if you're feeling a little run down this month.

Much like lemons and other citrus, it's a dip in temperature which stimulates the colour change inside the orange and so they are at their best during the colder, bleaker months.

Their flavour is pretty unique and although it does contain the usual citrus notes there's also a slight raspberry-like taste to them.

Their glorious colour is dulled in cooking so I’d recommend eating them raw either as a snack on their own or in a delicious Sicilian winter salad.

Forget the January blues – this month it's all about orange.