As the balmy summer months become a distant memory and we head into the season of autumn, the desire for warming, restoring, comfort food is becoming more and more needed. Our Healthy Eating Expert, Lee Holmes, provides her top tips and a delicious autumn-inspired recipe!
The appearance of autumn with its crunchy brown leaves underfoot, warmth of a dwindling sun and fading summer light, brings with it the growing need for meals that alleviate any languid moods which often accompany autumn’s chillier weather.
What is needed are dishes that really sympathize with your hard day’s work and give you a big cuddle at the end of the day, ones that make you feel nourished and pepped up again.
Autumn is a wonderful time of year for friends and gathering. It’s a time to heat up your purring stove with delicious, meals full of in-season produce to soothe the soul and warm the insides.
Cooking deeply layered delights whilst the windows fog up in the warmth of your kitchen softens the seasonal chills outside.
What to Eat
Dishes to really embrace your kitchen table are delectable casseroles, sumptuous soups and tender, aromatic curries full of consolatory heartiness and bursting with interwoven flavours.
Slow cooked meals perform very well, as the only work required from you when you get in the door is the conversion from work clothes to cuddling into your coziest woolens.
Seasonal food is bursting with flavor and has the highest nutrient potential; compared with food that has been stored for longer periods of time or grown in an artificial environment. Once food is picked the quality and nutrient value can plummet so eating in season is logical.
Autumn brings with it an abundance of cruciferous vegetables, which have anti-inflammatory capabilities and help to detoxify the body. Cruciferous vegetables include varieties such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. These all offer high levels of magnesium, a mineral that helps to boost your energy and relax your muscles. Adding a spice such as turmeric to your autumn meals will provide additional anti-inflammatory benefits and delight your visual senses with a richly deep autumnal colour palate. It also acts as a wonderful beautifier for the skin too.
Keeping a list of seasonal fruit and vegetables on your fridge can really help with your weekly menu planning and shopping. You can also search the many seasonal food apps that are available to download for mobile use in the supermarket. Here’s one for the Australian season to take shopping with you.
Seasonal Fruit and Veg
The best place to buy seasonal produce is from your local farmer’s market, green-grocer or supermarket. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your ingredients and try out a new vegetable such as celeriac or daikon.
I’m sharing one of my recipes from my book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian which is perfect for autumn. Homemade curry paste works really beautifully and it’s not hard to make. It lifts this gorgeous curry, into a richly layered, warming dish packed with melding flavours and is suitable for the whole family.
Eggplant and Green Bean Curry
I hope you enjoy this curry. What are your favourite seasonal vegetables to cook with?