Having spent the beginning of the week sunbathing at the beach, I can't quite believe that I am now sat here just days later, writing this post, with the rain battering against the window, snuggled up in a big jumper - there is no denying that Autumn is officially here!! This, and the fact that I practically needed a chisel and hammer to remove my coconut oil from the jar this morning - always a tell-tell sign that the weather has turned!
As a foodie, I'm always pretty excited as we head into the colder months. I find the idea of warming root veg and hearty soups incredibly comforting. There's nothing quite like an Autumnal walk in the crunchy golden leaves followed by a good nut roast or a Hot Chocolate on a rainy day!
In this blog post, I wanted to introduce you to some of the benefits and my top tips for eating seasonally. Growing up, I, like many people these days, knew very little about which fruits and veggies were in season when. This is really no surprise because it's so easy and convenient to walk into a supermarket now and buy whichever fruit or vegetable you want all-year round, regardless of it being flown across the world or forced to grow out of season.
So why eat seasonally?
One of my main hacks for healthy cooking is diversity. Eating a wide range of different fruits and vegetables is key to keeping a thriving body and a healthy gut! Luckily, the changing British seasons offer a varied range of produce to eat throughout the year during their prime time. When we eat seasonally not only is it a bit cheaper but often more nutritious and tastier too!! Try eating a strawberry in the middle of winter and comparing it to a freshly picked strawberry in the summer (even better if you picked it yourself!). You'll likely notice that it is pretty bland and watery in the winter, when out of season, compared to the sweet, juicy, delightful taste you can expect during the Summer. If that's not enough, eating seasonally is far kinder the the planet. Food that is eaten in season is more likely to have been grown on home-soil and less likely to have racked up lots of air miles.
A great way to get into eating seasonally is to head to your local farm shop or farmers market. Unlike a supermarket, they will usually only stock food that is locally produced and in season. I only truly started to get to grips with what was in season when I started buying my fruit and veg from my local farm shop each week. Not only is this a great way to support your community and boost your local economy but witnessing the change in produce from month to month, in this setting, is such a great way to get in touch with eating seasonally. Generally food that is grown locally is picked when ripe and spends far less time in transit, meaning there is less time for freshness, flavour and nutrients to diminish.
What's in season this Autumn?
Autumn is a time for comforting, warming foods. Blending up brightly coloured soups, roasting your root veg, topping your porridge with a juicy pear and throwing your freshly picked blackberries into a crumble! Below is a breakdown of some of the delicious fruits and vegetables to make the most of over the next couple of months.
Fruit: figs, plums, raspberries, nectarines, damsons, elderberries, blackberries, grapes, sloe berries, pears, apples, melon.
Veggies: broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, pumkin, beetroot, leeks, swiss chard, parsnips, squash, turnips, wild mushrooms, watercress, artichoke, spring onions, celery, courgettes, celeriac, kale, fennel, peppers, runner beans, rocket, aubergine, potatoes, cauliflower, swede, onions, carrots, cabbages.
Enjoy stocking up on these delights and getting creative with them in your kitchen!