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Eat the Seasons: Autumn
Let's take a look at what superstars are growing around us now, and how to cook them.
A change in season means more than a wardrobe change. Despite what supermarkets might have you believing, with most fruits and vegetables being imported and available all year round, each passing season brings with it a new harvest of produce. Although they do wonders for convenience and choice, those imports aren’t great for our carbon footprint or the freshness of our food. Don’t worry, we’re not telling you to completely ditch your supermarket for a farmer’s market and to rely solely on what’s growing around you. This is just our little guide to understanding and cooking the superstars that are in season right now. Take note, bookmark away and slowly start incorporating more seasonal and locally-grown foods into your diet. Even just being aware of what’s growing around you now is a great step towards becoming more connected with your food and your environment.
Apples: Crisp, fresh and juicy: apples are at their best right about now. Out of recipe inspiration? Try this one for a delicious tahini crumble, this one for a warming baked oatmeal, or this one for apple and buckwheat muffins.
Blackberries: These guys carry some summer magic inside of them up until the middle of autumn. Not a fan of their tanginess? Try mellowing them out in a sauce like this one, or combine them with blueberries in a sweet crumble like this one. Want to keep them all winter long? Preserve them!
Beetroot: Earthy, deep and sweet - beetroot is one of our favourite autumn and winter vegetables. They’re controversial, we know, but we’re pretty sure there’s something for you below. Not a huge fan? Try adding them into your hummus like this, a smoothie like this, or into a warm drink like this - you won’t even notice they’re there. Love them as they are? Try roasting them with grapefruit and rosemary like this, using them in a warming curry like this, or a beet tartare like this.
Broccoli: These little trees grow best in the UK around this time of year. We love it in all its forms: roasted, sauteed and creamed. Right now we have our eyes set on these two creamy soups: one made with cashews, the other with coconut milk. We’ve also recently realised how delicious broccoli stems are. Read about how to prep them here, and then make this delicious pasta with them. Waste not, want not!
Brussel sprouts: Don’t skip this section! The hatred for brussel sprouts must end. If you picture boiled brussel sprouts when you think of the stuff then you’re doing it all wrong. When roasted, these guys take on a deep earthy, sweet and saucy flavour. Try making them in this extremely flavourful warm salad or in this creamy pasta dish. Don’t limit yourself to roasting though. Brussel sprouts also taste delicious in curries like this one and slaws like this one. Give it a go, we believe in you!
Butternut squash + Pumpkin: Butternut squash and pumpkin are the universe’s way of consoling us that summer is over: “It’s freezing cold but here’s a blanket in the form of food”. Going the savoury route? Try this sweet roasted pumpkin salad and this butternut squash mac and cheese. It’s not autumn without creamy soup so try this miso and pumpkin soup for an umami bomb. Looking for something sweet? Try these doughnuts, this pumpkin bread and this drink.
Carrots: Let’s be honest, carrots don’t get the love they deserve. Sure, they get roasted on Sundays, but they’re usually just limited to salt, oil and pepper. Next time you’re about to toss them in the oven plain, consider trying this minty carrot recipe, this one with ginger and miso, or this one with fennel. Bored of roasting? Try adding them into your hummus along with some spices, like this. Want a kick? Try quick pickling them to add to freshness to your salads.
Fennel: We fall in love with fennel year after year during these fall months. Cooking it brings out its sweet and deep flavour, like in this braised fennel dish and this caramelised fennel risotto. It’s also a great go-to soup flavour booster, like in this leek, fennel and apple soup. If what you’re after is the anise-y, crunchy side of fennel, then leave it raw and make this salad with ginger dressing (subbing plums for apples) or this triple fennel and spelt salad.
Kale: We sometimes hate to admit how much we love kale, but between us, it’s such a great green. When cooked just right it soaks up all of the delicious flavours around it, but maintains its shape perfectly. Want to know how we love it most? Tossed into bean soups like this, stirred into pasta like this, baked into kale chips like this and blended into pesto like this.
Mushrooms: The star of autumn! What we said about pumpkin being a gift from the universe? The same goes for these magical sponges of flavour. Want to know the basics of choosing, prepping and cooking mushrooms? Read this. Now you can get cooking! If you want to keep it simple make these wild mushrooms on toast. If you want to tone it up a bit, try this risotto. If it’s a soup you’re after, give this one a try. Happy shrooming.
Pears: Pears are a bit of an unsung autumn hero. They’re a little misunderstood in our opinion - often times eaten completely unripe. So our first pear tip is to actually wait until your pears are soft before digging in. Our second tip is to use them in baking as you would apples. Want another crumble? Try this one out or sub out the apple in the tahini crumble above. In the mood for scones? Warm yourself up with these chocolate, pear and hazelnut scones. Feeling boozy? Try these stovetop pears out, just sub the butter for vegan butter or coconut oil.
Bookmark this little list for your next shopping trip and let us know how you get on!