What’s Cooking this Season?

As we descend into autumn, with chilly mornings, grey skies and the nights ‘drawing in’, it only feels natural to keep warm, cosy and well fed.

Last week, I did not stick to my ‘normal’ eating regime, as I have had annual leave with trips away and my birthday to celebrate. Eating habits die-hard during these occasions.

My attention is now directed into making delicious, nutritious and healthy meals. I aim to buy seasonally and locally. The air miles on some food is ludicrous and do not wish to contribute to such activities. I also aim to reduce my carbon footprint by conducting one, weekly food shop. Regularly nipping to the shop in my car… I need to stop this behaviour, this helps no one except Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s!

With that in mind, here are some of the foods in season for October – November:

Apples, blackberries, damsons, elderberries, figs, pears, plums, quince, sloes, aubergine, beetroot, butternut squash, cabbage, carrot, celeriac, fennel, field-mushrooms, kale, leeks, lettuce, marrow, potatoes, pumpkin, rocket, sorrel, squashes, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watercress.

December – February:

Apples, pears, beetroot, brussels, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chicory, fennel, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, potatoes, parsnips, red cabbage, swede, sweet potatoes, turnips.

Eating seasonally has health benefits too, many of the fruit and vegetables listed above contain vitamin c, which boosts our immune system, protecting us from winter colds.

However, I will make one allowance for this rule and that is, bananas. I will continue to purchase bananas, but only Fairtrade.

If you follow my Pinterest page, you can see some fabulous recipes on there, better still, here are some recipes I shall be trying over the next two months:

  1. Spiced carrot, lentil and kale soup (RECIPE BELOW)
  2. Celeriac chips
  3. Pumpkin bread
  4. Beetroot hummus
  5. Butternut squash curry – slow cooker
  6. Apple and pear, oat protein crumble
  7. Sweet potato breakfast toast
  8. Fig, ginger and dark chocolate energy bites
  9. Leek and fennel soup
  10. Sweet potato and sweetcorn chowder

Summary – Why eat seasonally?

  • To reduce the CO2 emissions dispelled to transport the food we are eating
  • To support your local economy
  • Pay less for your food, why pay more for ‘travelled’ foods, when you can buy fresh produce locally?
  • Fresher ingredients = Tastier and more nutritious
  • To play a part in the natural cycle, of seasonal food production

Thanks for reading, for further information please visit ‘Eat Seasonably’.

From my weekly shop, here is the first recipe:

Carrot, Red Lentil and Kale Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 inch fresh ginger (finely chopped)
  • 8 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 3 tsp dried cumin
  • 2 tsp dried coriander
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 litre vegetable stock (I used 2 Kallo cubes, add more water if needed)
  • 100g kale
  • salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  1. Saute the onion and ginger until soft in the olive oil. Add the carrots and garlic powder, cook for a few minutes.
  2. Rinse the lentils under water for a few minutes (this remove the bitterness, apparently) and add to the saucepan. Next add the stock with the spices and stir well.
  3. Add the kale and stir until wilted. Pop a lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the temperature to simmer and cook (with the lid on) for 30 minutes.
  4. Whiz with a hand blender to the consistency you are happy with, feel free to add extra water if needed. Add salt and pepper to season.
  5. Serve up and enjoy!

Note: the soup may not be the prettiest soup, but it tastes great and is full of nutrients.

– Victoria

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