The wonderful thing about the changing seasons is the different array of fruits and vegetables that become available. Eating seasonally is a healthy, economical way to feed yourself and your family. Don’t get bored of your fresh produce, get creative instead!
For a great list of what’s in season head to the Seasonal Guide at Sydney Markets.
Here are 10 different ways to eat your autumn fruits and vegetables:
Not a juice, a smoothie.
Juicing removes most of the pulp which contains fibre and a large proportion of the nutrients. Thus, all you’re left with is the flavour, liquid and sugar. The major health benefits of fruits and vegetables come from the fact that they contain fibre and large amount of nutrition for a very small amount of energy. Juicing defeats this purpose by removing the fibre and concentrating the energy.
A smoothie, on the other hand, is where you blend fruits and vegetables together keeping the pulp in the juice. It’s filling, super nutritious and a creative way to eat your greens.
You can blend: carrots, celery, ginger, spinach, silverbeet, apples, banana , passionfruit, mandarins, pears etc. Check out 3 of our favourite combinations here.
Cut carrot, capsicum and celery into sticks. Serve with hummus or plain yoghurt and nibble to your hearts content. Or make a fruit and vegetables tasting plate. Other fruit and vegetables to cut up and nibble: apples, kiwi fruit, custard apples, mandarins, oranges, pears etc
Autumn vegetables are packed full of nutrition and are perfect for hot flavoursome stir fries. Stir fries take less than 5-10 minutes to cook and are easy to flavour. You’ve just got to learn how.
You might like to try our chicken and vegetable stir fry recipe.
You can stir fry: asian greens (bok choy, pack choy, choy sum), ginger, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, chestnuts, silver beat, spinach etc
Many autumn fruits and vegetables are perfect for adding flavour to your meat, chicken or fish. The great thing about using these foods to add flavour is that they don’t add excess energy as well.
You might like to try my Rosemary, Lemon and Mustard Chicken recipe.
What to use in a marinade: orange (juice & rind), lime (juice & rind), ginger, fennel etc
We don’t often think to have vegetables for breakfast, mostly because it’s not cultural to do so. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t! I’d also like to add that spreading your 5 serves of vegetables over 3-5 meals rather than 2 makes it so much easier to meet your daily intake.
You can add sweet potato, kale, zucchini and mushrooms to omelettes. I like to add baby spinach, mushrooms and tomato to my scrambled eggs.
It’s very easy to eat fruit at breakfast time. Grate apple or pears into your porridge, nibble on a mandarin on the way to work or spread avocado on your toast.
Try these combos:
Sauté pine nuts, diced bacon and chopped Brussels sprouts in a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil.
Fennel, carrot, celery, cabbage, parsnip and turnip are fantastic lightly sautéed in a large pot. Then add some meat such as diced beef or lamb, flavour with fresh or dried herbs. Add some stock or a can of diced tomatoes and simmer for a delicious stew.
Try baby spinach, feta and pear in a salad. Drizzle with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.
Leeks and mushrooms go really well together. Try this Risotto, it’s so warm and tasty.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t like hot chips… Put a twist on the usual, plus save a few calories this meal time by using parsnips instead. Cut it into ‘chip like’ lengths, add some rosemary and parmesan and enjoy.
Make a Pie
Pie has to be the ultimate comfort food but it’s not generally thought of as healthy. Oodles of pastry and creamy fillings tend to make them high in energy and fat.
I have good news for pie lovers out there, all you need to do is reduce the amount of pastry, increase the amount of vegetables and minimise the creamy sauces and you’ve got a winter warmer winner! Here’s an amazing recipe that’s actually on my meal plan this week – Chicken and Vegetable Pie.
Good pie fillings include: leek, mushrooms, carrot, celery, parsnip, chestnuts, cabbages, silverbeet, sweet potato, turnips etc
Slice up apple and reduced fat cheese. Eat them together it’s a great combination.
Slice up celery and spread with peanut butter or cream cheese.
Slice up pear and serve with cottage or ricotta cheese on a toasted wholemeal english muffin.
Spread wholegrain crackers with avocado and season with salt and pepper.
Cut up fruit is much more readily eaten compared to whole fruit.
Apples, pears, kiwifruit, oranges, mandarins all go lovely together. Make up a big bowl for your kids to munch on after school or to serve for dessert with some delicious Lush yoghurt.