If like me you are struggling to let go of summer don’t fret, with the crisper autumn months, comes an array of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables to delight your senses. Think warming homemade soups, roasted root veggies, and comforting apple crumbles.
Our bodies crave and need different types of food at different times of the year. The Autumn months provides a good opportunity to nurture our bodies as we transition from summer to winter when we are more susceptible to feeling run down and catching a cold or flu.
Eating seasonally and locally provides a range of nutritional benefits and is cheaper and more environmentally friendly to boot.
So what’s in season in autumn?
Fruit: apples, apricots, bananas, grapes, nectarines, peaches, figs, grapefruit, kiwifruit and strawberries.
Veggies: beans, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, potato, snow peas, zucchini, carrot, cauliflower, pumpkin, zucchini, mushrooms, beetroot, brussels sprouts, onions, parsnip, radish, rosemary, rhubarb, shallots, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion, turnip and garlic.
The benefits of eating seasonally:
- It’s cheaper: When produce is in season locally, the abundance of the crop usually makes it much cheaper.
- It’s tastier: When food isn’t in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped in from other parts of the world and both affect the taste. Fresh is best!
- It’s more nutritious: If food is harvested early and shipped long distances, it’s not going to have the full expanse of nutrients. Foods available all year long may also be chemically treated and not being grown naturally.
Eating seasonally in practice:
If possible, grow and pick fresh produce yourself, you’ll know exactly what went into growing those vegetables and you can enjoy them at their peak the day they are harvested. If gardening isn’t your thing (and it’s not mine!), try visiting a local farmer’s market. A list of farmers markets in Melbourne and across Victoria can be found here.
In autumn, try cooking at lower temperatures for longer times, using more water over a lower heat to make stews, casseroles and soups. Dust off your slow cooker (or invest in one – they are inexpensive) as these are a godsend for healthy and hearty autumn dishes.