What’s in Season: Irish Autumn Foods

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With those long summer days falling behind us, and the memory of sweet berries, crisp salads and succulent fresh fruit becoming distant, it’s time to embrace the arrival of a new season. Autumn.

There are a plethora of yummy foods for you to choose from in autumn. These include veggies like pumpkins, parsnips, winter squash, sweet potatoes and turnips. Joining them are apples, pears, figs, elderberries and even cranberries!

It’s time to go wild in the kitchen and whip up some tasty seasonal dishes, like roasted root vegetables and creamy pumpkin soup. Maybe even some caramelized pears and crisp apple and quince pies. Oh Autumn, how I love you!

You also probably know by now that buying local and seasonal foods is one of many great ways to reduce your environmental impact, increase the nutrient value of your food, and support local farmers.
Keep an eye out for the following fruits and veggies in your local market or supermarket and enjoy!

In Season: Autumn

No. 1 – Butternut Squash

What else could symbolise the autumn season if not pumpkins and squashes? What would Halloween be without them?!

Butternut squash is a nutrition-rich veggie. It provides a very good source of beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, B6 and folate, plus magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium.
It’s low in fat and provides an ample amount of dietary fibre. This makes it overall a very well balanced food.

Enjoy this delicious veggie in oodles of different ways. Bake, boil, roast or sauté. Equally, add it to soups, mashes, salads – you name it.

Try giving these butternut squash recipes a whirl:

No. 2 – Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are one of my favourite veggies.
They have a deliciously creamy texture and are sweet in flavour. Naturally, this makes them ideal for both sweet and savoury dishes. I’m talking sweet potato brownies and satiating sweet potato curries here people – yuuum!

Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and vitamins including beta-carotene, b vitamins and vitamin C.

Additionally, they’re also are wonderful baked, roasted or mashed, added to risottos, pasta dishes or curries. Plus they’re wonderful in sweet dishes – you’d be surprised where you can hide them.
The peak season for sweet potatoes is generally October through to March.

Here are some amazing recipes involving this wholesome veggie:

No. 3 – Kale

Ah, the humble kale leaf. Kale is generally available all year round, however, it’s best from mid-September to late February.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
Curly kale is the most common type of kale and it has a strong distinct flavour.

Kale is a very handy ingredient for seasonal eaters as it is one of the few green vegetables that is more abundant and flavourful during the coldest months of the year. It can be substituted for cabbage or spinach.
Additionally, it makes a fine side dish when blanched and sautéed with garlic (a little soy/coco aminos and a sprinkling of chopped, roasted nuts is a lovely addition).

Kale is a nutritionally rich food that contains plenty of vitamins. These include vitamins A, C and E, plus minerals including manganese, iron, calcium and potassium.
The Brassica family have gained quite a good reputation thanks to their health-promoting, sulphur-containing phytonutrients such as sulforaphane.

Ways to indulge in some kaley goodness:

autumn veggies

No. 4 – Parsnips

Parsnips are a member of the carrot family and have an earthy-sweet flavour to them. They’re a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium plus they provide a decent amount of fibre.
Parsnips make great soups and stews, and can be roasted with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup over them to heighten the flavour. And then there’s my old childhood favourite, mashed carrot and parsnip with my Sunday lunch – yum yum!

Try these parsnip recipes on for size:

No. 5 – Quince

Quinces grow in apple and pear shapes, which give you the clue to which fruit they are related to.
Quinces are almost always cooked because although when ripe they smell deliciously fragrant, the flesh is actually really hard and bitter. Once cooked, however, the flesh develops a deeper flavour and turns a golden pink. Quince combines really well with apples and pears, so you’ll often find them together in pies and tarts.

Quince, similar to apples contains high levels of pectin, which makes them great for making jellies, jams and other preserves.

For some major Quince inspo, give these recipes a go

autumn cranberries

No. 6 – Cranberries

Cranberries are tart, ruby-red coloured berries that are high in vitamins C and E. Plus, they are loaded with unique health-enhancing antioxidants and phytonutrients.
These include oligomeric proanthocyanidins, anthocyanidin flavonoids (which give them their bright red colour), cyanidin, peonidin, and quercetin.

Cranberries come into their own around Christmas but are good for much more than accompanying the turkey. Their sour flavour lends itself well to both sweet and savoury dishes, as well as drinks. Commonly, you’ll find cranberries are used to make sauces, chutneys, pies and cobblers.
Fresh cranberries can be used as a sauce, in a summer pudding, as a sorbet or juiced. Dried cranberries can be added to baked goods such as breakfast bars or muffins.

Cranberries are at their best between October and December.

Try out these recipes to make the most of the cranberry season:

SEPTEMBER

artichoke|aubergine | beetroot | broccoli | butternut squash | carrots | celeriac | celery | chillies | courgettes | cucumber | fennel | french beans | garlic | horseradish | kale | kohlrabi | leeks | lettuce & salad leaves | mangetout | marrow | onions | pak choi | peppers | potatoes | pumpkin | radishes | rocket | runner beans | shallots | spring onions | sweetcorn | tomatoes | turnips | watercress | wild mushrooms
apples | bilberries | blackberries | damsons | elderberries | figs | nectarines | peaches | pears | plums | raspberries | redcurrants

OCTOBER

artichoke | beetroot | broccoli | butternut squash | celeriac | celery | chicory | chillies | fennel | garlic | horseradish | Jerusalem artichoke | kale | kohlrabi | leeks | lettuce & salad leaves | marrow | parsnips | potatoes | pumpkin | radishes | rocket | runner beans | shallots | swede | sweetcorn | tomatoes | turnips | watercress | wild mushrooms | apples | bilberries | blackberries | elderberries | figs | pears | quince

NOVEMBER

artichoke | beetroot | butternut squash | cauliflower | celeriac | celery | chicory | horseradish | Jerusalem artichoke | kale | kohlrabi | leeks | parsnips | potatoes | pumpkin | salsify | shallots | swede | turnips | watercress | wild mushrooms | apples | clementines | cranberries | passion fruit | pears | pomegranate | quince | satsumas

This useful info has been taken from eat the seasons. 

See our sister posts here:

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– Emily




*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication

Useful links:
http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk/
http://www.bestinseason.ie/whats-in-season/autumn-veg-the-c-list/
http://www.bestinseason.ie/whats-in-season/autumn-veg/