October 03, 2017

Foods to Fall For

October marks the fall season and brings with it pumpkin spice, falling leaves, Halloween and delicious seasonal produce.

So, what’s in season?

Apples, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, cranberries, eggplant, fennel, figs, grapes, kohlrabi, kale, cauliflower, okra, sweet potato, pears, pomegranates, pumpkins, peaches, persimmons, plums, potatoes, peppers and winter squash!

By being aware of what produce is in season, you not only support local farmers, you are also ensuring that you are getting your hands on the freshest and healthiest fruit and vegetables. Imported produce goes through various means of transport until it finally arrives in our supermarkets. For the produce to be able to survive this prolonged transport, the fruit and vegetables are picked before they have been fully ripened in the sun. Ripening is an extended exposure to the sun. This allows the fruit or vegetable to develop further and by using the sun’s energy, transform nutrients into more readily available forms such as vitamins and antioxidants. So it makes sense that local produce not only tastes better, it is better for you.

Here are 2 beautiful fall recipes:

Roast squash fall salad with orange dressing (serves 2)

1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
2 tsp olive oil
½ cup wild and brown rice
½ cup Puy lentils
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
juice 1 lemon + 1 orange

1. Heat oven to 200C/392 F. Spread the squash over a large baking sheet, drizzle over the oil and bake for 30 mins or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, cook the rice and lentils in boiling salted water for 20 mins, adding the broccoli for the final 4 mins of cooking. Drain well, then stir in the cranberries and pumpkin seeds with some seasoning. Add the squash, pour over the citrus juices and serve.

Roast carrot and fennel soup (serves 4)

2.2lbs carrots , peeled, trimmed and sliced
2 bulbs of fennel, trimmed and sliced, tops reserved to serve
1 onion, sliced
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic unpeeled
5 cups vegetable stock
½ cup sour cream, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 392F. Put the carrots, fennel and onion in a roasting dish and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, then add the garlic cloves. Stir everything thoroughly and return to the oven for 20 minutes more, until the vegetables are soft and browned. Remove the papery skins from the garlic cloves.

2. Put the roasted veg in a large pan with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then liquidise with a stick blender, until completely smooth. Top with sour cream.

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