The weather is getting colder and the leaves are changing colour. Welcome to beautiful Autumn.
The gardeners amongst us know, autumn is a busy time for important preventative work (think pruning and feeding the lawn) to set yourself up for a great year. With the cooler weather its also a very enjoyable time to be in the garden- perhaps a great way to entice novice gardeners? I definitely don’t count myself as a green thumb, but its such a fantastic activity to do with kids, get kids to learn more about vegetables and a great way to save money (growing our own herbs was a great start for our family).
With the new season, comes a change of produce available and what’s cooking in the kitchen. It’s a great time to try new foods and new recipes. As the heat of summer days subsides, I am much more inclined to enjoy some time in the kitchen. The kitchen, with its hot oven is a great place to warm up.
Fruit and vegetables in season are often more nutritious, tastier, cheaper and eating seasonally helps the environment!! Sounds great to me.
What is in season in Autumn?
We love to include this favourite in both savoury and sweet dishes. This awesome fruit reminds us of the warm summer months.
This delicious tomato looking fruit is actually a berry! Did you know persimmon leaves (fresh or dried) can be used to make tea?! Our family loves this sweet fruit and it comes in season at a great time- once the stone fruit season is coming to an end.
Not sure how to eat it? Pick the sweet variety (also known as vanilla) and enjoy it whole- it should be crisp and crunchy like an apple (you eat the skin too). Persimmons Australia has some delicious and fresh recipes – we can’t wait to add it to a prawn rice paper roll– yum!
Here at Foost, we are big believers in deconstructed and fun style of eating. We love to serve our family a platter of food in the middle of the table with some tongs for them to pick and choose what they prefer. Kids really enjoy this style of pressure free eating, so there is less fussy eating.
Have you tried a deconstructed dinner? Here is a great one to include a salad favourite, olives: design your own pasta bar.
Did you know rhubarb was used in Chinese medicine as a laxative? For those that are growing rhubarb- its actually a super hardy plant, once it’s established it’s actually quite hard to kill it (like driving over it).
We love simple and delicious recipes, they don’t have to look amazing- like this rhubarb and apple tart (ugly but tasty).
An awesome and easy staple in my fridge- we love a good coleslaw in my family. The word cabbage actually originated from an old Northern French word caboche, meaning head.
For something different (and when you have leftover cabbage looking wilted in the fridge), why don’t you try some amazing new recipes. We couldn’t decide which was our favourite, so gave you two: Pot sticker dumplings (a great one to do with the kids) and japanese pancakes (okonomiyaki).
Oh potato, how I love you potato. Who is with me? This fantastic ingredient is a staple across many households. Check out the recipe from our friends at Taste for one of our favourite midweek meals- baked jacket potatoes. We love to serve it with a choice of coleslaw, tuna salad, egg salad, baked beans and of coarse cheese.
The tip for a great baked potato, is choose your potatoes wisely. Sebago are a good all rounder potato variety and taste fantastic.
As dietitians and nutritionists, we often get asked about snacking- should we snack? What snacks to pop into kids lunchboxes? Whilst we love and eat lots of cooked snacks, we like to keep things simple- fruit and vegetables make fantastic snacks! Crunchy, juicy, nutritious and delicious- what’s not to love? If you would like some more inspiration, check out our great blog here.
Cucumbers, capsicums, celery and beans (amongst lots of other veggies during different seasons) are great to eat fresh on their own or pair with a dip. Our recipe collection is here.
Some great herbs in season include:
Herbs and spices are great to add flavour to meals. Plus they boost the antioxidants in fruits and veg (antioxidants are ‘good guys’ in your body that help prevent cancer)
Parsley – a fantastic staple in many dishes. We love it paired with grains and lentils in this hearty salad. A super easy herb to grow in your own garden or even inside your own kitchen!
Oregano/ Thyme – both are such flavoursome herbs – fantastic in pizza and pasta dishes. You can use fresh herbs when you have them available and when they arent in season I like to keep a jar of dried versions in my cupboard. Thyme is great as an alternative to rosemary. Thyme is delicious in this side dish- stuffed mushrooms.
Bay leaf – a pasta sauce doesn’t taste the same without some bay leaves during the cooking (in my opinion). They add quite a distinct flavour to the dish, but need to be removed before eating. We are looking forward to trying this version of a classic from Nutrition Australia – eleven veg sheperd’s pie.
The bay leaves were considered by the Romans to be a symbol of victory and honour (worn as a laurel wreath).
Mint – is great in drinks (think water and black tea)- so refreshing and fun! Mint pairs really well with fruit, we love it in this fruit salad.
What are your favourite Autumn veggies?