Autumn is firmly upon us and I always think you can trust nature to tell you what you need most at any time of the year. As those green leaves start to turn a wonderful array of burnt oranges and deep reds so it’s time to turn to those foods that share similar colours. Think delicious, hearty vegetables such as beetroot, pumpkin & squash which are now firmly in season. When foods are picked at the peak of ripeness, at a time they were meant to be eaten, they taste better and are nutritional powerhouses! Furthermore, as well as being more nutritious seasonal eating affords a wealth of other benefits. They are often much cheaper; it takes a lot of energy and resources to manage, package and transport foods out of season. Therefore, opting to eat in this way means you are also doing your bit to support the environment.
Let’s start with Beets. Anti-inflammatory & super detoxifying…..
Beetroots are definitely at their best during the autumn months and I would encourage you to experiment because whilst the common garden beet is always a solid bet, there are also some other types, such as golden & candied, which not only taste delicious but also look stunning on your plate, especially in autumnal salads. Furthermore, Beetroot contains a compound called Betaine which protects cells from environmental stress, thereby fighting inflammation, believed to be the source of a number of human diseases including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. These compounds have also been found to support the detoxification process so this beetroot is a fantastic way to support your liver, especially if you have overdone it the night before! If this is the case, I would recommend juicing it the morning after the night before and here is my Beetroot Detox Juice recipe to help get you going – http://www.nutrition-works.com/2016/04/01/beetrootjuice-recipe/
Then we have pumpkin & squash to help you stave off those afternoon carb cravings…….
These are such incredibly versatile vegetables as they can simply be roasted, mashed or steamed. Starchy vegetables such as pumpkin & squash also contain high levels of fibre, helping to curb those carbohydrate cravings which seems to increase as the days draw in! Autumn is also a time when all squashes are in season so you can experiment with different types, such as butternut, acorn or hubbard, and they make a particularly nutritious and tasty seasonal addition to a traditional hummus recipe. Combine with some crudité, such as carrots and celery, to pack even more Vitamin C in to your diet, helping to support a healthy immune system and fight off any impending winter colds. For my favourite squash hummus recipe click here and just experiment with adding different types of squash as the seasons evolve – http://www.nutrition-works.com/2017/11/01/autumn-squash-hummus-crudite/
Hope you enjoy and I will be back next month with a focus on what to eat in the run up to Christmas.