Rooting for cruciferous greens & undercover fruit this Autumn.
by Emma Stubbs
Following on from my post on five fabulous fruits in season this autumn, I have put together the winners in the vegetable stakes.
1. Root vegetables are back.
This is really just perfect because the weather is getting cooler and I’m really feeling the need to make some soup.
Parsnips are a good source of Vitamin C to keep our immune systems healthy, folate to aid with cell division and foetal growth and dietary fibre to add bulk and keep us fuller for longer. Plus there is some Vitamin K that plays a role in ensuring our blood clots.
Parsnip is a great, hearty addition to casseroles and soups, plus bake chunks with your pumpkin and potato for an extra side for your lamb or beef roasts.
Potatoes are like apples – so many varieties and they pack an excellent punch of Vitamin C.
They are also a complex carbohydrate. If you are looking for a lower GI option, try the Carisma variety (only available at Coles supermarkets) or switch to sweet potato for the extra bonus of some Vitamin A.
Like any root vegetables, potatoes are good for roasting, adding to our soups, stews and casseroles. Plus you can add them to your salads, frittatas or make your own hash browns for a weekend treat.
First of all, can you tell the difference between a turnip or swede? Back in my checkout-chick days I often struggled to distinguish them from each other when presented with one only. Luckily, I had a book as a child that was about really large turnips so that’s how I knew that that the turnip has a green leaf base and the swede does not.
Vitamin C, Dietary fibre and some Vitamin K. Turnips are good for mixing up the root vegetables on your plate.
2. Cruciferous vegetables are crazy good.
Broccoli is without a doubt my favourite vegetable, just in case my blog name didn’t give it away. This green goodness is packet full of vitamins and minerals. In addition to being an excellent source of Vitamin C and folate, it also contains some Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and vitamin E.
For you non-dairy folk, it also contains calcium. However, due to the bioavailability, you need to eat 2.5 cups of broccoli to get the same amount of calcium in a glass of milk. For more information of plant-based sources of calcium – click here.
Broccoli makes a fabulous side with a drizzle of lemon juice and some freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy raw with delicious dips, put it in a stir-fry, or make a pesto.
A tip from Jamie Oliver - slice an X in the bottom of the stalk and it cooks more evenly.
No, don’t screw your beautiful face up. These little beauties have had such bad publicity and they are not that bad at all. Like broccoli, they contain vitamin C and folate. Plus some niacin, Vitamin E & Vitamin K.
Just so you know, Brussels sprouts have only been on my radar for about one year. So I have faith that if you do try one of the following recipes, the sprout will become a staple in your shopping basket this autumn.
What I love about cauliflower is that it comes in different colours - orange, green and purple! Pretty cool. Cauliflower is an excellent source of Vitamin C too, plus packed with dietary fibre, folate and vitamin K.
Use as a side, in soups, stir-fries or serve alongside your broccoli and carrot sticks with those delicious dips. If you are looking for a wheat-free pizza base, try your hand at making a cauliflower pizza base (I did just the other day) or make into rice for a low carbohydrate, vegetable boost to your dinner.
3. Fruit pretending to be vegetables.
The orange pigment of the pumpkin screams carotenoids & eye health. Like many of our vegetables, pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin C and contains the goodness of Vitamin K, Folate, Niacin & dietary fibre
Pumpkin can function as a simple side (steamed or roasted) at dinner, or jazz it up with a sprinkle of cinnamon or using one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s fabulous recipes. It teams well with spinach, feta & pine nuts in a salad or topped on a pizza. I particularly enjoy this recipe – Roast pumpkin, lentil & ricotta pie – which proved a winner for my meat-loving father. Plus it goes well in a vegetable curry and of course, pumpkin soup.
Biologically the tomato is a fruit, but we use it as a culinary vegetable. There are so many varieties – I particularly like, no, love home-grown cherry tomatoes or even heirloom tomatoes. Tomatoes too are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate and dietary fibre.
Sandwiches, salads, soups and casseroles. Appetisers, vegetable side dishes, homemade passata and homemade relish. Team it with capsicum, garlic and basil, or pasta and Parmesan. So many recipes, and so many flavour combinations to try.
Which of these vegetables will you be trying this Autumn?