With each new season comes a wardrobe refresh and a whole new crop of delicious produce to enjoy. Eating seasonally has a variety of benefits. Not only is the produce fresher, tastier and more nutritious, the vitamins and minerals naturally provide our bodies with the additional support it needs through the season. Plus, it’s cheaper – hooray!
We talked to Celebrity Chef and Nutritionist Zoe Bingley- Pullin to find out her top picks for Autumn!
Autumn in Australia offers an abundance of produce perfect to make warming meals from. Some of my favourite healthy seasonal produce to add to your diet this autumn include:
Figs are rich in magnesium, calcium, vitamin K and also fibre. Eating enough fibre during autumn is beneficial to help feed gut bacteria, which can assist in supporting immunity during autumn. Figs can be eaten raw, added to warm salads or pan-fried/roasted and served with a dollop of yoghurt for dessert or a quick snack.
Beetroot is a great source of phytochemicals including carotenoids and flavonoids and also vitamin C, all of which have an antioxidant action in the body. Beetroot also contains fibre supportive of digestive health. During autumn, I like to roast beetroot with warming spices such as cinnamon, cumin and coriander and toss through hearty salads or use as a side dish.
Pears are readily overlooked at the green grocer and markets despite the array of health benefits pears offer! Pears have one of the highest fibre contents of all fruit and help to maintain a healthy digestive system. Due to the fibre content, the sugar in pear is slowly released and offers a sustained release of energy to fuel your day and keeps you fuller for longer. When eating pears, its important to eat the skin as the skin is rich in phytochemicals beneficial to health. Pears are fantastic grated and added to porridge or poached and served with yoghurt as a snack or dessert.
Cabbage is an incredibly inexpensive and versatile ingredient! Specifically,
cabbage is a good source of fibre and prebiotics both of which help to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s). SCFA’s exert an anti-inflammatory effect in the colon and are therefore supportive of digestive health and are also linked to improved blood sugar and weight management. Red cabbage especially, is also a good source of antioxidants due to its anthocyanin and polyphenol content. Shave cabbage and add to stir-fry’s, pickle cabbage and serve as a side dish or add to soups.
Cauliflower has gained lots of attention in the past year or two and for good reason! Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium and B-vitamins. As a lot of the vitamins in cauliflower are water-soluble it’s important to not boil or overcook cauliflower, as a lot of the nutrition will be lost. Also don’t forget the stems can be eaten and make a creamy addition to soups! I recommend roasting cauliflower in spices such as turmeric, cumin and sumac and storing in the fridge as a quick addition to meals.
Do you eat ‘in season’?
Zoe Bingley- Pullin is a celebrity chef and nutritionist who is also one of the experts on Channel 7’s House of Wellness. She is also the author of several successful cookbooks.