Read time: 4 Minutes
Autumn, also known as the Harvest season, is the time of year when we should be fuelling our bodies with the most nutritious foods to fuel us for the colder months.
We should also be looking towards the foods that will help us ward off colds, flus and all manner of illnesses that crop up at this time of year.
So what are the best seasonal foods to add to your autumn shopping list? Here’s our pick of the pack:
Apples are everywhere at this time of year and it’s worth stocking up, as they are packed full of antioxidants and fibre and can prevent dryness and improve the general appearance of your skin.
Parsnips are in season during autumn and winter. Like apples, they’re full of fibre and are also rich in potassium. They have a sweet, nutty flavour and can be eaten in many ways, but are most delicious when roasted in honey, alongside carrots.
Similar to apples, pears are also a great moistening food to fight the autumn/winter dryness. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C. At this time of year they can be enjoyed baked or poached, as a healthy dessert.
In autumn, pumpkins aren’t just for carving. The bright orange colour signals that they’re loaded with a powerful antioxidant called beta-carotene which is thought to help reduce the risk of certain cancers and can protect against heart disease. Pumpkin can be used for soup, can be a side dish for a main meal or can be used as an ingredient in hearty winter desserts like pumpkin pie or pumpkin cake.
Garlic has many medicinal qualities that can be really valuable in autumn and winter when the threat of a cold or the flu is looking. Garlic contains a chemical called Allicin which helps fight against fungi and bacteria and generally prevent illness.
Figs are delicious chewy fruits that taste great in salads, desserts or even with your porridge in the morning. Like the other fruits and veg on this list, they’re high in fibre – in fact they’re higher in fibre than most other dried or fresh fruits. They are also a good source of calcium.
Cranberries are some of the best berries you can eat. They contain the same heart-healthy antioxidants as tea and red wine, which is what gives them that beautifully rich red colour. They can help prevent against urinary tract infections and can help gum disease or ulcers. They can be enjoyed with other fruits or dried and baked into muffins or cake.
Turnips and swedes
Most Irish adults will have memories of turnip being served at their family dinner table around this time of year. But it’s for good reason, as turnips are high in vitamin C and dietary fibre and are part of the family of cruciferous vegetables that contain sulforaphane – a phytochemical which can help protect against certain cancers.
Like pumpkins, the orange colour of sweet potatoes show that they contain beta-cartonene. At this time of year, they are an excellent substitute for white potatoes. They can be enjoyed roasted, mashed, as an ingredient soup and their sweet taste also means that they can be used in desserts too.
Autumn and winter are the seasons of cinnamon. Even just the slightest smell of this spice can bring a rush of Halloween and Christmas memories right back. Cinnamon is a great ingredient to add to your shopping list, as it can keep your body warm and it’s thought to boost energy too.
What are your favourite autumn/winter foods? Share some of our favourite ingredients or recipes in the comments below or on social media using the hashtag #myIrishlife.
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