Autumn is a great time to wrap up warm, enjoy cosy nights in and make the most of Halloween. But it’s also the perfect time to breathe new life into your veggie drawer because there are so many yummy, versatile Autumn vegetables that you’re going to want to stock up on!
Starting off with an obvious one and while most people buy them purely to carve out scary faces, they’re a great vegetable (well, technically not a vegetable) to make some dinners with. They’re rich in vitamin A, high in antioxidants and the seeds have a number of added health benefits. Try roasting some for a lovely vegetable tray bake or make a puree to add to some breakfast muffins.
Yes, we know, everyone hates them. It’s the one vegetable that children dread being placed on their plates and are arguably the least exciting part of Christmas. But is that because of the vegetables themselves or because you’re just not cooking them right? Instead of boiling them to within an inch of their life, try roasting them with a little balsamic glaze and you’ll end up with a tasty side dish. Plus, they’re high in fibre, contain omega-3 fatty acids and can even help protect against cancer.
Pretty much any root vegetable is great throughout Autumn and their carb-like texture makes them an ideal, low calorie alternative to potatoes. They’re high in a number of vitamins and minerals and taste great when served as mash on the side of some meat or fish with extra veggies.
Is there a better or more versatile vegetable than a leek? Add them to any soup, stew or stir fry and soak up all their goodness like iron, magnesium and folate.
Whether you choose to go for white, red or savoy, cabbage is a great source of vitamin C and can help to lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. It’s a great alternative to lettuce in salads or in wraps and its crunchy texture makes it the perfect ingredient in a naked slaw (naked, to keep the calories and saturated fat down).
Like turnips, parsnips can be a great carb alternative thanks to their soft texture and low calories and they’re also rich in vitamin C and folate. Try cooking them with a honey and mustard glaze for a tasty side to roasted gammon or as a hot addition to a green salad.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
When it comes to vegetables, the easiest way to ensure variety is to keep a good mix of colours. So instead of all green everything, try venturing out to broccoli of the purple sprouting variety. They’re in season at this time of year too so you can grab them while they’re at their tastiest and load up on the iron, calcium and vitamin A that they contain.
Although you may often think of fennel as being the seeds used to season curries, pork dishes or various spiced breads, but actually the bulb of the vegetable shouldn’t be overlooked. Fragrant with the same anise-like flavour as its seed counterpart, fennel adds a tasty zing to salads and can improve heart health and lower cholesterol.
Like pumpkin but very slightly different, this orange vegetable is the epitome of Autumn. It has a wonderfully creamy texture so it can almost act as a substitute for cheese in a lot of pasta dishes (cutting out that all-important saturated fat), and it makes the most amazing soup. It’s also higher in potassium than bananas, and contains a healthy amount of vitamin C.
Such a versatile vegetable is rainbow chard, it works well as a shredded side dish, a salad base or even as a carb-free alternative to tortilla wraps. It’s rich in vitamins and nutrients so is a great alternative to lettuce, and its mildly bitter taste goes really well with sweeter vegetables (like pumpkin or peppers).