Isn’t it funny how seasonal fruit and vegetables reflect what we’re craving at different times of the year?
Sitting in the sun reminds us of savouring a fruit salad with cream but as the autumn days get a little chillier all we want are those hearty root vegetables to warm us up.
In Ireland, we are lucky to have an abundance of fresh, nutritious fruit and vegetables locally grown all year round.
Dietitian Orla Walsh says adding more seasonal fruit and vegetables into the diet is a simple and healthy food choice.
“An easy way to incorporate more fresh produce into your regular diet is to think about what you often eat and simply add a vegetable or fruit to that meal. If everyone in Ireland were to ‘add one more’ locally grown fruit or vegetable into their diets, they would become healthier.
“Another reason for eating more seasonal, locally grown produce is that it is often the more sustainable choice as it can also help us to avoid food waste.”
Add One More is an initiative by Bord Bia as part of its Best in Season campaign. Orla shares these tips for getting the best out of the fruit and vegetables that are available this autumn:
1 Root veg makes rainbow chips. Make use of a variety of root vegetables that are widely available this season. Chop up rooster potatoes, beetroot, parsnips, and carrots into chip shapes – including a rainbow of coloured vegetables can nutritionally and visually enhance your meal. Simply coat with healthy oil (like Irish rapeseed oil) and sprinkle with your favourite herbs and spices for a super healthy everyday choice. Roast in the over at 200C for 25mins. Rainbow chips are delicious with eggs at breakfast, beans at lunch or to accompany your meat or fish at dinner. For a spice bag option, add in onions and peppers as a tasty, healthy, and filling dish.
2 Enjoy salad veg in early autumn. Early autumn is a great time to opt for salad vegetables before they go out of season in October and November. While the weather is still mild at this time of year, we are turning to fresh, crisp, lighter meals and sides such as salads. Enjoy scallions, tomatoes and cucumbers in your favourite salad recipes while they are at peak flavour and freshness.
3 Back to school. It’s back-to-school time, which means back to routine for the entire family. Planning meals and prepping in advance can give you the healthiest start to the academic year. Apples are a family favourite in autumn that are coming into season in Ireland in September, while raspberries and strawberries will be in season and available until November. Add a portion of these fruits into the lunchbox or offer them up as a naturally sweet snack for the family to enjoy after dinner.
4 Add grated veg to mashed potato.
5 Soup season. There is no denying that we enjoy a good hearty bowl of soup in Ireland, especially on the colder days. What better way to make use of vegetables that might be going out of season than to blitz them together and make a delicious homemade soup. Make sure to add a mix of root vegetables, field vegetables and salad vegetables for maximum flavour and a great way to get some of your seven-a-day.
6 Leftovers no more. Have you ever found that you have a lot of raw or leftover cooked vegetables in the fridge to use up? Use the opportunity to take those vegetables and add them into any dish for a delicious, nutritious impact. Chop mushrooms or courgette into small chunks or grate carrots into recipes like spaghetti Bolognese or burritos. Or try adding peppers to your fried eggs, onion and tomato to your omelette or spinach to your scrambled eggs at breakfast to use up the veggies in the house.
8 Broccoli is in season, delicious and fresh. Broccoli is at its peak right now, meaning it is at its best in terms of quality, freshness and flavour. It is a great food and is packed with nutrients such as folate, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
See our broccoli recipe, which is super quick to cook, bursting with flavour and another great way to add a tasty veg to any meal this autumn.
Roasted broccoli with pine nuts
Time: 23 minutes
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and black pepper
50g pine nuts
60g Parmesan grated
Juice of ½ a lemon
Bord Bia’s annual Best in Season campaign promotes the benefits of eating in-season fruit and vegetables.
For more information on what is in season and when, visit BordBia.ie/BestInSeason