Autumn and Winter Seasonal
Recipes For The Family
Here in the UK we are so lucky to have a seasonal climate which can provide fruit and vegetables in abundance. Our lush green countryside is home to all sorts of native crops that grow well and taste delicious. Eating seasonally has brilliant benefits for you, your family and the environment. It’s good for everyone along the supply chain, from the farmers to the hungry diners as well as good for the planet.
Choosing locally grown, seasonal fruit and vegetables reduces food miles, meaning less fossil fuels are used to transport the produce to you and less pollution from transport vehicles is released into the air. It also supports the economy in your community, putting money back into the farms and farmers who take care of the countryside around your home.
When a farmer grows a seasonal crop they can do so without fighting against nature. Seasonal crops are those that grow naturally according to the seasons here in the UK, rather than in electrically heated greenhouses. By working with nature, rather than against it, farmers can support the biodiversity of their fields and the living organisms both above and below ground.
Have you ever wondered how come you can buy ripe fruits and vegetables any time of year? It’s likely that many of those fruit and veggies will have been picked in season and stored before they get to you. Whilst this doesn’t do anything harmful to the produce, over time the vitamins and goodness contained within it deplete, so you don’t get as much health benefit from eating it. Eating seasonally ensures you get the freshest food packed with the most healthy nutrients.
Which fruits and vegetables are in season in the UK now?
Aubergine, Apples, Beetroot, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Chillies, Courgette, Cucumber, Elderberries, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Marrow, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Quince, Radishes, Red Cabbage, Rocket, Runner Beans, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Swede, Sweetcorn, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash, White Cabbage.
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Cranberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Quince, Red Cabbage, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Winter Squash, White Cabbage.
With all of that in mind, we’ve found some delightfully delicious recipes that you can try at home and serve to your family, making the most of sustainable, seasonal produce. Here are some ideas to try;
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
This vegan alternative to traditional dairy based mac and cheese has to be tried to be believed - trust us! The butternut squash creates a thick, silky sauce that coats the pasta in that satisfying heavy way that cheese sauce does, and it tastes amazing. If you have veggie fearing, pasta-loving kids this is a great way to get some seasonal squash into them - they’ll never know it’s not a standard jar sauce.
Annabel Karmel is the queen of kids cooking, and this recipe for sweetcorn fritters is a firm favourite. Suitable for weaning little ones right up to big kids needing a lunchbox filler, these pancake-like patties are mostly made of tasty corn. Once you’ve got the basic recipe mastered you can try adding in any other veggies your family enjoy, such as grated carrot or spinach.
Tomato Ketchup With Honey
Did you know, ketchup is actually really easy to make? If you have a glut of tomatoes leftover from the Summer, or you’re able to pick up a load at the farmers market, then making your own ketchup in the slow cooker is a great way to use them up. You can also wap out the sugar and use honey instead, supporting local beekeepers and the vitally important bee population. Once you’ve made your own ketchup you can split it into smaller quantities and freeze them, ready to be used as and when your last jar runs out, keeping the goodness going for months.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup
If you need a hearty hot meal after a long day at work or school, then coming home to a slow cooker full of this thick and tasty soup is a real treat! Simply put the veggies, stock and seasoning in the slow cooker in the morning and it’ll be cooked by home time.
You’ve no doubt heard of carrot cake, well did you know you can make a similar cake with parsnips? The root veg gives the cake a dense moistness and some sweetness, which pairs with spices to make a lovely loaf cake, or it can be topped with a cream cheese icing.
A bit of a change from the usual apple crumble, Eve’s pudding has sweet stewed apples on the bottom, topped with a layer of light golden sponge. Get it just right and you’ll have a nice cakey layer with a crisp top. It’s quick and easy to whip up and put in the oven to cook while you eat your main course, and the apples can be swapped with any other seasonal fruit you have on hand.
Home Made Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is a staple with Christmas dinner (and with other roast dinners in our house!) but jars of cranberry sauce from the supermarket are typically very high in sugar. You can easily make your own using fresh, seasonal cranberries and sweeten it with honey instead of refined sugar. It’s not only delicious but also makes a great gift for family members - perhaps your kids could make a batch to pour into jars, decorate and hand out at Christmas?
This Autumn and Winter look out for locally grown, seasonal fruit and vegetables. Try picking some up at a farmers market or greengrocers and seeing what new recipes you can try at home. There’s no better feeling than full tummies, satisfied kids, and knowing that your food is good for you and for the planet.