If you only do one thing this week… eat for autumn! Here at Hip & Healthy we’re big fans of seasonal eating, and whilst it’s not always possible, we try to keep it in mind when buying our produce. Not only is eating seasonal beneficial for our bodies, it is a totally delicious, budget-friendly and environmentally-kind way of enjoying what nature has to offer each season. Whilst we have to admit there are a few staples we do enjoy throughout the year (if you’re a regular reader you’ll know we have a serious avocado addiction), a weekly trip to our local farmers market provides us with an additional abundance of seasonally suitable feastable fare. Here are a few of our eat for autumn favourites:
A staple in the Hip & Healthy kitchen, kale will never go out of fashion in our books! A great plant-based source of calcium and magnesium, kale is low in oxalates, a substance found in some other leafy veggies, making it a superior green to add to your diet. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef making it especially essential for our plant-based and vegan hip & healthies. Recently we’ve been sautéing ours with lots of immune boosting garlic and lemon and enjoying it on the side of just about everything! For something a little different try these yummy kale chips from our e-book!
Another one of our eat for autumn favourites, aubergines are also super rich in antioxidants. The star antioxidant here is one by the name of nasunin – a free radical scavenger found in the skin that has been shown to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes, helping the brain to function optimally! There are so many ways we love to eat our aubergines. Try them stuffed full of other nutritious goodies (check out this recipe here), add to stir fries and salads for some vegan friendly bulk, or roast with some miso and tamari and top with sesame seeds as an incredible Asian-inspired side dish.
Full of vitamins, minerals and a great source of fibre, figs are a great eat for autumn addition to any diet. Especially beneficial to those who suffer with digestive issues, figs contain a source of prebiotics which helps to support and maintain good bacteria in the gut (beware though, to many can have a laxative effect!).We love ours added to a warm bowl of porridge or caramelised in the oven and topped with crushed walnuts, honey and a sprig of watercress as a delicious salad topper or side. Yum!
Another veggie great for improving and maintaining gut health is the humble artichoke. Clinical and experimental trials have shown that eating artichokes may be useful in treating chronic digestive complaints including irritable bowel syndrome, nervous gastropathy and flatulence! Aside from its tummy soothing benefits, artichokes are also useful in increasing fat digestion and lowering cholesterol – now that’s what we call a superfood! We’ve been loving ours in the mornings atop our gluten free seeded quinoa & chia seed bread and bejewelled with a perfectly poached egg. The perfect eat for autumn dish!
An oldie but a goodie, butternut squash is one of our all time favourite foods and an absolute eat for autumn essential! These immune boosting, energy enhancing packages of goodness are packed full of vitamins B, C and A and is even known to reduce inflammation in the body! (check out our other favourite inflammation reducing foods here) Roasted, mashed, pureed into a soup, or even added to baked treats such as muffins and breads – make this super versatile root veg the mainstay of your farmers market shops this Autumn.
One of our favourite eat for autumn fruits, pears are low GI and boast a whole host of phytonutrients including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Another reason we love them is for the benefits they have on our skin! Pears are full of fibre, which not only keeps us full and wards off bloating, but also slows the release of sugar into the blood. This is especially beneficial when it comes to looking after our skin as repeated sugar spikes can damage collagen, the protein responsible for keeping our complexions plump, smooth and glowing! We’ve been adding chopped pears, grated ginger and a little honey to our quinoa porridge for a seasonally sweet breakfast treat.
Whilst these may be an easy to find item all year round, we find that UK grown apples taste the best in the Autumn months. Whilst apples are amongst one of our favourite ‘fast’ food snacks, curbing the munchies is not all they’re good for. We recently learnt that apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which aids endurance whilst exercising! As well as enjoying an apple as an afternoon snack before our late afternoon workouts, we’ve been baking ours in the oven with a little cinnamon and coconut oil and topping with raw granola and coconut yoghurt for a decadent yet healthy breakfast or after dinner indulgence.