If, like us, you find that the shorter days and waking up in the dark is becoming slightly less bearable than those sunny summer months, then fear not. For as the colours on the trees change, what autumn lacks in temperature, it makes up in a rainbow of seasonal fruit and vegetables. When sourcing your produce, always look for local, organic produce; farmers markets usually have some great choices. The vegetables in the list below are all in season throughout the autumn months, meaning that it is possible to get both nutritious and tasty food from local providers rather than buying foods that may have travelled thousands of miles to get to your plate. Aim to include a rainbow of colours at every meal – this way you are likely to get a variety of different nutrients and vitamins from your food and feel generally awesome!

The, often overlooked, aubergine is great source of dietary fibre as well as being high in Vitamins B1, B6 and potassium. The soft, purple vegetable is so versatile and one of my favourites is stuffed aubergine for a healthy winter warmer that can double as lunch the next day.

Butternut Squash
Perfect for adding to a casserole or curry, squash is also high in potassium and vitamin B6 making it good for the bones, heart and immune system. Why not try combining it with red peppers and sweet potato (also in season throughout the autumn months) and blend it into a soup?

Great for circulation and reducing blood pressure, beetroot is beautiful in salads and if you can get your hands on some, try adding potent beetroot leaves to your morning juice! Try Fearne’s Quinoa Salad for a nourishing, light lunch.

One of the most vibrant veggies out there, carrots are packed with so many vitamins including beta-carotene, which might not make you see in the dark, it really is great for our vision. Why not try adding carrots to your morning porridge in the form of Hip and Healthy’s Carrot Cake Oatmeal?

Cauliflower has found a new lease of life from a substitute in pizza bases to an alternative to rice! Being surprisingly high in Vitamin C, it might be time to try cauliflower with a twist. We love teaming cauliflower rice with this chunky red lentil soup.

As well as being an amazingly high source of protein, yes you heard that right, protein; peas are also packed full of magnesium, iron and potassium. Why not whizz up the little protein pods into Tess Ward’s Pea Puree topped with an egg for a quickie breakfast? Yum!

As well as being a great alternative to potatoes and super versatile, parsnips have so many health benefits due to being great sources of manganese, which is great for balancing blood sugar levels and metabolism. Why not mix some cauliflower “cous cous” alongside this root vegetable tagine.

Rocket is a wonderful antioxidant as well as being high in so many vitamins. Adding rocket to any meal can really help your digestion and we love Deliciously Ella’s Rocket and Brazil Nut Pesto as it’s a great choice to add to pasta for a heart-warming comfort dish that won’t leave you feeling bloated and full.

Sweet potatoes
The natural orange colour indicates that this veg is packed full with good vitamins, from fibre to phosphorus, the sweet potato is so popular these days and it’s little wonder why. Team sweet potatoes up with pretty much any fish or meat for a quick meal, one such recipe that has got flavour and speed is Natasha Corret’s middle eastern sweet potatoes to add some Moroccan warmth to a cold autumn evening.

With so many options throughout autumn, you can always find sunshine on your plate and you won’t need an excuse to cosy up on the sofa with some good, nutritious food!

Words by: Mai Copse @Scandinavian_Earthchild