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Autumn food ideas

7 vibrant autumn recipes - keep it seasonal

From the warm oranges of squash, pumpkins and carrots to the vibrant purples of blueberries and beetroot, autumn fruits and veggies are as rich in colour as they are in flavour - and can pack in the nutrients while brightening up the ever-darker evenings.

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Autumn food ideas

The tastiest way to enjoy food in autumn is to eat seasonally. This means choosing the vegetables and fruits that grow this time of year, and are therefore at their most fresh, flavourful and nutritious because they haven't had to travel so far or had so many preservatives added.

Whether you do this by growing your own food or simply by choosing seasonally in your supermarket, you'll also be improving your carbon footprint by reducing the need for plastic packaging and food miles. What's more, you'll be reducing your contact with pesticides.

Fruit and vegetables start losing their vitamins and minerals from the moment they're picked - so the quicker they get to your plate, the better. In autumn, those nutrients are particularly important for warding off winter viruses, like the common cold, flu, and norovirus.

We've gathered seven delicious autumn food ideas that showcase some of the best seasonal foods available this October and November.

Patient picks for Healthy eating

1. Butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup

Omnivore but can be made vegan

A warm and creamy butternut squash soup is the classic autumn dish that we all need to counter the colder weather. Along with squash, this particular recipe contains apple, onion and pumpkin spice - all in season during autumn, and packed with vitamins A and C, and other antioxidants like pectin and quercetin which do things like support your immune system, ward off health problems, and help healthy digestion. Replace the cream with low fat yoghurt for a healthier option.

This recipe uses a pressure cooker, but you can substitute for a regular food processor or hand blender. To make it vegan or vegetarian, simply swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth and ditch the swirl of cream at the end.

Get the recipe here

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2. Beetroot latkes

Beetroot latkes

Beetroot latkes

Vegetarian

Another star of autumn is beetroot. Alongside having a rich, earthy and slightly floral flavour, beetroots deliver disease-preventing antioxidants such as betalains.

This powerful compound helps fight inflammation, protects against diseases, and gives beetroots their vibrant purple colour.

Served as latkes, beetroots are mixed with egg and other ingredients to form delicious, pan-fried treats that go great with a fresh mint yoghurt salad on the side.

Get the recipe here

3. Chicken, spinach and sweet potato stew

Chicken, spinach and sweet potato stew

Chicken, spinach and sweet potato stew

Omnivore

In this hearty chicken stew, sweet potatoes and spinach take centre stage. These vegetables are at their freshest this time of year, meaning their nutrients are well-preserved.

Sweet potatoes add a sweetness that compliments the homemade spice mix in this recipe, while providing vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, fibre and many other health-boosting nutrients.

Cooked spinach packs in the vitamin K, vitamin C, iron and nitrates - supporting your general wellbeing, bones and muscles.

Get the recipe here

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4. Slow-cooked lamb and autumn veg one pot

Slow-cooked lamb and autumn veg one pot

Slow-cooked lamb and autumn veg one pot

Omnivore

The combination of rich lamb, tasty root vegetables and fragrant rosemary makes the ultimate autumn comfort food to warm up cool, dark evenings.

Turnips, leeks, celery, and carrots deliver a range of vitamins, potassium, fibre, and antioxidants. Carrots are also a source of beta carotenes which promote healthy skin, and leeks are rich in flavonoids which help fight everyday stressors and toxins.

In this recipe, the lamb is covered with tin foil and cooked slowly, making it extra flavourful and moist. Just remember to limit lamb and other red meats to no more than three portions a week, to reduce your risk of cancer and protect your heart health.

Get the recipe here

5. Puy lentils, squash and kale

Puy lentils, squash and kale

Puy lentils, squash and kale

Vegetarian but can be made vegan

This healthy lunch or dinner dish offers a filling and nutritious punch of flavour. Here you'll find butternut squash, but this could be swapped for any type of autumn squash or pumpkin, all of which will give the dish a sweetness that balances the slightly bitter taste of kale and works well with the nuttiness of hazelnuts, sharpness of lemon, and fragrance of sage leaves and parsley.

Kale is another autumn superfood rich in nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, E and K, beta carotene, and selenium - another nutrient that helps ward off infections.

Get the recipe here

6. Root vegetable hash egg skillet

Root vegetable hash egg skillet

Root vegetable hash egg skillet

Vegetarian

Potato and egg hash is a brunch favourite, and the inclusion of turnips and carrots is a great way to use up leftover autumn veg. Carrots add more sweetness, while turnips add a little more bite to the dish and pair well with the dill and tarragon in this recipe.

By cooking the eggs in the hash and leaving them runny, you create a creamy sauce that coats your healthy root veg feast. Eggs are also a good source of protein and vitamins.

Get the recipe here

7. Pear and blackberry crumble

Pear and blackberry crumble

Pear and blackberry crumble

Vegetarian

So many autumnal fruits are perfect for crumbles. This recipe uses pears and blackberries, but crumbles with apples, plums or autumn-fruiting raspberries are also delicious. Both blackberries and pears are good sources of fibre, minerals, and essential vitamins that fight inflammation, infection, and disease.

The tartness and softness of cooked blackberries complements the sweetness and slight crunch of cooked pears - and the bright purple of the berries will brighten up a cold evening.

This recipe tops the fruit with an oaty and nutty crumble, with added crunch from pumpkin seeds - another autumn food superstar. This should be enjoyed as an occasional treat, as crumble also contains sugar. To significantly reduce the fat and sugar content, you can also replace the custard in this recipe with low-fat natural yoghurt.

Get the recipe here

Article history

The information on this page is peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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