Eating fresh foods that are in season not only helps our bodies to transition easily into the ever changing seasons but also ensures that we are getting the correct nutrients that we need for this time of the year. Autumn brings a variety of healthy and delicious produce, from butternut pumpkin and sweet potatoes to apples and pears.
While nearly all produce can be grown somewhere all year-round, transporting it fresh across the globe isn’t easy. Many fruits and vegetables are kept in cold storage for months and heavily sprayed with insecticides and preservative to stop the produce from spoiling. The time it gets to us it may look like a fresh piece of fruit but the nutrient content may have significantly diminished. Buying local seasonal produce not only potentially reduces our carbon footprint and helps the local economy, it may also result in more nutritious produce.
So tuck into autumn fruits like apples and pears, which offer essential vitamins, fibre and antioxidants that slow aging and may even help fight cancer. On the veggie side of things, the entire cruciferous gang such as cabbage, kale, and cauliflower is in season and offers a compound known as glucosinolates that may also have cancer-fighting potential. And who could forget about butternut pumpkin? This jolly, bright happy looking vegetable offers healthy alpha- and beta-carotene, which promote a healthy immune system.
Macrobiotic Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
1 butter nut pumpkin chopped in small sized pieces (approx. 1cm square)
1 brown onion finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch of sea salt
1 pinch of black pepper
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
Small handful of fresh, chopped coriander
Coconut cream (optional)
Add oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic and chopped onions. Once the onion turns translucent add the chopped sweet potato and pumpkin. Let it cook for 5 minutes on a slow gentle heat.
Stir in the curry powder, salt and pepper, add the stock and bring the vegetables to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer.
Once the vegetables are cooked let them cool. Use a hand held blender and blend the soup to a smooth consistency. Reheat in the same saucepan when ready to eat. Add a dash of coconut cream to taste and a sprinkle of fresh chopped coriander.
Assists with immune function, skin health, poor nutrition, eye health, gut health and inflammatory disease.