Autumn is a great time for chefs and foodies. And the seasonal ingredients are packed full of great nutrients to ward off cold and flu, whilst boosting our mood and immune systems. Eating seasonally really does have its many benefits, not only for personal health and to put a few pennies back in our pockets (in-season is always cheaper), but also for the environment.

Choosing seasonal produce cuts food miles and helps to reduce our carbon footprint. Make sure you shop local (a green grocer or farmer’s market is best) to dramatically shorten the distance your food needs to travel. 

From field to plate, here are the seasonal recipes to keep your family kitchen as environmentally friendly, affordable and healthy as possible. (All data taken from this online Seasonal Produce Guide).

October’s Sustainable Foods

October is often celebrated for the tasty pumpkin. But there are so many other ingredients to embrace in this month. Including fresh sweet corn (on the cob or in salads), juicy apples, wild mushrooms, marrow, globe artichoke, celeriac, butternut squash, pears and blackberries.

Meats to indulge in are lamb and pheasant, whilst fish and seafood varieties to enjoy during the month of October include grey mullet, mussels and oysters.

There is so much choice here that it can be very easy to shop and cook responsibly. For fish lovers, mullet is a relatively low-mercury fish, yet it is very high in omega-3. Making it a very healthy and safe choice for kids. Both lamb and pheasant are easy to cook once you know how. And the beautiful array of colours found in October’s fruit and veg range will help health fanatics consume a rainbow of colours for a longer life.

(Image source: Eat a Rainbow of Colourful Produce, Health.mil)

Here are some sustainable recipe ideas:

  • Roast grey mullet with fennel
  • Pumpkin curry with chickpeas
  • Chinese sweet corn soup
  • Pheasant with celeriac and apple mash
  • Lamb and butternut squash tagine
  • Apple, pear and blackberry crumble (see recipe)

November’s Sustainable Foods

As the weather gets colder, the appeal of hearty dishes, stews and soups, and roast dinners with a colourful selection of nutritious veggies will be irresistible. November’s key ingredients are potatoes and red cabbage, whilst also in season are chestnuts, white cabbage, cranberries, parsnips, kale, spring greens, leeks, carrots, apples - and not forgetting - the extremely versatile autumn fruit, quince.

In the meat selection, there’s a great choice of wild duck, venison, pheasant and partridge. For fish and seafood fans, you can shop around for beautiful sea bass, mussels and oysters as well as clams.

Here are some sustainable recipe ideas:

  • Leek and potato soup
  • Red cabbage and potato hash
  • Venison with parsnip chips and spring greens
  • Braised partridge with red cabbage
  • Seafood spaghetti (with clams and mussels)
  • Vegetarian quince tagine
  • Baked seabass with potatoes and kale
  • Wild duck with apples (see recipe)

Published by Arina Smith