Summer is now in the past. After countless barbecues, celebratory lunches and dinners, the holiday season can take its toll on our healthy eating habits. Now we are moving into autumn, we can focus on getting back on track and start forming some new healthy habits to keep us feeling great and full of energy in the colder months.
Getting some ideas for what to make each day isn’t as hard as you may think, especially with access to the Better Health Channel's recipes. All you need is an idea of the ingredients that are available in a given month and away you go! Over the coming weeks we will create some autumnally-appropriate menus for you. Look out for our seasonal suggestions.
So why eat seasonal food at all?
Seasonal fruits and veggies are great because they can be locally sourced, which can save you money compared to imported out-of-season produce. Buying local also helps to support the community and businesses around you.
Seasonal food tends to taste better, as buying closer to the source means food has less travel time and more opportunity to naturally ripen. Knowing when fruits and vegetables are in season also gives you information about what times are best to plant them in your . It’s beginning to sound like there’s few reasons not to eat seasonal!
What foods are seasonal in autumn?
Now we know why we should eat seasonal, the next question is what fruit and vegetables are in season in autumn?
Summer fruits like mangoes, peaches, plums and apricots are heading out of the markets, but with the cooler weather comes oranges, apples and mandarins. Of course, there are also some year-rounders that are always available and taste good at any time of year, like bananas and grapefruits.
Many veggies are available almost year round, but some of the root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and parsnips, tend to like the cooler months, as do the cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower.
No matter what fruit or vegetables you are using, always try to 'eat a rainbow' to get the best variety of nutrients in your diet.
BHC recipe search
Once you know what fresh supplies you can get at this time of the year, head to the BHC recipes page and pop an ingredient in the keyword search. You can also add in what meal you are looking for if you are hunting for that perfect lunch snack or dinner for the family. The recipes include guides to indicate amounts of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar as well as the preparation time, cooking time and number of servings for the amount of ingredients.
When you find a recipe that tickles your fancy, tick all the ingredients that you will need to purchase and click the ‘add to shopping list’ button. This will help you create a simple shopping list to print out or view on your mobile.
Try to find recipes with similar ingredients that can be used in different ways. For example, you can add some raw capsicum to a fresh salad for lunch, and save the rest to use in a stir fry for dinner time. This helps you to make the most of your shopping trips and more importantly helps to avoid wasting food. Remember that you can freeze your leftovers as well if you can’t use them immediately. The Love food, hate campaign from Sustainability Victoria has some other great tips for making the most of your meals, which helps the environment and your bank balance!
Check out the recipes Better Health Channel has on offer and see what you can find.
Just like you, we live all things health. We're lucky enough it's also part of our work. Join us each week as we share ideas and new ways to enjoy even better health.