Sustainable eating is great for the environment and helps to control our carbon footprint through reduced energy of production and shorter food miles. But that’s not all, foodies. Because the environment isn’t the only thing to benefit from the trend of seasonal kitchens. Fresh, seasonal produce is great-tasting and packed with higher levels of nutrition.
So, it really is the healthiest way to feed your family. Therefore, these eating habits will enhance the health of your family members and help in preserving the environment. This can be termed as responsible eating behavior.
So, what’s Available in October? This small infographic below shows a selection of in-season produce that will help you create the tastiest and most nutritious lunches and dinners this month. You can take advantage of this by consuming some of these diets.
(More from the Seasonal Produce Guide)
Other than the October favorite of pumpkin, other prime ingredients to source this month are apples, fresh sweetcorn, wild mushroom, blackberries, sloe berries, globe artichoke, pears and runner beans. Meats include lamb and pheasant, whilst the fish menu features mussels, grey mullet and oysters. The menu presents an excellent way of crowning up the 10th month of the year.
Here are some great recipes to try out with the above seasonal ingredients:
(An October favourite just in time for Halloween)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 finely chopped onions
1kg pumpkin chunks
700ml vegetable stock
150ml double cream
Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook onions until soft. Add the pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes or until the flesh starts to soften. Add the stock and bring to boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes before pouring in the cream and bringing the soup back to boil. Turn down the heat and use a hand blender to create a smooth puree. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper, then serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and some croutons.
Freeze for up to 2 months.
Or for a delicious pumpkin alternative this winter, see Jamie Oliver’s pumpkin and chickpea tagine recipe.
Apple, Pear & Blackberry Cobbler
(A warming dessert using the fruits of the month)
3 pears (cut into large chunks)
2 apples (quartered)
1 punnet of blackberries
200g self-raising flour
60g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
100g butter cubes
1 lemon (zest and juice)
1 beaten egg
Preheat oven to 190°C and melt the butter and sugar in a large pan. Add the apples and pears, cooking for around 10 minutes (or until the fruit starts to soften). Transfer to baking dish before adding blackberries to the top of the mixture. Combine sifted flour, baking powder, sugar, a pinch and butter in a food processor. Mix until the texture resembles breadcrumbs, then add egg and the lemon zest and juice and combine it all together. Dollop the batter over the fruit and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Suitable for storing in the fridge or freezer.
Homemade Sloe Gin
(The perfect winter warmer to serve at dinner parties)
500g ripe sloe berries
250g golden caster sugar
1 litre of gin
Wash and rinse your berries before patting them dry with a clean tea towel. Prick the fruits with a fork then put them in a 2 litre jar / container with airtight seal. Pour in the sugar and gin, secure the lid and store in a cool, dark place for around 2-3 months.
After fermenting for a couple of months, your sloe gin is ready for straining. Line a sieve with muslin and strain the alcohol. Decant into a bottle and seal.
Keep in cool, dry place.
It goes without saying that October has great seasonal recipes to present before you. You need to be keen about the ingredients and prescribed method as it will preserve all the nutrients and sill deliver a delicious and tasty meal while maintaining a sustainable environment.