For fans of the sunshine, the end of summer is never a cause for huge celebration – especially after the whopper that we’ve had this year.
But the changing leaves and dipping temperatures bring about some massively exciting possibilities when it comes to the delicious food that’s hitting our tables once again and we just can’t wait to get creative with some of the healthy autumn favourites!
Make your own warming winter soups
Nothing beats some delicious home made soup with gorgeous freshly made crunchy bread on a cold autumn or winter’s day. Not only does it fill up hungry tummies a treat, but it’s an absolutely fantastic way to get nutrient dense vegetables and superfoods into our diets, especially when it’s a dish that’s being made for the whole family.
Some of our favourite soups to whip up in autumn make use of amazing root vegetables that are so in season at this time of year, such as butternut squash, parsnip, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato.
In addition to the great base that these sort of vegetables can offer to keep you nice and full, you can also chuck in some nutrient dense leafy greens to ensure a good dose of all the right vitamins and minerals. This will help keep you healthy throughout the winter.
For some inspiration – check out the following winter warming soups that we found on the BBC Good Food website.
Dust off the slow cooker
Never has cooking for the whole family been easier than with a slow cooker. It’s literally involves spending a few minutes preparing a stew before you head off out for the day and then leaving it to cook slowly until you return to a home filled with wondrous smells and flavours.
And the beauty of it? You literally just have to chuck it all in to the pot and let the cooker do the rest.
A big favourite is this perfectly simple beef and vegetable stew. All you need to do is the following first thing in the morning:
- Coat chunks of stewing steak in plain flour (this will thicken up the stew)
- Brown them off in a saucepan with some chopped onion
- Chop up carrots, potato, mushrooms, parsnips, garlic (and anything else that takes your fancy)
- Layer up the meat and vegetables in the slow cooker, starting by coating the bottom of the slow cooker with slices of potato (about the thickness of a pound coin)
- Put the meat on top of the potatoes, then add the other veggies
- Season with salt and pepper and herbs, such as bay leaves, chopped parsley and thyme
- Pour in beef stock to cover the vegetables
- Set the cooker to a high heat for an hour, then turn down to low for the day
This delicious, hearty stew will then cook slowly to dinner time, meaning that by the time you get home, your meal will be all ready to go! The meat literally falls apart in your mouth – divine!
It can also be tailored to your family’s individual taste, for instance, by adding a dollop of marmite, tomato puree, ale, Worcestershire sauce, mixed gravy, paprika or a few chillies here and there. It really is a great chance to make an easy, basic dish, your own!