Eat the Seasons: My October Must Haves
14 October 2015
When the leaves turn color its not only time to take out the winter coats and go shopping for the latest Fall/Winter Fashion trends - living in tune with the season extends itself to more than what we wear. Foods have seasons too & in my eyes, Strawberries & Asparagus are the edible counterparts of flip flops and white linen: OCTOBER NO GO's
Falltime is in full swing & along with the soft knits, woolen hats and cozy scarves - this beautiful time of the year also serves us an amazing variety of freshly & locally harvested crops.
To help you get some good inspiration on what to buy next time when you are (grocery) shopping: here my Top 5 Fall Foods, along with some Info's & tipps on how to use them.
1. Butternut Pumpkin - 45kcal per 100g
The absolute Allrounder, the Butternut Pumpkin, which is actually not a pumpkin but a type of squash (fruit), comes in all sizes and is extremely versatile in preparation possibilities. Suitable for both sweet and savory recipes, it can be used interchangeably with other pumpkins in soups, mashs, roasts or in desserts like pies and muffins. Its taste is sweet and nutty - similar to 'real' pumpkins.
My favourite classical recipe using the butternut is making a very simple soup: Cut up a Butternut Pumkin and roast it together with Onion & Garlic in some Butter. Then Boil it all up with some water until the Pumkin flesh is fully soft. Puree it using a Blender stick or inside the blender and add salt & pepper (as much as you prefer). This super super simple recipe really preserves the original flavour of the Butternut and is truly one of my favourites - #keeplifesimple
Ingredients: Pumpkin, Onion, Garlic, Cream, Butter, Salt & Pepper
Vegan Option: Pumpkin, Onion, Garlic, Coconutcream, Coconutoil, Salt & Pepper
2. Chestnuts - 180kcal per 100g
I can't even begin to describe how much love I have for Chestnuts. I love chestnuts in all shapes and recipe's. I love Chestnut Breads, Chestnut Pancakes, roasted Chestnuts and chestnut puree with vanilla icecream - I love chestnut Soups. Chestnut flour is the greatest substitute for wheat flour if you are on a glutenfree diet - especially in sweet recipes. Think baking your chocolate cake - replacing your regular flour with CHESTNUT FLOUR
My latest discovery was adding some Chestnut Puree to my Oatmeal. Since going Macrobiotic I have been eating Oatmeal for breakfast almost daily - so I've been experimenting a lot with different flavours and combo's so that I do not get bored of eating the same thing every day. Besides the 'Carrot Cake Oatmeal' the Chestnut Oatmeal has definitely been my favourite.
Preparation: just like regular Oatmeal. I prepare my Oats in water (because in Macrobiotic eating all diary products are minimized, my porridges are mostly Vegan) - then I boil them up and add some chestnut puree, raisins, ground almonds, cinnamon & agave sirup. Its heaven! Around 20g of chestnut puree is enough to really give the whole porridge a rich chestnutty taste.
3. Kale - 50kcal per 100g
Kale has been hyped in the foodie world for quite some time now. Wether it is in green smoothies, as Kale Chips or Salads - Kale is cool because its easy, tasty and very healthy. Its also in Season now - so I've you have been wanting to finally try making your own Kale Chips - NOW is the Time! If you want some Details on how to make Kale Chips head over to my recept Post on Macrobiotic Food - for instructions.
4. Apples - 54kcal per 100g
The apple is probably the most common fruit in our climatezone receiving the least attention. Its usage is rooted deeply in our kitchens and our diets - eaten as a raw snack in between, or used in pies and porridges - the apple is the classical and timeless icon amongst the fruits. Definitely not seen as a 'trendfood' but also never out of fashion - the apple is the 'little black dress' and the 'nivea' of fuits. This delicious fruit is in season now - so this evergreen definitely deserves a mention. With Ice Cream season over, and Christmas Cookie Season not yet commencing - I declare Autumn to be Pie Season & why not dig out your grannies Apple Pie recipe and have a try at this delicious and easy treat.
If you don't have time for Pie baking - try grating a whole apple into your oatmeal in the morning. Combined with cinnamon, honey and raisins its heaven! There are different Types of Apples - my favourite ones are Braeburn and Boskop - with a more soury taste and nice texture that works well when heated.
5. Parsnip - 75kcal per 100g
I actually only discovered the Parsnip this year - its the first year that I bought and used it at home. My mom never used it & I just somehow always skipped this rather boring vegetable that looked like an oversized white carrot in the grocery store. Once I had discovered it however I became a fan. With a mild, celery like taste (I REALLY LOVE CELERY), for a veggie its high in carbs making it suitable for my macrobiotic based diet and very versatile in preparation. In fact you can very easily combine it with every single one of the other ingredients mentioned above. You can roast it with butternut, juice it together with kale, boil it into a soup together with apple and or chestnuts. You can even mash it and use it as a healthier substitute for mashed potatoes.
I'm going to share my favourite recipe that I discovered - of course combined with my beloved chestnuts.
Its super easy, and super super tasty - best give it a try yourself:
2 medium parsnips, chopped into very small pieces
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
250g roasted chestnuts (or chestnut puree)
1 litre hot vegetable stock
250g Soaked Cashew or Cashewpuree
Handful chives finely sliced
Single cream to serve
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Steam the Parsnip, Cashews and celery for 10 Minutes and season with salt and black pepper. Add the apples and continue to steam for another 5 -10 mins until the apples are softened.
Add the chestnuts and stock along with 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and continue to cook until all the veggies are soft. Blend up the soup to a smooth, thick consistency then add back into the cooking pot. Check seasoning and add extra salt/pepper & herbs to your taste.