As the hot summer months become a distant memory and we head into the season of Autumn, our appetites change and the need for warming comfort food grows. Cravings for bowls of soup accompanied by freshly-baked bread, slow-roasted meats and hearty risottos begin to replace the salads, fruits and seafood of summer.
Autumn is the best time of year for friends and gathering. To get into the spirit of the season, Autumn is the perfect time to it’s time to dust off your slow cooker and heat up your stove with delicious meals full of in-season produce to comfort your soul and warm the insides.
Autumn is a time of abundance when it comes to fresh produce, with potatoes, cabbages and pumpkins all coming into season in March. Mushrooms, spinach, fennel and carrots also start their peak season in Autumn along with celery, parsnips, onions and turnips tempting us to turn to our heartier recipes of tender roasts, casseroles, soups and curries that are all full of interwoven flavours and an abundance of fresh produce.
Seasonal food is bursting with flavor and has the highest nutritional potential compared with food that has been stored with long periods of time or grown in an artificial environment. Autumn brings an abundance of cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, brussel sprouts and broccoli which all have anti-inflammatory capabilities and help to detoxify the body. The best place to buy seasonal produce is from your local fruit and veggie market, as it is guaranteed to be fresh and helps to support local growers.
As well as a change of season, we see a change in our fruit bowls too. Autumn welcomes the arrival of an enormous variety of apples and pears, all in peak season. While we begin to lose access to stone fruits such as peaches, plums and nectarines, they are replaced with kiwifruit, figs, guavas and pomegranates. Poached pears, spiced apple pies and fruit crumbles make the most out of Autumns vast fruit bounty.
Autumn also brings with it a large range of locally grown nuts starting with hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios early on in the season, and then pecans, walnuts and chestnuts later on in the season.
Depending on conditions, autumn also sees a boom in fish and seafood, including yabbies, oysters, barramundi, pink snapper and Spanish mackerel. Meals such as fish pies with a fluffy crust, or a baked fish casserole make perfect use of the autumn fishing season.
For some delicious Autumn comfort food ideas check out some recipes here