Whilst it can be a bit confusing as to what’s in season when so much of our food is available year-round, it’s always best to try to ‘eat with the seasons’. So what does October bring us?
Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, shares five great foods to eat this month.
Cranberries are traditionally associated with Christmas as an accompaniment to turkey. However, they’re at their best right now and that continues through to December. They used to be known as ‘bouncing berries’ as the fresh ones literally do! Most importantly, there’s a wealth of ways you can use them in the daily diet.
Cranberries are packed with plenty of immune-boosting nutrients to help you through the upcoming ‘bug’ season. They’re loaded with vitamin C, iron and plenty of antioxidants. Plus, they’ve also been proven to help fight urinary tract infections. However, it’s recommended to drink cranberry juice (look for low sugar ones), rather than the whole berries if you’re prone to suffering.
Cranberries are great in a sauce with roasted duck, can be used dried in breakfast muesli, and baked in muffins.
The month of October can never pass without mentioning pumpkins! The most famous of winter squashes, they are packed with the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene which the body turns into immune-boosting vitamin A as needed.
Pumpkin is delicious roasted; in fact it’s probably easiest cooked this way as the skin can stay on. Preparing pumpkins can sometimes be slightly challenging although well worth it as they are delicious in stews, soups or mashed as a vegetable side. The seeds are highly nutritious and can also be lightly roasted with a little olive oil and salt for a healthy snack.
Peas are often one of our staple vegetables on the dinner plate, partly because they are a popular frozen vegetable option. Frozen peas often more tender as they are picked and frozen quickly so the natural sugar doesn’t have time to turn into starch.
Peas are high in vitamin B1 which is good for the heart, and supports natural energy and the nervous system, plus they’re a good source of vitamin C.
The versatility of peas means they can be eaten in many different dishes; with pasta, in stir fries and risottos, in soups and as part of a Spanish tortilla, just as a few suggestions!
Hailed as a luxury food, oysters will always make a statement on any plate! October is actually one of the best months to eat them in season as they are spawning during the summer months and their taste and texture changes.
One of the best nutritional facts about oysters is that they’re loaded with the mineral zinc which is needed for healthy reproduction and fertility; this is the very reason oysters are known as aphrodisiacs!
It can be quite challenging to shuck an oyster yourself, so it’s worth buying them already prepared by an expert fishmonger. However, they need to be eaten fairly soon afterwards. Some people like them plain, others squeeze some lemon juice over them, or they work really well with a little tabasco to spice things up a bit!
Not just for Christmas, goose is coming into season right now. Whilst it does contain more fat than chicken or turkey, at 22 grams per 100 grams, goose has an excellent nutrient profile with greater levels of immune boosting iron and vitamin B6. Plus it contains the same amount of protein as turkey, which is even more than duck or chicken.
A goose will produce fat when it’s roasting and some people cook it on an open tray and catch the fat as it drains off the bird. Goose fat helps create the best roasted potatoes so if you cook a goose during October, the collected fat will still be great for cooking your roasties on Christmas Day!
So celebrate these healthy and delicious October foods and enjoy seasonal eating this autumn.
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