Autumn brings some renewed inspiration into meals with gorgeous orange coloured fruits and vegetables. Think hearty and warming pumpkin soup, sweet potato fries and carrot cake, all containing the colours of the deciduous leaves falling from the trees around us.
Full of vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins C and A, these bright coloured picks will boost your immune system ahead of winter.
"Orange is the new green, so get your 'orange' on this year and start consuming more colours in your diet"
Pumpkin: This versatile vegetable can be diced, sliced and mashed and each part can be used ( we love zero wastage). The pulp is great in soup and the seeds are a healthy and tasty snack once roasted. Often, a whole pumpkin can last a few meals, so divide it up, chop some into cubes and boil and freeze extras. Kent pumpkins are great for roasting and butternut pumpkins are optimal for soups due to their sweeter flavour. Pumpkin is a great source of antioxidants, phenolics and has been shown to have properties that can reduce hyperglycemia and hypertension.
Sweet potato: This cheap and delicious orange number is great for any time of the day. Once steamed, freeze in small portions and use as a base for smoothies. They will deliver a naturally sweet taste and serve as one vegetable in your daily intake, first thing in the morning. Another tip is to puree and use as a spread on sandwiches or roast for adding to salads at lunch. Dinner options are wedges with hummus, or stuffed sweet potatoes Mexican style - add cheese, beans and salsa, Yum! Last, but not least, try adding sweet potato to your chocolate brownies. Not only will they be moist and decadent, but you won’t even know you are eating a serve of sweet potato with your dessert. Sweet potato is high in Carotenoids and Vitamin A,.
Oranges: Freshly squeezed orange juice is a classic, but it can take many oranges, which means a lot of fructose and wastage. Try instead an orange-based smoothie: cut an orange into chunks (freeze extras) and throw it in the blender with some coconut water, mango and berries. Refreshing and delicious, without losing the benefits within the orange itself. Another option is to section the orange and toss into a salad or add oranges to your dinner by using them in a marinade. BBQ oranges are a wonderfully sweet side dish to add to any backyard party half or quarter and throw them straight onto the grill.
Persimmons: This fruit is from the berry family and lately it is appearing in more dishes and fruit bowls. Although traditionally from Japan, it can be purchased from any grocery store. It has a range of health benefits and is sweet in flavour. Try making a persimmon jam or adding persimmon slices to chicken salad. With its great fibre content, Vitamin A and Vitamin C and high levels of manganese and copper, you can be assured you are only doing good things for your body.
Carrots: This vegetable is found in almost every household on any given day. They can be served raw, cooked, roasted or even juiced. Get creative with carrots and make delicious carrot and ginger soup or carrot muffins with walnuts for something sweet and nutrient dense.Carrots are great for your eyesight, with high Vitamin A levels, which can reduce your risk of losing your vision. Reports show carrots have the ability to reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease when consumed regularly.
Orange is the new green, so get your 'orange' on this year and start consuming more colours in your diet.