I have always been terrible at eating fruits and vegetables. Terrible. It's not that I don't like them - I do, for the most part. I just typically don't reach for them when I'm hungry.
However, I find that I'm more likely to achieve my five-a-day at this time of year. The bounty of available fruits and vegetables is almost overwhelming in autumn. You've got summer leftovers (hello, tomatoes) and winter previews (hello, clementines) plus all the amazing harvest-y goodness usually associated with autumn.
Here are my top five favorite fruits and veggies that I'm enjoying now - and suggestions as to what to do with them, obviously!
5. Apples - my mother is a huge fan of spiced baked apples, but I have to admit my favorite ways to eat apples are either straight off the tree (or out of the bag, whatever) and in cakes! I made a brandy/apple/raisin cake for Rosh Hashannah - I'm sorry, I can't find the recipe online - and my go-to simple and quick dessert is an apple crumble. As the BBC website says, "Serve with nostalgia!"
4. Squashes - I am an equal opportunity squash lover. Butternut squash? Bring on the soup - my flatmate Sam makes an excellent one. Spaghetti squash? Perfect as a side dish - it's starchy enough to take the place of couscous or rice alongside a meat main. Acorn squash? Delicious tossed in pasta - here's another excuse to eat bacon, too. The possibilities are endless!
3. Sweet potatoes - regular potatoes are good, but sweet potatoes are even better. The easiest and most delicious options for sweet potatoes are mashed or roasted (in my humble opinion). Either way, though, brown sugar is a must!
2. Mushrooms - evolutionarily, I have definitely grown out of the hunter-gatherer thing, but I would absolutely forage for mushrooms. I'm not a fungal expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I can't tell you which kinds are best for which dishes. All I know is that I love them. Also I know that my mac and cheese with mushrooms is a huge hit in my flat, and every time I make it, it's gone almost before I've taken it out of the oven!
1. Brussels sprouts - apparently I wasn't a fan of Brussels sprouts when I was a kid, but now I'm a convert. A fanatical convert. Don't get between me and my Brussels sprouts. There are tons of options as to how to make them - this looks delicious though I've never tried it - but my favorite way is just tossed with minced garlic and some olive oil and lemon juice and roasted. Even cold the next day they're amazing!
Oh, nom. I've just made myself hungry. Wait - me, hungry for fruits and vegetables? Autumn must be in the air!
What are your faves? I'm always looking for new recipes... please share!