Seasonal Recipe Round Up: September – October
It’s a new month and we’re entering into a new season – autumn nights are drawing in. Before we know it, the leaves will be changing colour and cosy jumpers will be making a comeback.
As part of breaking out of the summer routine (eek, sorry – we went there!), it’s not just time to reassess your wardrobe, it’s also time to rethink the fresh produce in your weekly shop. September is a great time of year for cooking if you love using fresh, seasonal produce.
British farmers work extra hard to harvest their crop before the colder weather draws in. That means the shop shelves will be stacked with fresh fruit and veg that’s ripe for the picking at a great price.
Being mindful of eating seasonally doesn’t just make financial sense, it’s also much kinder to the environment as it limits the travel time of local produce. Winner! At this time of year, it can be especially tricky to know what you fancy to eat as the weather changes – we start to say our goodbyes to salads, and hello to warmer lunches and dinners.
That’s why we love to do our Seasonal Recipe Round Ups, so that you’re never short of inspiration.
Here are some of the tastiest fruits and veggies you can use in the coming months…
Apples, Pears and Blackberries
We love cooking with seasonal fruit when there’s a chill in the air, it’s just so flavoursome warmed up!
Whether you prefer your apples sweet or tart, they’re never fresher or more readily available than during apple-picking season. Taking a crisp, juicy bite from an apple is a surefire way to gain a boost of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Our Apple Strudels pack the cinnamon-spiced punch of the popular Austrian dessert, with far less calories (just 287 per serving).
As far as warming desserts go, you can’t beat a traditional, fruity crumble.
We like to use individual ramekins for our portioning, but you can bake in one larger dish if you’d prefer.
This Apple and Blackberry Crumble can be served with fat free yoghurt, reduced fat ice cream or enjoyed all by itself.
Blackberries are packed with fibre and vitamin C, so you’ll want to grab them while they’re at their freshest.
Or, if you’d prefer a sweet crumble with a punchy spice to it, why not try our Pear and Ginger Crumble?
It’s another perfect combination for this time of year, as both pears and root ginger are being harvested too.
Pumpkins and Butternut Squash
It wouldn’t be right to talk about autumn without talking about the pumpkin. Often thought to be a vegetable, the bright orange October staple is actually a fruit!
Usually a scary decoration on Halloween rather than an ingredient, you might be more familiar with carving them than baking them into a pie. Pumpkins are great to cook with because they really soak up aromas and spices.
They’re also something of a cold-weather superfood, as both pumpkins and squash are packed with vitamins and nutrients that are good for your immune system.
If you’re looking to use up your leftover pumpkin this year, our Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake is super simple to prepare and only 140 calories per serving! With nutmeg, ground ginger and cinnamon too, this one truly combines all of the flavours of autumn.
Oh, and did someone say Lotus Biscoff biscuit base? (You’re welcome!)
You know it’s autumn when high-street coffee shops start to sell pumpkin spice lattes.
And they’re oh so good – but that’s because they’re packed with sugar!
We love a hot, spiced beverage, and our Pumpkin Spiced Latte has only 109 calories in each comforting mug.
You can even use butternut squash rather than pumpkin, if preferred.
You might be familiar with a warming bowl of butternut squash risotto on a chilly evening, but have you tried Butternut Squash Lasagne?
This one is packed with nutritious veggies, and still has all the tomatoey, cheesy goodness of the traditional hearty dish.
Don’t worry if you’re new to preparing butternut squash, our recipe talks you through it!
You could even serve alongside our low calorie Cheesy Garlic Bread, for a full Italian-inspired spread.
Potatoes give us a much-needed energy boost when it’s a little cooler outside, and the last run of potatoes for the year is about to be harvested. It’s hard not to love potatoes. They’re filling, versatile and packed with nutrients.
When the nights get shorter and you want something warming for lunch, there’s nothing easier than bunging ingredients into an instant pot.
This one from Amazon comes with plenty of presets to choose from, plus it has a generous capacity for family-sized meals.
Our Ham, Leek and Potato Soup is super simple to prepare with only 4 ingredients!
In an instant pot, this recipe takes just 30 minutes to prepare, compared to one hour on the hob.
Or, you can leave it in the slow cooker for four hours and really let the flavours blend.
Potatoes are especially delicious roasted in the oven, and our Bacon, Onion and Potato Bake is no exception. The ingredients are so basic and affordable, and the flavours are super comforting, so what’s not to love?
You can also freeze your extra portions, which is really handy if you’re meal planning.
We love to save any leftover stock from this recipe because it makes a really delicious base for soups and sauces.
Even if they’re not at the heart of the meal, potatoes are a reliable accompaniment.
These Chipotle Hasselback Potatoes look almost as good as they taste.
You’ll only need three ingredients for the whole recipe, so they’re ideal for when you fancy something quick to spice up a cooler night.
With Mexican inspired flavours thanks to the chipotle seasoning, we’d really recommend serving alongside our Mexican Chilli Beef.
Cabbage, Cauliflower and Broccoli
This probably won’t be the most popular veg category on the list, even if it is super affordable and available year-round!
Low in fat and high in fibre, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are all notoriously good for digestion. They’re also some of the best veggies you can eat to get plenty of vitamin C.
Cabbage can be thrown into soups, salads and stir-fries, but we love it best shredded into delicious Coleslaw.
The perfect way to avoid high calorie shop-bought alternatives, our recipe can be put together in just 15 minutes!
Our Creamed Cabbage and Leeks recipe is also super easy to make and an ideal side dish for a roast, as it works well with any meat.
Cauliflower is so versatile to cook with – you can enjoy cauliflower rice, cauliflower ‘mash’ (when it’s blended) or even treat it as a filling, low calorie meat alternative.
If you’re less about spice but you love a good fakeaway, our Beef and Broccoli Noodle Bowls is an easy peasy Chinese-style option.
Fresh peppers, onions and the crunch of crispy broccoli work really well together in this dish – but any leftover veggies you have available to throw in will work.
When you’re preparing the broccoli for this recipe, you’ll want to keep hold of the stalks.
They’re a really handy ingredient to have readily available for making soup, and you’ll be reducing food waste too. Yay!
If it’s green and leafy, you can rest assured it’s loaded with fibre. Fruit and veggies that are fibrous keep us feeling fuller for longer, so they’re perfect for when you’re trying to eat better.
We’re not saying you’ll be Popeye the Sailor Man, but you’ll at least get a boost of calcium, magnesium and iron!
It’s also really simple to include in tasty snacks, lunches or midweek dinners. As a snacking suggestion, we think this Spinach and Pesto Dip is really handy because you can whip it together in five minutes.
You only need a few simple ingredients, and it tastes great with sliced wholemeal pitta bread, or you can dip other veggies like carrots.
Our bright green Cream of Spinach and Rocket Soup is perfect for the back to work routine, as it’s a quick prep meal you can enjoy to warm you up on chilly lunch breaks.
You can even make it a little more filling with a wholemeal crusty bread roll on the side.
When the nights are longer, comfort food needs to be on the menu – that’s where our Weekly Indulgence recipes come in.
Typically super high in calories and fat, our French-inspired Chicken Tartiflette recipe is much lighter than classic versions at 488 calories per serving.
We’ve added chicken, mushrooms and spinach to make this traditionally cheese-loaded recipe into a slimming friendly dinner.
We absolutely love a rich pasta dish, and spinach happens to go really well with cheesy flavours!
We use light spreadable cheese to save on calories in our Lemon Chicken and Spinach Pasta.
The whole dish only takes around 40 minutes to pull together, so it’s a really handy midweek dinner to fill you up after a long day.
Get started with seasonal cooking
Hopefully you’re now feeling a lot more inspired to make the most of this season’s fresh fruit and veg!
How will you be making the most out of September and October’s fresh produce? Tell us over on our Facebook Group, where there are almost 1 million members sharing support and inspiration.