As autumn gets underway, October is all about glorious gourds and the start of hearty root vegetable season – and the apple harvest, of course! It’s officially the season for warming comfort food, and with plenty of fresh fruit and veg on the way in from orchards and fields this month, you’ll have no trouble filling your October meal plans using fresh local ingredients that haven’t had to harm the planet by travelling half way around the world. Here’s what’s good to eat in October…
Fruit and veg to enjoy in October
According to the Vegetarian Society guide, we can enjoy these fruits and veggies fresh from the fields during October:
Aubergine, Apples, Beetroot, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Chillies, Courgette, Cucumber, Elderberries, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Marrow, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Quince, Radishes, Red Cabbage, Rocket, Runner Beans, Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Swede, Sweetcorn, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash, White Cabbage
Swing by any orchard in early October and you’ll likely see the trees heaving with ripening fruit. Now is the time of year to enjoy freshly picked apples, and there are innumerable different ways to do so. Despite this, 800,000 whole apples are binned each day in the UK – something that’s easy to avoid by treating yourself to delicious recipes like our baked stuffed apples, apple and bramble crumble and spiced apple-topped French toast. You can use them in savoury dishes, too, such as this hearty West Country homity pie.
A surprisingly versatile vegetable, butternut squash is a real treat at this time of year. Slice it in half, stuff it with feta cheese and roast it, or cut it up into cubes and add it to all your favourite curries, stews and soups. If you’re in need of a warming soup, look no further than our spicy root vegetable soup, or, on a warm early October day, try our chilled butternut and Peppadew® Sweet Piquanté Pepper soup. And autumn comfort food doesn’t get much better than our butternut squash mince bake. Don’t forget, you can substitute butternut squash for winter squash or pumpkin if that’s what you have available.
Whether you boil it, steam it, mash it or roast it, there are a surprising number of ways to incorporate swede into your cooking this month. Use it in our leftover Sunday roast pasties or tasty haggis pie, or simply use it as a healthier alternative to potato in any recipe that calls for it. Mash it to use on a cottage or shepherd’s pie, dice it and put it in casseroles, stews and soups, or roast it in wedges for a tasty side.
Finally, it’s Halloween month, and that means it’s the one time of year when pumpkins are easy to come by in the UK. They’re great fun for carving, but did you know that you can also eat them? Pumpkins are just as tasty as butternut squash and other members of the squash family, so it’s sad that research from sustainability charity Hubbub has found that 12.8m pumpkins bought for decoration during Halloween are likely to be left uneaten. From American-style pumpkin pie to spicy pumpkin soup, and from pumpkin spice granola muffins to pumpkin, blue cheese and apple risotto, there are so many delicious uses for pumpkins that you’ll never want to throw them away at Halloween again!
Read more tips on using pumpkins and check out our recipe bank for even more tasty suggestions for your October meal plan. Don’t forget to stop by again next month and find out what’s good for eating in November!