The Metal element and Autumn brings an opportunity to support our bowel health and a great way to do this is start eating some fermented foods such as natural yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir; just a small amount regularly will boost the bowel flora which lives in our large intestines. These are rich in natural probiotics which boost our brain power and our immune system. Also reduce the amount of sugary food you eat as this feeds the unhealthy bacteria.
In terms of Autumn eating there is an abundance of yummy goodies to choose from the field and garden, including squash, apples and blackberries, brussel sprouts, kale and leeks. This is definitely the time to start warming up what we eat. Here are some ideas of how you can do that:
- Cook food on a lower heat for longer, for example casseroles and trays of mixed roasted vegetables.
- Use warming spices, such as: chilli; ginger; turmeric, garlic and black pepper
- Eat less raw food and salads – substitute with hearty vegetable soups. When you do eat salads warm them with spicy leaves and sprouts such as mustard seed.
- Eat more root vegetables which are abundant, being rich in carbohydrates they will help to nourish and warm the body for the cooler weather
- Gather apples and blackberries for tasty, sweet crumbles – spiced up with a generous spoonful of cinnamon!
Squash is one of my favourite Autumn veggies, with such variety and versatility, most meals at this time of year contain a bit! This is a tribute to this wonderful vegetable using it as the main focus and I recommend you experiment with the different varieties to find your favourite!
This recipe works best with the smaller squashes: onion (red kuri); acorn or kabocha and allow one squash per person. Alternatively, use a large squash: crown prince or queensland blue and serve as a centre piece to cut into quarters/slices.
Ingredients for 4 people
4 smaller squash or one large
1 onion – finely chopped
1 carrot – diced or grated
2 sticks celery – chopped finely
2 cloves garlic – crushed and chopped
Handful of mushrooms
1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
200g cooked quinoa (about 100g before cooking)
150g grated goats/sheeps cheese
Handful of (preferably fresh picked) chopped walnuts/hazelnuts – or pine nuts/cashews/sunflower seeds
Wash thoroughly, then cut the top of the squash and scoop out the seeds
Gently sweat the onion in the olive oil until softened
Add garlic, celery, carrot, mushrooms and cook til tender
Mix in cooked quinoa and fresh herbs (if using dried herbs add in with the garlic)
Add nuts or seeds or cheese if using and combine thoroughly
Place the lid back on the squash and bake in oven 200 C/400F/Gas 6 for about 1 hour until squash is tender
I serve with a few steamed green beans, kale (cavelo nero is my favourite!) and roasted tomatoes, for a plate of Autumn Delight!
Whole roasted baby tomatoes only take 10 mins in a hot oven.
Toss them in olive oil and some sprigs of basil before popping cooking – scrumptious! ...love Carol x