Nutrition seasonal vegetables: september

Tuesday 08 May 2018

This week’s blog is going to focus on the fruits and vegetables in season during the month of September. I thought that this would be a good idea and to look each month at what is in season, write a simple nutritional profile of some of the foods and some ideas of how to use and store them.

This month foods to focus on are; apples, beetroot, blackberries, blackcurrants, plums, aubergines, French beans, runner beans, broccoli, carrots, courgettes, kale, wild mushrooms, sweetcorn and tomatoes.

I am always bestowing the virtues of eating a high proportion of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. There is a great deal of positive research linked to the benefits of fruits and vegetables for those with cancer. It is important to try and embrace these findings.

I have decided to add these type of blogs regularly simply because we know that fruits and vegetables play a key part in a healthy diet and their use is encouraged because of their high vitamin and mineral content and the presence of phytonutrients and antioxidants. I have done blogs on both of these so if you would like a fuller understanding of how they relate to our health and in particular their links with cancer then you may find these interesting to read.

Why buy  fruit and veg in season?
There are many positives about buying fruits and vegetables that are in season; they are cheaper, more easily available and will have a superior nutritional profile than food that has travelled thousands of miles to get to you. Added to that they taste much better.
This month I want to focus on beetroots and kale.

Same family as chard and spinach. Can eat the root and the leaves.

Health Benefits of beetroot

A well-known detoxifier and blood cleanser, beetroot also contains a wealth of nutrients to boost immune function and keep you energised.
The combination of iron and folic acid helps to build the red blood cells, preventing fatigue, while its natural sugars and fibre provide lasting energy. They are bursting with powerful anti-oxidants including beta cyanin which can help improve the function of the detoxifying enzymes in the liver, it can also support kidney health by increasing bile production which is needed to emulsify fats in the body.
The tops are an excellent source of vitamin C for immune support vitamin C, is also a powerful antioxidant. Beetroot is high in potassium which is alkaline forming and helps to give cells the essential vitality that they need to keep functioning well.

Preparing and serving.

  • The most common way to serve beetroot is to simply gently boil the beetroot covered in water until it is tender. When you do this cut the leaves off leaving about two inches of the stalks.  Leave to cool and then the skin is easily removed with the hands.
  • A very nice simple dressing to go over cooked sliced beetroot; 3 tbsp of sherry vinegar or lemon juice, 4 tbsp of walnut oil, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsps honey, seasoning. Simply whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the beetroot
  • The leaves can be washed and served as a salad vegetable or shredded and used in a stir fry or steamed and used as a hot vegetable in a similar way to kale or cabbage.
  • The leaves have a bitter flavour so go well with an onion and apple that have been sliced and cooked till soft in some olive oil.
  • Raw beetroot can be peeled and grated and added to a salad or coleslaw.
  • A simple nutritious dip that is packed with protein; Blitz together 125g of cashew nuts, ½ tsp both ground cumin and coriander, pinch paprika, 1 raw beetroot peeled and chopped, 2 tsps lemon juice and seasoning.

Known as ‘The Queen of Greens’, also called Borecole and comes as curly kale, ornamental or dinosaur varieties.
Kale is a member of the Brassica family along with broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts.

Health Benefits of kale Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, packed full of phytochemicals, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a rich source of glucosinolates, known for their anti- cancer properties, plus flavonoids and carotenoids including beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin particularly important for eye health. It is a great bone booster too rich in vitamin k, which along with the magnesium and calcium in kale promotes strong bones. It is a superb cleansing vegetable as it alkalises the body.

Preparing and serving

  • Chop kale finely and add to soups stews, salads and stir fries.
  • Serve lightly steamed for 5 minutes.
  • Make a simple salad by thinly shredding some kale, mix with sliced red pepper, onion and raisins and drizzle over some sesame oil or walnut oil with lemon juice and seasoning.
  • Braise together chopped kale and apple, top with chopped walnuts and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  • Toss hot whole grain cooked pasta with chopped kale, feta cheese, pine nuts and a little olive oil. The heat of the pasta will wilt the kale and make it soft.
  • Make some Kale chips by cutting the kale into bite sized pieces and removing any coarse stalks. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, spread thinly on a large baking sheet and bake in a hot oven gas6/180’C for 10 to 15 min.

Make a speedy kale salad; mix 1lb of chopped kale with 2 tsps of garlic salt, 10 oz of cherry tomatoes halved, 4 shiitake mushrooms sliced and 2 tbsp of mixed seeds. Make a dressing by blending together 2 ripe stoned and peeled avocados, 2 tsps of tamari sauce or soya sauce, ½ tsp of onion powder, pinch of paprika pepper, 2 tbsp of flax oil or walnut oil, 2 tsps of xylitol sweetener and juice of ½ lemon, Pour over the kale etc. and serve.
• And finally a favourite recipe of mine;

Warm Kale and Quinoa salad.
You will need; 300g of quinoa; 1 ½ pts of boiling water; 1 lb of shredded kale with coarse stalks removed; 3 tbsp of pine nuts; 3 tbsp of raisins or dried cranberries; 2 tbsp of lemon juice; 2 tbsp of olive oil and seasoning.
1. Put the quinoa in a large pan and coat the seeds with 1 tbsp of the olive oil by turning with a spoon. Add the boiling water and stir once, Cover with a lid and turn down to simmer for 25 min or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is soft and fluffy.
2. Add the kale to the pan on top of the quinoa and leave with the lid on for a few minutes so the kale softens with the steam from the quinoa.
3. Add the pine nuts and raisins, lemon juice and olive oil. Season and serve.
4. Good hot or cold the next day.

Blog originally written by Caroline September 2013

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay up to date with our news and fundraising by signing up for our newsletter.

Sign up