It’s root vegetable season and top of the list is the parsnip. I am a huge fan of parsnips, they always remind me of Sunday roasts at my grandma’s place when I was growing up and I love that they are making a comeback in my world this season. But now I love them not only for their deliciousness but also because I am aware of their awesome health properties too. These quirky looking versatile vegetables contain high levels of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron, in addition to an impressive range of vitamins, including vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K, as well as high levels of fibre and some protein. All of which equals nutritional gold!
Not sure what to do with them?
Parsnips are an awesome alternative to plain old potato when your thinking of making mash, roast veggies or even to make into deliciously crispy home-made chippies. Simply cut them into chip size, coat with some of your favourite cooking oil (I like coconut or ghee) and sprinkle with some Himalayan salt and whack in the oven for 45 minutes to crisp up. Yum!
Another root vegetable tops this list this season. Swede’s are those ugly looking things that couldn’t decide whether they wanted to be a cabbage, or a potato or a parsnip so they are kind of a quirky blend of all three.
They have some pretty awesome health benefits including their ability to improve our digestive health, boost our immune system, improve our metabolic function, lowering our blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, aiding in cellular and enzymatic functions, building strong bones, and can even help with weight loss. Enough good reasons to seek these babies out at the markets? I think so.
So what do we do with them?
The same as we do for parsnips. We mash them, we roast them, we make them into chippies and we use them in our soups. So delish and so nutritious.
I love the fact that number 3 on our list for this season is a citrus fruit as we can all do with some serious vitamin C boosting during the winter months, and oranges are chock full of the good stuff.
Bronson assures us that this season the Navel oranges are the pick of the litter – sweeter than the Valencia’s and deliciously juicy they are the ones to reach for at the markets this time of year.
Don’t you just love the name of these apples? ‘Gravensteine’…..so glamorous…..so European, yet these little cherubs are grown here locally. Bronson informed me that these little beauties are famous for their their cider making heritage being traced back to their original birth place in Denmark, many, many, many years ago.
I can honestly say I have not consciously consumed a Gravenstein apple prior to today and what can I say other than WOW! These apples are so super crisp and have the most amazing flavour, they could very easily make me an apple snob.
One of my favourite recipes for apples in the winter months is my Apple Crumble. If you haven’t tried it yet, you simply must so check out the recipe here.
Queensland Blue Pumpkin
Pumpkin is such a versatile vegetable. You can make pumpkin soup 101 ways, you can roast it and put it through a salad, you can roast it and have it on it’s own as a meal, you can mash it, you can make chips out of it, you can even make desserts out of it. I love it!
The Queensland Blue variety of pumpkin completes off our top 5 fresh produce picks this season due to it’s deliciously creamy texture, it’s thin skin (equals minimal wastage) and it’s abundance of flesh with minimal seeds.
Just a quick reminder that buying and eating ‘in-season’ produce which is locally grown with love is not only good for your health, but it is also extremely beneficial for your wallet too. Fresh produce grown in season is more likely to have been grown outside in natural conditions, with minimal storage time and less ‘intervention’ meaning we get max nutrients (more bang for our buck) and due to the abundance in supply during peak season, the costs per kg reduces significantly. Not only that but eating seasonally also allows us to obtain a wide variety of nutrients from different foods rather than just sticking to the same fruit and veggies all year round and variety in our foods is absolutely paramount to our overall health and wellbeing.
If you need further inspiration, check out this video with Bronson from Roaming Fresh. This guy is seriously passionate about his fresh produce and it’s contagious.