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10 vegetables to cook with this autumn


Healthy food doesn't have to be boring! Here are our ten favorite vegetables to cook this autumn.

Australian dietary guidelines state that the average adult should consume at least five servings of vegetables or fruit a day for a balanced diet. 

With the summer months of juicy seasonal fruit behind us, the autumn months are prime time to start experimenting with a range of healthy, delicious vegetables

Stir fries, curries, roast dinners and baked casseroles are calling your name, and our list of the ten best vegetables to cook with during the cooler months are guaranteed to help you hit your recommended veggie intake.

1) Asparagus 

Asparagus is not only delicious, but is chock-full of nutrients that go a long way towards improving your inner (and outer) health. This recognisable green veggie is rich in fibre, folate and most major vitamins. It’s also great enjoyed both raw or cooked in your favourite way. 

2) Silverbeet 

Often called chard or Swiss chard in other countries, silverbeet (as Aussies call it) is a member of the spinach family, and recognisable by its large green leaves. Available all year, silverbeet is at its best in the cooler months of March to August, when it is enjoyed as a side to a roast dinner or in a variety of other ways. Boasting the benefits of folate, riboflavin and many important vitamins. 

3) Onion 

What barbecue, roast or hot dog is complete without fried onion top top it off? This bulb may make you cry when you cut into it, but your insides will thank you for it. Available in a range of colours and species, onions are full of nutrients and antioxidants. Studies have found that consumption of onions can help fight heart disease, high blood sugar and also acts as a powerful antibacterial agent. Our recipe for traditional Spanish Escalivada - from Cataluña region - contains onion as a main ingredient. 

4) Zucchini 

Down Under we call it zucchini, but our Northern Hemisphere friends refer to this green, cucumber-like vegetable as courgette. Regardless of what you name it, this squash family veggie is a fan favourite due to its numerous health benefits and the abundance of ways you can enjoy it. With high levels of potassium and vitamin C (particularly important during the winter months), every Aussie loves a classic zucchini slice. It’s easy to make and a warming autumn recipe! 

5) Cauliflower  

Synonymous with a hot roast dinner side on a cold, wintery night, cauliflower is a vegetable that resembles a pale coloured broccoli, and is similar in the way that the only the “head” is eaten and the leaves discarded. Roasted, steamed or fried, cauliflower is delicious as part of a stir fry, curry or soup. Cauliflower is low in carbohydrates and fat, but high in vitamins B, C and K

6) Turnip

Maybe not a common, go-to cold weather vegetable, consider adding turnips into your vegetable mix this autumn. A white root veggie with a dash of purple on its top, turnip grows beautifully in Australia and is enjoyed as part of our favourite Mediterranean Diet. Turnips are a great vegetable for those striving for weight loss, due to its low calorie count, and is high in fibre, which is excellent for your digestive health. In fact, turnip is credited with alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis due to its positive effect on absorbing water in the colon. 

7) Carrot 

Raw, roasted, steamed or fried, carrots are a go-to vegetable year round, and can be found in most fridges across Australia. Often associated since we were children with improving eyesight (who else had parents that encouraged us to eat carrot this way?), this bright orange root vegetable is loaded with health benefits. Carrots are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and fibre, and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. If you are looking for a quick and easy snack to pack on the go, julienned carrot sticks dipped in hommus are simply mouth-watering - and filling!

8) Pumpkin 

Can you imagine anything more warming and nourishing on a chilly autumn day than a thick pumpkin soup, garnished with parsley? Neither can we! This is just one way of enjoying this yellow/orange squash plant, which is heavy in vitamins and antioxidants as well as lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are important for good eyesight. Here’s a fun fact about pumpkins… they are actually considered fruit, although the majority of us definitely refer to it as a veggie! 

9) Brussel Sprouts 

If you were a child that couldn’t stand the thought of eating Brussels sprouts, we hope as an adult you’ve discovered the joys of this delicious, nutritious vegetable. Brussels sprouts are jam-packed with nutrients you require to live a healthy life, including Vitamin K, antioxidants, fibre and Omega 3. This recipe for Brussels sprouts with bacon and almonds is a firm favorite with readers of Coles’ magazine, Taste, and is oh so easy to prepare at the end of a long day. 

10) Cabbage 

Cabbage is often synonymous with a low fat diet, and is an important leafy vegetable for those aiming to lose weight, mainly due to its virtually non-existent calorie count and high water levels. However, cabbage offers so much more than that. It’s high Vitamin C count offers anti-ageing qualities, fibre for digestive health, and vitamin B6 for brain function. But go easy - many people find that cabbage causes gas. This is due to its very high fibre levels, which is approximately twice that of its leafy cousin lettuce. Try our recipe for scrumptious Cocido Madrileño for a generous helping of cabbage (plus onions and carrots!)

Cooking with seasonal autumn and winter vegetables is fun and filling, and is an enjoyable way to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.