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Food in Season – October

WLR's Food Information Executive, Laurence Beeken highlights October's food in season and gives some healthy recipes to tempt your appetite.

Food in Season - October

by WLR's Food Information Executive Laurence Beeken

With Halloween and the run up to Bonfire night, October has more to offer than baked potatoes and pumpkins.

Figs

Figs

Health Benefits of Figs

Figs which are avaialbe now are highly nutritious and provide real health benefits. A good source of magnesium, fibre and potassium, figs are beneficial for constipation, digestion, anemia and can help to protect against cancer. They also contain vitamin A, B and C. For those of you who are allergic to dairy products, figs provide a very good source of calcium.

Add Figs to your Diet
  • Put a few on top of a bowl of cereal in the morning or add to your porridge.
  • Think of using figs as a healthy energy snack. A handful of figs mid-morning will keep you feeling full and energised until lunch time.
  • Serve in a bowl with some Greek yoghurt or crème fraiche.
  • Add chopped up fresh figs to a salad.
  • Add chopped fresh figs to rice or cous cous dishes.
  • Bake some cakes or muffins and add figs for texture and flavour.
  • Try a glass of fig juice.

Choose figs which are richly coloured, plump and soft but with unbroken skins. Some prefer to peel the fig before eating but the whole fruit is edible.

Nutrition Information
Figs, per 100g
  Dried Figs Fresh Figs
Calories (kcal) 231.7 45.0
Protein (g) 3.6 1.3
Carbohydrate (g) 53.2 9.8
Sugars (g) 53.2 9.8
Fat (g) 1.1 0.2
Saturates (g) 0.0 0.0
Sodium (g) 0.062 0.003
Fibre (g) 8.7 1.5
Fruit and Veg (servings) 1.3 1.3

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

For centuries, mushrooms have been added to meals and have been revered for their medicinal qualities.

Love them or hate them, mushrooms add a very distinct flavour and texture to many dishes and, as an added benefit, are low in calories, containing almost no fat. Nutritionally, mushrooms are high in riboflavin, a B-vitamin that promotes healthy skin and good vision. This versatile fungi is also a useful source of potassium and selenium. With a significant amount of selenium in every serving, mushrooms can play a part in lowering the risk of some cancers, particularly prostate cancer.

Easy to prepare, always keep mushrooms in the fridge. When ready, clean the skins and then they can be cooked whole or sliced or chopped.

If you are out and about in the Autumn and see wild mushrooms growing you need to know which mushrooms are safe to eat but if you are unsure, leave them alone.

Nutrition Information
Mushrooms, Common, Raw, Average, per 100g
Calories (kcal) 12.4
Protein (g) 1.8
Carbohydrate (g) 0.3
Sugars (g) 0.0
Fat (g) 0.5
Saturates (g) 0.1
Sodium (g) 0.118
Fibre (g) 1.1
Fruit and Veg (servings) 1.3

Broccoli

Related to the cauliflower and cabbage, broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables. 100g serving will give you more than enough of your daily recommended Vitamin C. Broccoli is also a good source of co-enzyme Q10, a critical nutrient for energy production. Don't over cook and will also have a fabulous source of vitamin E, folate and beta carotene, not to mention fibre, iron and potassium.

Preparation

Simply trim the stalks and remove any tough or damaged leaves. Cut into florets and wash thoroughly.

Storage

Store in the fridge and best used within a couple of days of purchase. Remember not wash it prior to storing, otherwise the water residue may cause it to spoil.

Nutrition Information
Broccoli, Green, Raw, Average, per 100g
Calories (kcal) 29.7
Protein (g) 3.7
Carbohydrate (g) 2.0
Sugars (g) 1.7
Fat (g) 0.8
Saturates (g) 0.2
Sodium (g) 0.0193
Fibre (g) 2.3
Fruit and Veg (servings) 1.3
Broccoli Recipes

Broccoli Soup (141.8 kcal per serving)
Cheesy Broccoli (222.6 kcal per serving)

Butternut Squash

Butternut SquashButternut squash is part of the pumpkin family, which with their thick skins are amongst the longest keeping vegetables. Per 100g the butternut squash contains 36 calories and not only is it high in fibre, potassium, beta carotene and vitamins A and C, it is also a great source of complex carbohydrates which provide a slower and more sustained release of energy. It is truly a deliciously, sweet Autumn vegetable than can be used in a wide range of dishes.

Preparation

Whilst the young small squash can be used whole, mature squash needs peeling. If you are roasting a whole squash, pierce the flesh several times all over with a sharp knife and wash thoroughly. For recipes that require chunks of squash, peel the skin, chop in half and scoop out the seeds.

Storage

Can be kept in a cool, dry place for several weeks or if you prefer to keep them in the fridge store in a paper bag.

Nutrition Information
Butternut Squash, Fresh, Raw, Average, per 100g
Calories (kcal) 36
Protein (g) 1.1
Carbohydrate (g) 8.3
Sugars (g) 4.5
Fat (g) 0.1
Saturates (g) 0.0
Sodium (g) 0.004
Fibre (g) 1.6
Fruit and Veg (servings) 1.3
Butternut Squash Recipes

Spicy Squash Salad (204.8 kcal per serving)
Butternut Wedges (194.8 kcal per serving)

Pears

PearsPears are such a wonderful Autumn fruit that come in a wide range of varieties. Eating these you gain a good source of Chromium and plenty of dietary fibre which is proven to reduce cholesterol levels. They also contain Vitamins A, C and K along with small amounts of Potassium.

Preparation

Much the same as the apple, a quick wash under the tap and eat as they are or if you prefer, peel the skin and remove the core.

Storage

Unripe pears can be stored at room temperature until they ripen. To check the ripeness gently squeeze near the stem and they should give in to light pressure. They can then be kept in the fridge. To stop discoloration wipe any cut and bruised pears with a little lemon juice.

Nutrition Information
Nutrition Information (Pears, Raw, Weighed with Core, per 100g).
Calories (kcal) 34.7
Protein (g) 0.3
Carbohydrate (g) 8.4
Sugars (g) 8.4
Fat (g) 0.1
Saturates (g) 0.0
Sodium (g) 0.0023
Fibre (g) 1.3
Fruit and Veg (servings) 1.2
Pear Recipes

Chicken and Pear Salad (312.0 kcal per serving)
Pear and Banana Smoothie (258.6 kcal per serving)

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