It has suddenly got colder and darker here in Scotland. I am definitely a sunshine and warmth girl, but the changing seasons into Autumn can give us a chance to nourish ourselves.
As the weather changes our immunity can suffer and we may succumb to colds and infections. Many seasonal foods can support our immune systems as they are rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants. Try incorporating apples, blackberries, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels, cabbage, celery, garlic, leeks, sweet potatoes and pumpkin into your weekly diet.
For me it is a time of moving from salads to warm and nourishing foods such as stewed fruit, homemade apple and blackberry crumble, soups, stews, casseroles and slow cooking. I can feel my body thanking me for warming foods on a cold autumn day!
Other ways to nourish yourself this autumn could be enjoying a warm bath on colder darker night, cosying up on your settee with a good book or movie, going to bed a little earlier to recharge your batteries, trying a new recipe or drinking a warming mug of tea or herbal tea such as Chai, lemon and ginger, or cinnamon.
Or what about an Autumn walk with family or friends, noticing the changing colours on the trees, getting well needed fresh air and connection with nature. I did this with a friend this morning and we both felt brighter afterwards for doing this. A lovey start to the day and walk, talk and cup of tea at the end!! The simple pleasures boost our wellbeing I think.
Autumn Chicken Stew
Olive oil, 3-4 chicken breasts or thighs (boneless), 1 onion chopped, 4 parsnips chopped, 2 carrots chopped, ½ tsp dried rosemary or mixed herbs, ½ tsp salt, 2 apples cored and chopped, ½ sweet potato peeled and chopped (optional), 2 tsp cider vinegar, 4 cups of stock or chicken broth.
Chop the chicken and cook in some olive oil for approx. 5 mins till nearly cooked through. Remove from pan and tsf to a plate. Add some more oil to the pot and add the onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, parnsips, carrots, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for approx. 5 mins stirring often until they begin to soften approx. 5 mins. Add the broth or stock and apples, bring to a simmer over a high heat, reduce heat and then simmer for another 8 – 10 mins. Return the chicken to the pot, add the vinegar, heat for another couple of minutes then serve and enjoy! Enjoy with some steamed broccoli. If you are veggie you could use butterbeans instead of chicken.