Simple seasonal sides to enjoy right now!

Seasonal eating matters because our bodies are different at different times of the year, so in order to get the right nutrients at the right time, we need to eat a range of fresh fruits and vegetables and change our choices with the seasons.

Right now, as summer turns into autumn there's a whole new crop of seasonal fruits and vegetables to enjoy. Blackberries replace the summer berries and are a delicious addition to your Jane Plan muesli or granola.  Apples and pears are just ripening and make a great 'go-to' snack. People often worry about eating too much fruit because of the sugar content, but rest assured, you won't overdose on apples by eating apples, but you will overdose  if you drink apple juice - in just one glass, you'll be drinking the equivalent sugar to that in 9-10 apples. So stick to the real stuff and avoid the temptation to juice your fruits.
In terms of vegetables, there's so much variety in September - you can't go wrong. The root vegetables are just ripening and the classic greens are still gorgeous.

So we've put together three seasonal September side dishes that you can literally throw together. They can be enjoyed as light lunch or as a side dish to the main event. 


Root Vegetable Ribbons
Serves 2

1 small sweet potato
1 large parsnip
2 large carrots
1 large onion
Olive oil
Sage leaves
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
Salt and pepper

Set the oven at 200 or gas mark 6
Using a vegetable peeler make large flat ribbons from the sweet potato, parsnip and carrots
Peel and finely slice the onion into rings
Throw it all into a baking tray and toss in olive oil
Add the sage leaves and pumpkin seeds and season
Bake for 20 minutes until tender and lightly crisp at the edges and serve immediately

Leeks Nicoise
Serves 2

2 large leeks
1 large garlic clove finely sliced
2 medium tomatoes - chopped into eighths
1 tablespoon of black olives
1 tablespoon of flat leaf parsley
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Trim the leeks
Cut length-ways and separate the layers - don't forget to wash thoroughly
Cook the leek layers in boiling water until tender, drain and pat dry
Add the garlic to a large frying pan and gently fry with olive oil for 3 minutes, then add the leeks and cook for a further 5 minutes
Stir in the diced tomatoes, olives and parsley and cook for a further 5 minutes
Season well
Serve on a platter and scatter fresh basil on top

Stir Fried Seasonal Greens & Garlic
Serves 2

2 large garlic cloves - finely sliced
400g of greens - kale, broccoli, beans (anything you like)
1 red chilli - finely sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Trim the greens removing the stalks and slicing the leaves
Warm a little olive oil in  a large frying pan
Add the garlic and chilli  and cook gently
Throw in the greens and stir fry over a medium heat for 4 minutes, tossing regularly until the greens have wilted but still have a bite to them
Season well
Serve with a squeeze of lemon and if you like, a spoonful of shop bought chilli jam.


Stay happy, stay healthy and stay in touch

Jane and the team