The warm colours of autumn — red, yellow and orange — are a good foil for falling temperatures.
The fall foliage isn’t the only source of these rich fall colours. Even seasonal winter squash, turnip, pumpkins and carrots appear in shades of yellow and orange.
Intense colours signal that produce is rich in nutrients, and orange vegetables and fruits are rich in beta carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Getting the recommended daily serving of orange fruits or vegetables is easy in the fall. Here are some ways to include these plentiful orange vegetables in daily meals.
Thin slices or slender matchsticks of carrots, squash or pumpkin can be used in a stir-fry mix. A sweet and sour sauce with a citrus base is a good complement for a stir-fry made with these vegetables.
Squash soup comes in many versions, including this very easy one. Non-vegetarians could substitute chicken stock for the vegetarian stock, if desired.
Adapted from Mechefske, Lindy: A Taste of Wintergreen,
Wintergreen Studios Press, Yarker, Ont., 2011.
1 large butternut squash (approx 1.2 kg/2 ½ lb), peeled, and cut into
2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks, about 1.25 L (5 cups)
1 L (4 cups) vegetarian stock
1 400 mL (14 oz) can coconut milk
15 mL (1 tbsp) red curry paste
Bring the squash to the boil in the stock and let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until squash is very soft. When the squash is soft enough to mash with a potato masher, remove from the heat and mash thoroughly, in the stock.
Return the soup to low heat, stir in the curry paste, and stir in the coconut milk. Let the soup cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavours to meld, and then serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
Here is a recipe, from my new-found old cookbook, that combines turnip with apples for a tasty side dish.
Adapted from The Canadian Home Economics Association: The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book, McLelland and Stewart Limited, Toronto, 1966.
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
Peel, dice and cook in water 1 large turnip
Drain and mash turnip, adding 15 mL (1 tbsp) butter.
Peel, core and slice sufficient apples to give 375 mL (1 ½ cups) apple slices (about 2 apples)
Toss apples with 50 mL (¼ cup) lightly packed brown sugar and pinch of cinnamon.
Arrange alternate layers of mashed turnip and sliced apples in a greased 2 L (2 quart) casserole, beginning and ending with turnip layer. Mix together until crumbly 75 mL (⅓ cup) all purpose flour, 75 mL (⅓ cup) lightly packed brown sugar, 25 mL (2 tbsp) butter. Sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake in 180 C (350 F) oven for 1 hour. Serve hot. Makes 6-8 servings
Did you think that pumpkin puree was only good for making pie or pumpkin bread? It can also be used in these scones.
To make the puree, wash the pumpkin, cut open and remove seeds and steam or roast the flesh until tender. Scrape the soft pulp from the skin, discard the skin, and either force the pulp through a sieve or puree with a food processor.
If the puree is wet and thin in consistency, place in a sieve or colander lined with a coffee filter, and allow to drain until it reaches the desired consistency. Generally, the smaller sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins make a drier, less watery, puree than the larger field pumpkins which are grown for jack o’lanterns.
Harvest Pumpkin Scones
Adapted from Waisman, Mary Sue: Flavour First: Delicious Food to Bring the Family Back to the Table, Centax Books, Regina, 2007.
250 mL (1 cup) all purpose flour
175 mL (¾ cup) whole wheat flour
125 mL (½ cup) white sugar
15 mL (1 tbsp) baking powder
2.5 mL (½ tsp) baking soda
1.25 mL (¼ tsp) salt
2.5 mL (½ tsp) EACH ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1.25 mL (¼ tsp) ground cloves
125 mL (½ cup) COLD butter
125 mL (½ cup) pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin)
125 mL (½ cup) buttermilk
75 mL (1/3 cup) chopped pecans
15 mL (1 tbsp) coarse brown sugar
Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Lightly grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir to combine. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or two butter knives until the size of peas.
In a small bowl, stir together pumpkin and buttermilk. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Fold in nuts.
Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet. Using floured hands, pat dough to 20 cm (8 inch) circle. Using a long knife, score dough into 8 wedges, but do not separate. Sprinkle dough with brown sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool slightly and cut again into wedges.
Makes 8 large scones.
Margaret Prouse, a home economist, can be reached by writing her at RR#2, North Wiltshire, P.E.I., C0A 1Y0, or by email at email@example.com.