Eating For Autumn: Teacup Rhubarb Crumble Pies
It’s that time of year again, folks; it’s time to swap the shorts and swimmers for floppy jumpers and cuddly scarves. While orange leaves and bare branches signify the noticeable external changes in autumn, our internal shifts can be a bit more subtle. If you want to know how the change of season affects you and what you can do about it, plus get a neat little seasonal eating guide for autumn and my favourite Rhubarb Crumble Pies, read on.
The impact of seasonal changes on the body
With the new season, unfortunately, come new sniffles. If even the thought of the seasons changing makes your eyes water and nose run, you’re not alone. To reduce your chances of being on the uncomfortable short end of a scratchy throat or common cold, I recommend protecting the gut. As 70 to 80 per cent of the immune system lives in the digestive system, supporting your gut will decrease your chances of experiencing the change of season sniffles.
To help your gut and immune system, sparkle up your routine with a homemade turmeric latte. All you need is half a teaspoon of anti-inflammatory turmeric, some freshly grated ginger and cinnamon; stir this into quarter of a cup of your choice of warmed non-dairy milk, then, once stirred and combined, top with extra milk. You can add some honey to sweeten it too.
Like other mammals, we tend to hibernate in the cooler months. Unfortunately, like mammals, this means most of us add on a bit of a winter coat. An extra layer of fat can appear because our bodies increase their insulin resistance during the seasonal changes. This causes our livers to increase fat production to store fat in our tissues and keep us warm during the cooler months. While this works excellently for animals, most humans don’t appreciate this protective mechanism. The best way to shed or prevent your winter coat is to nourish your body through a healthy diet and regular exercise, so keep this in mind next time you hit the snooze button five days in a row.
If you’ve ever wondered if your skin has been replaced by alligator skin during autumn, this one’s for you! One of the most common responses to autumn is drier skin. You can blame the drop in temperature and humidity for this one. You see, when this drop occurs, the skin has to work harder to maintain hydration. This change can be a bit of a shock to the system, disrupting the normal chemical balance of the skin and causing dryness. To combat dry skin, steer clear of boiling-hot showers, include probiotics or fermented foods, eat healthy fats like salmon and hemp seeds and stay hydrated.
Seasonal eating guide for autumn
Up until this point, I understand it may feel as though autumn is just doom and gloom. But fear not: autumn brings with it a delicious change in in-season produce. Autumn is an excellent time to tune into your desire for warming, restoring and comforting foods.
If you’re wondering why you should eat seasonally, seasonal food is bursting with flavour. It has the highest nutrient value compared to foods stored for longer periods or grown in an artificial environment. Once food has been picked, its quality and nutrient value can decline, so it’s best to eat food when it’s just been picked and is in season.
Below is the list of fruit and veggies in season in autumn. I recommend keeping this list in a safe place and using it as a guide when creating your weekly menu.
artichokes, Asian greens, avocado, beans, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, choko, corn, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, fennel, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, okra
onion, onion, spring, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, shallot, silver beet, spinach, squash, swede, sweet potato, tomato, turnip. watercress, witlof. zucchini
avocado, apple, blackberries, banana, cumquat, custard apple, feijoa, fig, grapefruit, grapes, guava, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, mango, mangosteen, nashi, orange, papaya, passionfruit, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, pomegranate, prickly pear, quince, rambutan, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, tamarillo
Teacup Rhubarb Crumble Pies
1 bunch rhubarb, trimmed & cut into 5–7.5cm
(2–3 inch) lengths
½ cup coconut sugar
Zest & juice 1 orange
1 x 2.5cm (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp vanilla powder
¼ cup filtered water
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ cups walnuts or
1½ cups almonds or
1½ cups mixed nuts
60g butter, diced
Chilled coconut cream or coconut yoghurt, to serve (optional)
Edible flowers, to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 175°C and grease 4 individual pie dishes or ovenproof teacups.
Put the rhubarb in a large saucepan with ⅓ cup of coconut sugar, orange zest and juice, ginger, vanilla powder and water.
Bring to the boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 10 mins, until the rhubarb is soft but still holds its shape.
Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and remaining 2 tbsp coconut sugar.
Divide the rhubarb between the prepared dishes or cups.
Finely chop the nuts in a food processor. Add the butter and salt, and mix until crumbly. Scatter the mixture over the rhubarb.
Bake for 15–20 mins, until crispy on top.
Serve with chilled coconut cream or coconut yoghurt on the side and with edible flowers, if using.