Suzanne Leyden, qualified nutrition, health and wellness coach and owner of The WellNow Co. outlines what’s in season this month and highlights some healthy, simple and delicious recipes.

November is a month that conjures up so much: dark evenings; a definite change in weather; layers of cosy clothes; warm broths; fires burning.

This November sees the start of a monthly series looking at what fruit and veg are in season in Ireland and finding some gems of recipes to match. So, while you might start spending more time indoors, you can stay healthy by eating well.

Incorporating a wide variety of vegetables in as considered a way as possible can help your body function optimally. This ensures you consume plenty of fibre, a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, along with the phytonutrients they each carry too. Using herbs and spices really enhances the nutrient value too.

Whether sustainability is at the forefront of our minds, or niggling away at our conscience every so often, it’s probably fair to say we’re all looking for ways to improve our habits to help the planet.

When it comes to food consumption, two of the big factors to watch out for are the amount of waste and how far the food has travelled to get to your plate.

A great way to combat this is to look at what is in season locally so that meal planning can be done around these ingredients. Taking a close look at what’s in season in Ireland each month we can strive to include those ingredients in our meals throughout the month.

Here’s what’s in season for November in Ireland:

  • Apples - cooking and eating
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Marrows
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Scallions
  • Turnips

Good for the planet, good for you
You’ll find the foods taste their best when they’re in season, and because there is usually an abundance of them they will usually be at their best price.

Not forgetting to mention they will have their greatest nutritional value when in season also. Add in meal planning to this where you give consideration to what you’re eating you will definitely reduce your waste. I think this is a clear case of 'more bang for your buck’!

The range of what’s in season in November lends itself to warm hearty meals and work well with so many herbs and spices that there’s no chance of getting bored with them.

Recipes
Delving into the scores of amazing recipes on RTE.ie, here are a few gems that use some of this month’s key veggies that are in season. They are a great source of inspiration and there are lots more to find too.

Derry Clarke's smoked haddock and cod with fennel and root vegetables is a perfect winter warmer now that the clocks have changed and the temperatures have started to dip. I could make this a regular in our house.

Catherine Fulvio's broccoli fritters with lime dressing cover simple and delicious at once.

Domini Kemp's healthy chicken, broccoli and cashew stir fry from the Today Show is sure to be a quick, easy and perfect mid-week dinner.


From Operation Transformation we love this re-take of a classic with this tasty chicken broccoli carbonara.

For those looking for something lighter this goats cheese, beetroot and kale salad from Operation Transformation hits all the right notes.

Wellbeing
By having more consideration for what we eat can help us be more in tune with our consumption. This can give us a better appreciation for quality food when it is in season, also adding to our nutrient intake, reducing waste and the burden on the planet. And it’s cost effective too. Overall, being mindful of what’s in season can have a positive impact on our wellbeing.