Add a taste of autumn to your road trip with these deliciously nutritious, natural foods that are just as gorgeous whether served hot or cold.
Pantry staple: Lovely honey
Here in New Zealand, we’re blessed with some of the best honey on earth. A natural sweetener, honey is also a good anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial agent. Well known for its soothing benefits for coughs and colds, it’s often used topically to treat burns and promote wound healing. Raw honey is better for your blood sugar and heart than normal sugar, and a spoonful a day can even work as a natural laxative. A spoonful in herbal tea, on toast or in a marinade is all you need to get the benefits. For a super-tasty snack centrepiece, bake a whole camembert and serve with honey, fresh herbs and walnuts.
Nibble on a nashi
Nashi pears, or Asian pears, have the crunch of an apple with the flavour of a sweet pear. Full of juice, they’re an excellent thirst-quencher and full of Vitamins C and K, which supports bone health. These autumn fruits are delicious raw, either as a snack or sliced into a Waldorf salad with celery and walnuts. They also cook well; try them in muffins or crumbles, or poach them in amaretto or white wine with a little citrus and star anise. Look for them at farmers’ markets; they grow well in our climate, especially in the north.
These high fibre vegies are high in antioxidants including Vitamin C. They also balance your blood pressure and, as long as you cook them healthily, can help with weight loss too. They are really versatile; spiced parsnip soup with a chunk of warm bread is a great way to warm yourself from the inside. One of my favourite parsnip recipes is roasted parmesan parsnips: mix six tablespoons of polenta and 100g of fresh parmesan with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Cut parsnips into long strips and parboil for about six minutes or until tender. Drain and toss in parmesan mixture, then bake at 220° for 20-25 minutes, turning midway through.