Becca Heyes

Fall veggies: the best low carbon recipes

11  min Read
Aerial view of low carbon autumn squash on a grey cloth

When trying to find ways to reduce your carbon footprint, it can be hard to know where to start. Sometimes the amount of information available to us is just overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be so difficult! There’s no need for a complete life overhaul; just making small changes to your daily habits can really minimise your impact on the environment. For example, eating seasonal vegetables and trying to use mostly low carbon ingredients in your cooking can greatly reduce your carbon footprint.

Research has shown that if the Western diet was adjusted to be more sustainable, we may be able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%, and water use by up to 50%! These numbers represent a best-case scenario, but hint at just how much of an impact the food we eat has on our environment.

There's lots of ways to change our diet to be more sustainable, from adopting a flexitarian diet, to reducing the amount of food waste we produce. But another big, big one is eating with the seasons. So if you’re interested in using more seasonal vegetables in your cooking to reduce your carbon footprint, read on to find out more.

There are all sorts of delicious seasonal vegetables available to us in the UK during the Autumn, and all sorts of things we can cook with them! So I’ve gathered together some of my favourite eco-friendly recipes that all use in-season vegetables. We've also got a guide to reducing your carbon footprint this Autumn, if you're looking to help the planet beyond what you put on your plate.

What vegetables are in season during fall?

Westerners in general are known for our simple, no-nonsense cooking - lots of potatoes, carrots, parsnips… often thrown into an amazing stew or casserole! But you can also be a lot more creative with our amazing seasonal produce; we grow so much more here in the UK than just root vegetables! 69% of the country’s land area is used for agriculture, so there’s a lot to be found on British or US soil.

Here’s a quick overview of vegetables that are ready to harvest (and eat!) in the country in fall:

Autumn Vegetables UK

September October November
Aubergine Aubergine
Beetroot Beetroot Beetroot
Broccoli Broccoli Cabbage
Brussel sprouts Brussel sprouts Brussel sprouts
Butternut squash Butternut squash Butternut squash
Carrots Carrots Carrots
Cauliflower Cauliflower Cauliflower
Celery Celeriac Celeriac
Chicory Celery Celery
Chillies Chestnuts Chestnuts
Courgettes Chicory Chicory
Cucumber Chillies Jerusalem artichokes
Garlic Courgette Kale
Kale Cucumber Leeks
Leeks Kale Onion
Lettuce Leeks Parsnips
Mangetout Lettuce Potatoes
Marrow Marrow Pumpkin
Onion Onion Swede
Parsnip Parnsip Swiss chard
Peas Peas Turnips
Peppers Potatoes
Potatoes Pumpkin
Pumpkin Radishes
Radishes Rocket
Rocket Runner beans
Runner beans Spring onion
Spinach Swede
Spring onion Tomatoes
Sweetcorn Turnips

Want to measure, understand and reduce your carbon footprint? Try Pawprint

Autumnal recipes using seasonal vegetables

As you can see, there are all sorts of British crops that are perfect for harvesting throughout the autumn! And once you’ve chosen some incredible, seasonal, low carbon ingredients to cook with - it’s time to get in the kitchen!

Here are some of my favourite recipes using ingredients that are in season in the autumn. They are all meatless, and all focus on low carbon ingredients, so you can be sure that you’re not only eating delicious food, but you’re also eating the best food for our planet.

Sustainable autumnal Kohlrabi fritters from Easy Cheesy Vegetarian
Kohlrabi fritters from Easy Cheesy Vegetarian (Seasonal vegetables used: kohlrabi, carrots, spring onions)
Sustainable autumnal aubergine tomato pasta from Tinned Tomatoes
Aubergine tomato pasta from Tinned Tomatoes (Seasonal vegetables used: aubergine, onions, tomatoes)
Sustainable chunky autumn vegetable soup from Tin And Thyme
Chunky vegetable soup from Tin And Thyme (Seasonal vegetables used: celery, leeks, potatoes, carrots, courgette)
Sustainable autumnal potato salad from Hungry Healthy Happy
Mustard potato salad from Hungry Healthy Happy (Seasonal vegetables used: potatoes, spring onions, watercress, rocket)
Sustainable autumnal cucumber tomato salad from Recipes From A Pantry
Easy cucumber tomato salad from Recipes From A Pantry (Seasonal vegetables used: cucumber, tomatoes, onions)
Sustainable autumnal curried parsnip and coriander soup from Fab Food 4 All
Curried parsnip and coriander soup from Fab Food 4 All (Seasonal vegetables used: chillies, onion, parsnips)
Sustainable autumnal beet pizza with beet leaf pesto from Veggie Desserts
Beet pizza with beet leaf pesto from Veggie Desserts (Seasonal vegetables used: beetroot (including the leaves!), rocket)
Sustainable autumnal pumpkin and leek risotto from The Veg Space
Oven-baked pumpkin and leek risotto from The Veg Space (Seasonal vegetables used: pumpkin, leeks)
Sustainable autumnal butternut squash soup from A Mummy Too
Slow cooked butternut squash soup from A Mummy Too (Seasonal vegetables used: butternut squash, carrots, onions, celery)

So there you have it - ten delicious seasonal recipes to help you enjoy the autumn, and to help you feel good about the food you eat, in every way possible!

For more information on how to adapt your diet to help the environment, check out our top tips for eating your way to a lower carbon footprint, how meat lovers can still do their bit for the planet, and some more tasty lunch recipes for worker bees on the go. Or why not give Pawprint a try, and start measuring and reducing your impact today.

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