Feast Your Eyes! Our top 5 Autumn recipes that are great for your eye health

21 October 2020

Author: Alex Martins-Hesp

recipes that are great for your eye health

As the weather grows colder, we start to look forward to the hearty meals that make us feel cosy when the rain is falling outside. Not only can your tummy benefit from these seasonal ingredients but your eyes can as well! From September to November, the autumn harvest brings a variety of delicious produce that is full of vitamins our eyes are crying out to have. What better way to obtain those healthy vitamins than through some delicious recipes? Here are our top 5 meals to have this autumn that our eyes can really benefit from!

 

Roasted pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup in the autumn is something that never gets old, and since the orange goodies are full of nutrients which are a treat for our vision and overall eye health, we thought this bowl of warm hugs should go first on our list.

 

This recipe is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which will reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts developing. It can also provide protection to the cornea and improves the eyes' ability to see in low lighting.

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg edible pumpkin
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Half the pumpkin and remove the seeds (you can keep these for roasting), then chop into wedges.
  3. Place the pumpkin on two large baking trays and drizzle over a little olive oil.
  4. In a pestle and mortar, grind the chilli and coriander seeds with a pinch of salt until finely ground.
  5. Sprinkle the spices over the pumpkin with some black pepper.
  6. Roast the pumpkin for 1 hour, or until soft and slightly caramelised at the edges.
  7. Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery.
  8. Heat a lug (just over a tablespoon) of olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan then add the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and sweet but not coloured.
  9. When the squash is ready, add to the pan with the hot stock. Blend with a stick blender, adding a little more water if you like a thinner consistency.

 

Honey and garlic salmon

We know salmon is an all-year food, but since it contains Omega-3 which is amazing for visual development and the health of the retina, it just needed to be in our top 5.

 

Studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids can help protect our eyes from macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome. It can also encourage proper drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye, which reduces the risk of glaucoma.

 

When buying salmon for this recipe, we recommend choosing one that is a wild-caught instead of farm-raised. This is because farm-raised salmon has more saturated fat and less omega- 3.

Ingredients

  • 4 wild-caught salmon fillets about 1/2 pound or 250 grams each, skin off or on
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (mild, sweet or smokey)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, (plus extra to serve)
  • Lemon wedges to serve

 

Method

  1. Arrange oven shelf to the middle of your oven. Preheat oven to broil/grill settings on medium heat. 
  2. Season salmon with salt, pepper and paprika. Set aside.
  3. Heat the butter in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat until melted. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute, until fragrant. Pour in the honey, water and soy sauce; allow the flavours to heat through and combine. Add in the lemon juice; stir well to combine all of the flavours together.
  4. Add the salmon steaks to the sauce in the pan; cook each fillet (skin-side down if there's any skin) for 3-4 minutes or until golden, while basting the tops with the pan juices. Season with salt and pepper, to taste (if desired).
  5. Optional -- Add the lemon wedges around the salmon (adds a stronger lemon taste). 
  6. Baste salmon one more time then transfer the pan to your oven to broil / grill for a further 5-6 minutes, or until the tops of the salmon are nicely charred, and the salmon is cooked to your liking.
  7. To serve, drizzle with the sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with steamed vegetables; over rice or with a salad.

 

Sweet potato, bell pepper & chorizo frittata

Sweet potatoes are incredibly rich in beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A after consumption. It plays an important role for vision by maintaining a clear cornea (the transparent layer in front of the eye) and has also been associated with reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. This vitamin is also a component of rhodopsin, a protein in your eyes that allows you to see in low lighting. 

 

Vitamin A deficiency can lead to serious eye diseases such as xerophthalmia. The first stages begin with night blindness. If this goes untreated it can lead to your tear ducts and eyes drying out, and eventually, your cornea softens, resulting in irreversible blindness. 

 

This recipe will be sure to give you the daily recommended amount of vitamin A the average adult would need.

Ingredients

  • 200g sweet potato
  • 6 eggs
  • 200g chorizo
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion

 

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / gas mark 6.
  2. Fry the chorizo lightly (you won't need any oil, the chorizo will release its natural oils) for a few minutes, then add the onion, garlic and red bell peppers for a few more minutes until it just starts to soften.
  3. Crack the eggs into a jug or a bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk together. Turn the heat down to low/medium and pour in the egg. Cook the base of the frittata for about 5 minutes. Then transfer to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  4. This can be served hot or cold and goes well with a leafy salad.

 

Butternut squash and mozzarella pizza

Butternut squash is somewhat the superhero food for our eyes since it is packed with vitamin C, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin. As we already know, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin are compounds that help prevent the progression of age-related macular degeneration. But they also bring the added benefit of naturally filtering out blue light from everyday devices such as computers and phones. 

 

This recipe is also packed with Vitamin C, the antioxidant which is said to lower the risk of cataracts developing.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chilli flakes
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 prepared pizza dough of choice

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 245°C / gas mark 9 and place a pizza stone inside the oven to warm up (about 30 minutes). Combine the butternut squash with olive oil and salt and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Place tender squash into a food processor with ¼ lb. mozzarella, ricotta, cream, and salt. Process the mixture until smooth.
  3. Heat ¼ cup olive oil and add chilli flakes in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the zucchini and salt to taste, and cook for about 9 minutes (until golden). Transfer zucchini to a bowl. Then, repeat the process with both bell peppers, cooking for about 8 minutes.
  4. Place one store-bought or homemade pizza dough on the warmed pizza stone. Spread the squash puree on the crust generously, and top with the zucchini, peppers, remaining cheese, and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, and broil the pizza until crust has browned and cheese has melted (4-5 minutes).

 

Healthy apple crumble

The last recipe in our top 5 had to involve some sweet treats and what better dessert than the beloved apple crumble. 

 

Apples are great for lowering cholesterol levels. Many people don't realise that cholesterol can build up in the blood vessels of your retina, and pose a risk of damage to the eye and in worse cases irreversible blindness. 

 

This easy apple crumbles recipe from Healthy Fitness Meals will be sure to warm you on cold days and is considered a healthy option in keeping your cholesterol down.

 

Ingredients

  • ¾ Cup Old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ Cup Walnuts roughly chopped
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1½ Tbsp Coconut Oil

 

  • For the filling
  • 6 Cups Small-diced Apples of choice
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ⅛ Tsp Ground Nutmeg

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 4, and coat a 2 quarts casserole dishes with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine together the oats, walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Using your fingers rub the ingredients together until crumbly.
  3. In another bowl, toss the apples with the cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg, until evenly coated.
  4. Transfer the filling to the prepared dish, and gently press down with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the oatmeal topping.
  5. Bake at 180°C / gas mark 4 for 25-35 minutes or until the apples are tender and tops are crisp. Enjoy!

 


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