As the weather gets a little cooler, we start to see new and exciting produce items in stores and farmers markets. While you may see these items here and there throughout the year, they hit their peak during the fall season. Some items are vibrant and refreshing, while others are hearty and comforting. It makes for a wide range of recipes that continually interest your taste buds.
Apples: Almost as classic as pumpkins, apples are a staple produce item of fall. Whether you eat them raw, baked, sautéed, or juiced, apples are rich in healthy flavonoids, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. Apples emit ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process. Keep them away from other fruits like avocados, bananas, or citrus to keep everything fresh.
Pears: From Anjou to Bartlett, or Sugar Pears to Forelles, pears are actually a lot healthier than people think. They are rich in pectin, a complex carbohydrate, that helps promote healthy digestion, boosts the immune system, and acts as a detox agent.
Brussels Sprouts: Some people don’t like these because of the smell, taste, or both. Made the right way, though, Brussels sprouts taste incredible. Sauté them with onions, garlic, sea salt, and pepper, and finish them off with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar. Plus, Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K, folate, and iron!
Grapes: The best grape varieties are harvested in the fall, so you know they are fresh, juicy, and delicious. Eat them as a healthy snack, add them to your salads for sweet bursts of flavor, or freeze them to eat as a guilt-free dessert. Grapes actually have a lot of vitamins K and C, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep your skin healthy.
Parsnips: These may get mistaken for white carrots, but they are most definitely not. They have a nutty flavor with hints of sharpness similar to a radish. They go excellent in stews, or you can roast and then puree them for a soup.
Persimmons: Persimmons may be a love/hate fruit for some people. Resembling small orange tomatoes, this East Asian fruit has a sweet and spicy flavor and is rich in beta-carotene. Go for the Fuyu persimmons because they are usually sweeter. You can sauté them for a sauce or eat them fresh in a dessert.
Cranberries: Yet another fall favorite, cranberries are in season for a short amount of time, so get em’ while the gettin’s good. This holiday staple is rich in phytonutrients, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. They can keep for a long time if you buy them fresh and freeze them. Save them for that Thanksgiving cranberry sauce!
Rutabaga: This purple and white root veggie is a cross between a turnip and cabbage. You can cut them like fries and roast them, add them to casseroles, or puree them with carrots and sweet potatoes after roasting them for a sweet soup.
Squash: It’s all about squash for fall and winter. The most popular variety is butternut squash, but you can create some awesome dishes with spaghetti squash and pumpkins. They are great sources of omega-3s and vitamin A.
Sweet Potatoes: We couldn’t make a list of fall produce items without including sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can be uses for so much more than Thanksgiving casseroles or pies. Roast them to make fries, boil them to make a sweet potato mash, or grate them to sauté them as hash browns. You can’t really go wrong eating these.