With summer winding down, you can expect that the availability of fresh produce will change in the fall season. However, cold weather and changing colors in the leaves do not mean that you will be without freshly harvested healthy options to fill your cart at the grocery store or farmer’s market. To help you stay fit this fall, here’s a list of some of the best seasonal produce to inspire your culinary creativity.
If you have bad memories of bland and mushy boiled Brussels sprouts, you might rethink this under-appreciated fall vegetable. When Brussels sprouts are roasted or sautéed, they have a delightful texture and sweetness that emerges through slow cooking methods. You can spice them up with a coating of Siracha or dress them with olive oil and your favorite herbs for a classic fall side-dish. If you find Brussels sprouts on the stalk, roast the whole thing for a no-fuss vegetable that will come out perfectly every time.
Apples and Pears
For your fruit fix, nothing beats the tasty sweetness of fresh apples and pears. When you head to the farmer’s market, you can go beyond the standard offerings to explore a vibrant array of colors and flavors in these fruits, which are consistently available across the nation come autumn.
Tubers like potatoes and yams, as well as other root veggies like parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets are all coming into season in the fall. Many of these are packed with antioxidants and fiber (especially if you leave the skin on), and they can be easily prepared in a mash or puree that will be a hit with kids and adults alike.
Unlike zucchini and yellow squash, winter squash can stay fresh for months when they are unpeeled and stored in cool, dry places. Options like butternut, acorn, and fairytale squash are all easy to prepare once you get past their tough exteriors. The easiest method is to cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, drizzle with oil, and then roast skin side up until the flesh is soft and tender. When cooked fully, the skin of the squash will peel off with ease so that you are left with the sweet flesh of the squash, which can be cooked into any number of dishes from soup to risotto to dessert.
Citrus fruit is usually available year-round, and fall is the time for grapefruit to shine. For a fantastic dessert or simple breakfast, sprinkle a grapefruit with coarse sugar and a pinch of salt, then use a cooking torch to burn the sugar and create a crisp, sweet crust. The addition of salt will cut through the bitterness of the fruit, allowing you to appreciate its subtle sweetness and tart floral flavor.
If you need more ideas for filling your fall plate with fresh, healthy options, scroll through the MeMD blog for recipes and shopping strategies. With our tips in mind, you can avoid the temptation to binge on junk food as the holiday season arrives.