Everyone knows they should be eating more fruits and veggies, but there’s a sure fire way to get this nutritious and delicious items into your diet: eating in season. Take delight in wandering through the produce section and looking for something new to try. Maybe you can add something in season to a soup. Or make a delicious smoothie with a fruit you don’t get all year long. Or why don’t you make a simple salad with and test your knowledge by using the freshest ingredients and products that are in season right now! Now that it’s fall and almost winter, there’s a bounty of in-season fruits and vegetables just waiting for you.
The chanterelle is beloved for its meaty taste and texture and for the adventure that brings it to the table. Whether you are a seasoned mushroom hunter or you just take a trip to the farmers’ market, bringing chanterelles home is a fall must. They are bright yellow, and go well in so many dishes in the kitchen. Curries, stews, omelets, the list just keeps going. If you aren’t mushroom hunting this fall, these beauties may cost a little more than your average mushroom – but the rich, earthy tones they bring to a dish are worth the extra cost!
There are many varieties of squash that grow in the fall and winter, but butternut squash may be the king due to its smooth taste and texture. The butternut squash is creamy, and can be used in coarse salads, curries, or eaten on its own – simply roast (or steam) and season for a healthy and delicious treat. Many Thanksgiving celebrations rely heavily on yams – but try replacing these with a squash recipe to bring some new life into your evening. Other types of squash that are in season during the fall and winter that you will want to incorporate into your fall kitchen recipes and meals are: acorn, kabocha, pumpkins (duh!), and delicata.
Cauliflower is often forgotten about, especially next to its bright green friend broccoli. But the cruciferous cauliflower is delicious in its own right and has healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, not to mention all-important fiber. Just one serving of this veggie can load you up with 3/4 ths of your vitamin C. Cauliflower is also home to sulforaphane, which is linked with improved blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties. Cauliflower can replace pasta and grains in many recipes when cooking in the kitchen, such as a baked mac and cheese and even pizza crust, and is a perfect addition to stewed lentils or curries.
Kale has grown pretty popular in recent years, and fall is the perfect time to get on the kale train and experiment with recipes. Kale is hardy, and can survive colder temps – so home gardeners often plant it late in the summer to extend the growing season. It packs in a ton of vitamins, fiber, and minerals such as iron, manganese, and calcium. Now due to that whole popularity thing, you probably already know you can use kale in just about anything: soups, salads, or on its own, sautéed with a little bit of olive oil and garlic, and more. This list goes on and on, but the important main thing to remember is to work on incorporating this delicious green more into your diet. If you aren’t eating kale right now, you aren’t taking advantage of one of the tastiest cold season crops.
Bright orange, smooth, and crisp, persimmons fruit are a great way to embrace fall. This seedless, coreless fruit is slightly sweet, and firm, with a delicious crunch. A few varieties of persimmons can be eaten right from the tree, like an apple. Some examples of these are Fuyu and Sweet Pumpkin persimmons. Persimmons fruit are also a tasty addition to cookies or fruit salads. Be sure to pick the right persimmons though – go for the donut-shaped ones, not the persimmons that resemble a tomato with a pointed bottom. The high tannin content when not perfectly ripe will dry your mouth right out. If you’re unsure, purchase persimmons from the store instead of foraging from local trees.