Fall into the season with these 5 autumn ingredients

One of my amazing interns, Melissa Gallanter, wrote this piece about ways to enjoy delicious in-season produce picks. 


There are few things more autumn-esque than a crunchy, freshly picked apple with cinnamon or a side dish roasted root vegetables on the dinner table. And those foods that we normally associate with fall make us think of the leaves changing colors for a reason. Eating foods when they are naturally harvested is why watermelon steals the spotlight during the summer, cauliflower finds its way into soups all winter long, and weekend pumpkin-picking turns into jack-o-lanterns and roasted pumpkin seeds for a week.

Eating seasonally not only connects us to the dates on the calendar and to everyone else enjoying the same seasonal favorites, but also produce picked and eaten during its peak harvest generally will have more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavor than produce that’s harvested before it’s ripe and then shipped long distanced away.

Therefore, the best way to eat seasonally usually means to eat locally, ensuring that the fruits and veggies in the pantry were just picked and have those peak vitamin, mineral and antioxidant contents. This also benefits local farmers’ business and cuts down on pollution from transporting food to far places.

So this fall, head to a local farmer’s market and see what you can find. Enjoy the natural variety that the seasons bring, ensuring that throughout the year there’ll be changing selections of fruits and vegetables to buy, and head to the kitchen to start cooking!

Apples – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” they say! For a boost in fiber, calcium, antioxidants and both vitamin C and B vitamins, this fall, try this apple poppy seed coleslaw or apple “doughnuts.”

Butternut squash – As one of the staple fall and winter squashes, butternut squash is a delicious and vibrant veggie that delivers antioxidants beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein to promote vision and glowing skin. Try this butternut squash mac and cheese for a kid-approved way to add in another serving of vegetables.

Pumpkin – Packed with vitamin A, fiber and magnesium, pumpkin is a great immune-boosting food for when flu season is approaching. Roast pumpkin seeds and enjoy recipes like roasted pumpkin with gorgonzola cheese.

Beets – What’s great about beets is that they’re edible from their leafy greens all the way down to their bulb roots. Sautee the leaves like you would spinach, and put the roots into salads, side dishes or juiced, like this beet carrot ginger juice.

Brussels sprouts – This cruciferous vegetable has cancer-fighting compounds that may prevent cellular DNA damage, vitamin C and vitamin K. Try this lemony recipe for a zesty addition to the dinner table.