I’m so lucky to live in California where 80% of all fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are grown. And even though fall really isn’t in the air as I sit to write this article on an October afternoon with the high today of 94°F all my favorite fall fruits and veggies are still available. Some of the fall fruits and veggies in season include apples, artichokes, beets, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, leeks, pears, pomegranates, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and winter squash! I like to eat local and eat what is in season, so I thought I would share a few of my favorites.
I grew up in Michigan and I loved fall when all the cider mills would be pressing apple cider. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon visiting a cider mill and drinking some fresh pressed apple cider, which for some reason they always served with freshly made donuts! This is also the season when my Mom would make homemade applesauce to serve with our pork dinner and apple pie for dessert. A medium size apple provides nearly 20% of your recommended daily fiber intake, 14% of your daily vitamin A, and just 100 calories.
As a child I never liked Brussels sprouts, when actually I just would never taste them (sound familiar?), probably because they stink. As an adult I just love them and I found a way to get over the smell. I love them roasted, but first I boil them, the shorter the roasting time, the less smell! Also, if you make a small “x” in the bottom of the sprout they will cook quicker. A half of cup of Brussels sprouts are only 28 calories, contain 2 grams of fiber, 81% of your daily vitamin C and 12% of your vitamin A requirements.
Cranberries of course make me think of Thanksgiving. I often make my own cranberry sauce, it’s quick and simple and I love to turn the leftovers into a cranberry salsa to serve over turkey quesadillas or on a turkey Panini. One cup of fresh cranberries provides 24% of your daily vitamin C, 5 grams of fiber, and 51 calories. Of course the calorie content will go up when you make cranberry sauce due to the added sugar, but they are still packed with a lot of nutrients and you should enjoy them.
My absolute favorite is winter squash, all kinds! I love it roasted, made into soups, and even made into hummus. Check out my website for some recipes. There are many varieties, acorn, butternut, hubbard, and pumpkin squash to name a few. Winter squash is a great source for fiber, vitamins A and C, and even some calcium and iron, and low in calories, approximately 75 calories for 1 cup of roasted squash. And don’t forget the seeds; you can roast them for a great snack.
There are so many great fall fruits and veggies I just don’t have the time or space to list them all. You can choose a variety of fall veggies and roast them such as, beets, Brussels sprouts, leeks, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. I have a beautiful pomegranate tree in my backyard and in the fall I make a great Pomegranate & White Wine Vinaigrette . Pears are great to snack on, toss in a salad, poach for a dessert, or make into a rustic tart. Why don’t you try something new this fall?