Fall is a fabulous time for menu planning and eating, isn’t it? Everything is plentiful in September and the cooler temperatures lure us back into the kitchen. Stews and soups can be created easily on the stove or the slow cooker and they warm our families on a cool evening.
The produce available may not be as wildly popular as June strawberries and spring Asparagus, but let me assure you it does your body good to take advantage of all that fall has to offer.
Here is a list of produce to seek out at your market this fall and winter for maximum flavor and nutrition:
- Root Vegetables. These can seem boring, but simply roasted they are deliciously sweet. Try beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, potatoes, and even rutabagas. Simply wash, dice (no peeling), and toss with a high-heat cooking oil like coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast at 400 degrees until soft on the inside and deliciously caramelized on the outside.
- Hearty Leafy Greens. Spring is notorious for leafy greens, but the cool weather of fall makes it the perfect time of year for growing them. Try cooking greens like collards, kale, and spinach. Huge bunches, cooked down with onions and bacon make an excellent side dish. They also lend nutrients to soups and stews and are hardly detectable by picky eaters. Lettuces also do well up until frost so a fall salad is not out of place.
- Winter Squash. I have waxed poetic about this, one of my favorite vegetables. Simply cut in half, deseeded, and roasted this vegetable graces our table weekly in the cooler months with just butter and salt. Butternut squash soups, kabocha squash stew, pumpkin soups, and many other one pot meals can center around this vegetable, long through winter.
- Apples and Pears. Fall and apples go hand in hand for me. The apple butter fresh from my canner will grace our soaked oatmeal all winter long. Pear sauce will soon be made as well, but these fruits keep well without canning so you can find them fresh at the market for some time. Added to salads, eaten fresh, or in combination with a savory pork chop meal, these fruits really bring fall to the table.
Some or all of these are gracing our table on a nightly basis and we are all loving the tastes of fall.
How do you incorporate the fall produce in your menus?