Eating with the seasons is a trend that many are returning to as they come to recognize the nutritious value. In the fall, we tend to gravitate towards the more warming autumn harvest foods that give us the warmth we need during the colder months of the year. It is an exciting and delicious transition from berries and stone fruits (like peaches, plums, and cherries) to cold weather fruit, root vegetables, and gourds like squash and pumpkin. Eating fresh produce with the seasons gives our bodies what they need throughout the year. It puts us more in tune with our bodies, gives us more pleasure in eating food that tastes delicious and provides us with a variety of nutrients. Here is a list of fall produce to be on the look out for!
Fall Seasonal Produce Is A Natural Choice
Not only does eating seasonally help our bodies by providing the freshest nutrients. It also helps the environment too! Just imagine how much energy it takes to grow food artificially and then transport it to and from other climate zones when it is not in season. Eating seasonally (and locally as a bonus) cuts back on energy use which helps our environment immensely. Here are 7 types of produce that is in season in the fall.
The 10 Most Nutritious Foods for Autumn:
Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that have the best flavor and greatest value for the fall season.
Pumpkins can offer so much more than just your traditional pumpkin pie. They begin popping up in late September until November, so take advantage of these beauties for the fall harvest. Pumpkins help keep your eyesight sharp. The reason for this is because of pumpkin’s high vitamin A content. A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains approximately 245% vitamin A. The best part of this fall gem is that you don’t have to waste anything! Even the pumpkin seeds are edible and studies have shown that they help to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. There are endless options for pumpkin recipes, so alongside carving them this fall, why not buy an extra one to create a delicious and nutritious pumpkin recipe for the family.
It seems that apples have become a fruit that people forget has a season. Apples are mostly harvested in the late summer and through fall. Although it may look like a simple fruit, there is a lot more to apples than meets the eye. Apples are packed with many disease fighting nutrients, are full of antioxidants and chock-full of fiber. They are especially high in vitamin C, B6, B2, B1, K, copper, manganese, and potassium. With apples in season, make sure to maximize your “apple a day” (this does not include apple pie loaded with butter!).
Persimmons should be your go-to autumn fruit. They are a very good source of vitamin C and A, which provide resistance against sickness and aging processes. They also contain healthy amounts of minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. Orange in color, and exotic-like, persimmons are a star in the fall with a mild and sweet taste. Eating fresh persimmons is like tasting heaven, however, with there being two types, Hachiya and Fuyu, make sure you eat the Hachiya variety when it is very, very soft. If you don’t, it will feel as if all of the moisture has been sucked from your mouth. This is not the case with the Fuyu variety, where it can be eaten either hard or soft.
Pears are harvested in early October and continue to last throughout the winter months as well. They provide a good source of fiber, vitamin B2, C, E, copper, potassium, and silica, which is great for your skin! They are a sweet treat as they come in a variety of flavors and textures. Eating pears raw is ideal, but adding them to healthy muffins or baking them as a sweet and healthy dessert works too!
Cranberries are not just a one-time deal for a thanksgiving sauce; these tart berries work well in healthy muffins, chutneys, and even as a fresh cranberry juice with apple. The harvesting of these berries occurs between September and October and also peaks in December. They are a great source of vitamin C, A, and fiber, and are antioxidant storehouses that help to reduce risk of cancers and help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and raise HDL “good” cholesterol.
6. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These orange beauties are very high in vitamin A, C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber. Harvested from August to October, sweet potatoes are a perfect addition to your fall menu. Sweet potatoes are more nutritious if cooked in their skins instead of peeling them. You may want to try Sweet Potato Kale Chowder. When eating them raw, they are even more nutritious. To get the benefits of raw sweet potato, try making them into a raw spaghetti. Using a spiral vegetable slicer, you can make a delicious raw spaghetti where none of the sweet potato’s nutrients are lost in the cooking process.
Packed with iron, folate, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese, beets are a fantastic and essential addition to your fall menu. A wonderful blood purifier and liver cleanser, along with many other benefits, beets should be classified as a super food. Many people overlook the fact that beets can be eaten in their raw state. In their uncooked state, they contain a compound called betaine which helps to reduce inflammation in the body and is a great cancer fighter. Instead of the traditional preparation of boiling beats, try to slice them thinly and eat them as a beet salad; crunchy, delicious and good for your body.
A nice hardy broccoli plant produces late into the fall and broccoli can be steamed, stir fried or made in a a cheesy side. It is a delicious option when you are looking for what fall produce is in season.
9. Leafy Greens
Cabbage, collards, spinach, and mustard greens, are all bursting with nutrition and easy to cook up at for dinner. They can be steamed, sauteed with olive oil, or augmented with a little bacon and onions.
It is such a great feeling to savor the fresh, seasonal fall produce flavors. I hope you and your family enjoy eating with the seasons this autumn. What are some of your
favorite fall produce? What are you favorite ways to enjoy these nutritious foods for Autumn?