A major solace for the cooling temperatures is the fun fall produce. So much deliciousness, so little time. You will see some lingering late summer crops at peak sweetness right now like green beans, onions, garlic, tomatillos, and peppers both sweet and spicy; as well as early fall crops so the few short months we call fall, you can get quite an array of produce. Although we will see some fall foods for the next several months, here’s what you should be picking now:
Brussels sprouts: Oh tiny little cabbages, you are so full of nutrition! If you haven’t tried them since your parents made you eat them, try this simple recipe and you will change your mind. Rinse, quarter the sprouts, toss in them in a bowl with a little olive oil and sea salt, then onto a cookie sheet and into the oven at 350◦ for 25-30 minutes or until they are cooked to your liking. Delish!
Sassy Tip: If you can get them on a stalk (which is how they grow) at a good price – go for it because they will last a lot longer if they have not been cut yet.
Squash: Particularly Acorn and Delicata, with Acorn being more popular but the latter type of squash resembles a creamy sweet potato. These tough skinned sisters to summer squash will last for a few months if firm when purchased. Begging for roasting, especially with a little butter, cinnamon, or nutmeg; squash is highly versatile and packs some serious vitamin A.
Sassy Tip: Get creative, you don’t just have to roast your squash. Steam it; throw chunks into stews or roasts, puree into soup, shred into pancake batter, or sauté with fresh sage.
Apples, pears, and pomegranates: Just because we see them all year doesn’t mean they don’t have a season as all these fall fruits are harvested in the fall. Apples and pears are delish any way you slice them and the antioxidant power of pomegranates boosts everything from salads to oatmeal.
Sassy Tip: To eat a pomegranate, cut off the top or crown, make lengthwise segment slices along the fruit without cutting off pieces entirely. Drop the whole fruit into cool water, let sit for a few minutes, and the fruit will sink to the bottom while the rind floats to the top. Scoop off rind, drain, and enjoy.
Clementines: Cute, tasty, little vitamin C packed easy to peel citrus. Nuf said.
Beets: I’ve seen many a scrunched up face at the idea of beets, but they are delicious and oh so nutritious. Loaded with antioxidants, beets are also great to help your liver prepare for a new season. Golden beets are milder in flavor but either can be steamed or roasted. Try cooked beets as a salad on a bed of greens, goat cheese, walnuts, and a little vinaigrette.
Sassy Tip: Yes, you can eat those beet greens! Sautee as you would any other leafy green.
Other produce to pick: Grapes, Swiss chard, persimmons, bananas, kiwi, parsnips, sweet potato, pumpkins, mushrooms, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, and cranberries.