Summer has been a delicious season, full of tasty garden and farmers market treats. But before you hang up your produce bag and get back to your typical fare, set your sights on the abundance that comes with the biggest harvest season of all: fall!
While some of the foods that fall are famous for might be on your shopping list and menu, there are so many more to try. The best part is that they all have unique nutritional properties that will make your diet even healthier and tastier.
Here are a few of the must-try foods that you should gather up at your local farmers market, CSA, or health food store this season!
Fall Harvest Foods to Enjoy
Unlike the tender squashes of summer, winter squash has a sweet inner flavor and a hard outer shell that makes it great for long-term storage. You can enjoy the nutty sweetness of squash all throughout the fall and even into the winter if you store it properly! Squash is high in fiber and vitamin A, and is great roasted, baked, or turned into creamy soups.
While these are technically part of the winter squash family, they appear on this list specifically because they are more or less the poster child for the harvest season. From tasty breads and pies to soups and veggie roasts, pumpkins are one of the most versatile and beloved members of the squash family. They feature many of the same health benefits such as fiber and vitamin A, plus you can easily get your kids to eat them up.
What’s more fall than apple picking and sipping apple cider? There are so many varieties of apples available during the fall months, with unique flavors and textures. Apples are full of antioxidants and wonderful dietary fiber, so feel free to use them as snacks, mix them into baked goods, and turn them into their own special treats.
Another beloved autumn favorite is the tangy, sweet pear. These also come in many varieties with unique flavors, and are great raw right off the tree or baked. Kids love pears, so they make great snacks for little and big people alike. They’re full of vitamin C and copper, plus they’ve got lots of good-for-you fiber.
While most people are familiar and comfortable with the white potato, not as many eat the sweet potato on a regular basis. This is a more popular food outside of the US, Canada, and Europe, and in some places, it’s the daily diet staple. It’s more nutrient-dense than the white potato and contains lots of iron, vitamin A, and has the bonus of supporting anti-inflammatory processes in the body. It’s tasty too!
Many years ago, people in Ireland started the jack o’ lantern tradition using (mostly) turnips. While the majority of us now use pumpkins in this fun holiday tradition, turnips are still a great food associated with the fall season. They are great to crunch on raw, or you can roast them, bake them, or turn them into soup. Make sure to use their greens to get plenty of calcium, too.
These sweet garden treats are great for your health. They’re loaded with betaine, which helps to prevent liver and heart disease, as well as nitrate which helps get more blood to your brain. You can make a tasty beet stew (like Borscht), roast them in the oven, and save the greens to put in a salad.
Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts
These two foods are in the same family and very closely related, giving you options for how you want to eat these fun and nutritious foods. They both contain a special nutrient: glucosinolates, which helps to fight cancer, as well as gives cabbage and brussel sprouts their unique flavor profile. Roast them, turn them into coleslaw, or make soup – they are a tasty addition to your fall menu!
There are many stories and fables associated with this very special fruit, and it has been highly revered for thousands of years. Chock full of antioxidants, these delicious treats might help to prevent heart disease and cancer. Though they can be a pain to prepare, the flavor is worth every second of effort!
Is there anything more wonderful than a fresh fig? This unique fruit has an incredible nutrient profile and is also full of antioxidants. They’re amazing right off the tree, as well as dried and incorporated into savory recipes.
Enjoy the Abundance
Fall is a beautiful time of year when we savor all the delicious foods from our gardens, local farms, and food shops. It’s also a great time to be thankful and feel gratitude for all of the abundance. Try out some of these foods, share new recipes with family and friends, and notice how fall teaches us about abundance in our lives.
Happy fall and healthful eating!