Eating fresh produce that’s in season is a great way to eat healthy on a budget. If you’re not sure what’s in season year round, use this handy chart as a reference. To get you started, here are five fruits and veggies that are in season this fall, along with suggestions for what to do with them.
- Sweet Potatoes
A tasty, healthy, and versatile root vegetable, the sweet potato grows best from late October through December and is full of fiber and beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This delicious vege can be used in a variety of recipes. You can bake them like a white potato, slather cinnamon sugar and marshmallow fluff on them for dessert, or slice them up and make sweet potato fries. These Loaded Sweet Potato Skins are perfect for football season. Find more sweet potato recipes in the MCPL catalog.
This bitter green has a reputation; people either love it or hate it. But there’s no denying that it’s a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins and minerals. Kale is generally harvested between June and February; the colder it is, the better kale gets. If its distinct flavor isn’t for you, try sautéing it with other vegetables, slicing it thinly with other greens, or blending it into a fruit smoothie. If you’re looking for a cheap and filling recipe for the whole family, I recommend Italian Sausage Kale Soup. Here are a few books in the Library’s catalog about this healthy vege.
This seasonal fruit has a host of benefits beyond just its tangy flavor. Cranberries, like many other berries, are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Cranberries also lower blood pressure and are linked to improved immune function. The best time to get them is in September and October, when they are harvested. Eat them on their own, or use them as a topping on yogurts and salads. If you’re looking ahead to Thanksgiving, why not skip the traditional cranberry sauce and bring this Maple Apple Cranberry Sauce instead?
Broccoli is delicious raw, steamed, or in a stir-fry, and it has plenty of vitamins and protein to boot. Although you can buy it fresh all the way through April, its peak season begins in October. Interestingly, broccoli is much more nutritious in its raw form. So, while you can certainly keep adding it to your casseroles and mac and cheese, try snacking on it with a dip as well. Or better yet, try this Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Slaw that adds cranberries into the mix too!
Whether you eat them by themselves, with peanut butter, or in a pie, apples are a fall staple! They are also a good source of antioxidants and fiber and a healthy alternative for a sweet snack. Apples aren’t just for snacks and desserts, however. You can bake them into healthy breakfast breads, make homemade applesauce or apple butter, or simply put them on top of your oatmeal. (These Bacon-Fried Apples probably aren’t the healthiest, but you didn’t hear about them from me!) Here are some apple-focused cookbooks in MCPL’s catalog.
These five in-season produce picks—and plenty of others—are sure to keep you and your pocketbook satisfied this fall. If you’re interested in more recipes, check out this list of year-round seasonal cookbooks.
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