I don’t know what it is about fall. It could be the drop in temperature, the beautiful leaves changing or the fact that I love Halloween, but I’m never disappointed to see summer go and fall roll in. I’m also a fan of fall produce.

Despite the availability of produce we have throughout the year, I’ve always been a seasonal eater. Strawberries in January? No thank you. Apples in autumn? Yes please! Eating seasonally throughout the year is not only tastier, but also great for your health and budget. Seasonal produce provides more nutrients since it’s picked fresh at it’s peak of ripeness. It’s also less expensive since there’s a bigger abundance of crops that won’t have to be shipped from foreign places to make it to your plate. Here’s what’s in season (in Ohio)

 

  1. Apples. from Braeburn to Honey Crisp, you’ll never get tired of apples this season. If you’re looking for apples with a crisp texture, go for Gala, Fuji, Pink lady or honey crisp. Want something tart? Granny Smith or  Macintosh fits the bill. Both are great for pies, but can also be added to salads, oatmeal or made into fresh applesauce with a little cinnamon and honey.
  2. Brussels sprouts. Cabbage’s stinky cousin should not be discounted. Brussels sprouts are quite tasty when roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper or shaved and added to a fresh salad. If you’re feeling naughty, toss them with some chopped bacon for a real treat.
  3. Pears. have you ever tried a Comice pear? It’s a short, squatty fruit with a floral smell that’s in season from September through December. Also known as Christmas pears. They’re sweet, juicy and delicious. Try them if you see them in your favorite market.
  4. Squash. it’s not just zucchini anymore! There are plenty of varieties of squash to choose from. Spaghetti squash and “zoodles” are popular for those limiting carbs in their diet, or acorn or delicata squash can be sliced and roasted for an interesting side dish. Squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene as well as potassium.
  5. Spinach and other greens. If your memory of spinach is the slimy stuff Popeye used to eat, erase it right now. Spinach is super versatile and can be sauteed and added to an omelet or used fresh in a salad. I like to chop it and add it to grain salads or in pasta with other veggies. If you’re not a kale fan, try massaging it before using it. This wilts the green to soften the course texture and sweetens it a bit. It’s excellent in a salad with other greens, dried cherries and a small dose of blue cheese crumbles. You’re welcome.

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