I love fall. I love the change in weather, I love the smell of the air and I love the fruits and veggies that come into season in the fall. In fall, the soup pot is almost always on the stove and I bake incessantly. My thoughts generally linger on cozy comfort foods and the bumper crop of fall produce is perfect.
The website for one of my favorite magazines, CookingLight, has a great slideshow on what’s coming into season at this time of year, as well as some great ways to use those delicious foods that are at their best (and cheapest) right now.
Here are some of my favorites and my favorite ways to use them.
Apples: Yes, we have apples in the stores all year long, but the apples you get in spring and summer are leftover from last year’s crop. Apples are an awesome supply of fiber and very cheap in the fall. I love baked apples for a simple dessert and I’ve come to love sauteed apples over homemade rice pudding. Try it! The slideshow has a link to a French Apple Tart that looks like heaven on a plate.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are enormously healthy. They have a ton of fiber, iron and even a healthy dose of protein. They’re also sweeter than white potatoes, yet have less sugar. Try them baked with a bit of cinnamon, salt and maple syrup – delicious.
Winter Squash: This little beauty really can’t be topped for fall cooking. I use butternut squash in pies, as part of a risotto and in my vegetarian ravioli. Acorn squash are my favorite to bake and they’re a whole meal when you stuff them with a mixture of quinoa, mushrooms and onions. The slideshow has a recipe for an Indian-Spiced Roasted Squash soup that sounds amazing.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is super good for you and I think it’s just delicious. My husband likes a gratin that I make with Swiss cheese and nutmeg, but most often we just roast or steam and enjoy. It’s also a mainstay for most of my fall and winter vegetable soups, especially creamy soups and stews. I’m going to be trying CookingLight’s recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine, which sounds like it’s right up my alley.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms don’t really get enough credit as a food. They’re so versatile, and varieties like shiitake are very good for you. I love to just saute them up with some shallots, garlic and olive oil but I also make a homemade mushroom soup that’s a real favorite around here. The slideshow has a link to a recipe for Mushroom-lentil Burgers that look out of this world. I may have finally found my perfect veggie burger.
Check out the slideshow for more great fall produce and challenge yourself to eat as seasonally as possible this fall. Eating produce at it’s peak is one of the great pleasures of a plant-based diet!