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Health & Fitness
September 30, 2014 | Posted in: Health & Fitness
A Quick Guide to Fall’s Best Seasonal Produce

As summer turns to fall, the cooler weather makes getting back into the kitchen to cook warm meals more appealing. It’s also the time of year to enjoy all those irresistible fall flavor favorites (pumpkin spice everything, anyone?) So to help you get the most out of your meals and take advantage of all the deliciousness autumn has to offer, we’ve put together a quick reference for fall seasonal fruits and veggies.

Tastier + Cheaper + Greener

Eating in-season produce has a few key benefits. First, seasonal produce usually tastes better, as each crop has been produced at the right time in the right climate. It’s also usually less expensive in season, as high supply leads to lower prices. Additionally, if you can get produce grown in your home region, you are not only helping to support local suppliers but also reducing the carbon footprint of your food from field to table.

Fall Fruit Favorites

From can’t-miss cranberries to perfect persimmons and pomegranates, autumn fruits are awesome fruits. Here are some of the best fall options:

  • Apples – Available year-round, but at their best September through November.
  • Cranberries – This Thanksgiving star is the quintessential autumn fruit.
  • Figs – Pick them up to pick them out; ripe figs are heavy for their size.
  • Grapes – North American varieties are available July through December.
  • Kiwis – Full of vitamin C and ready for your next smoothie or fruit salad.
  • Pears – Great on their own, on salads, accompanying cheese or baked.
  • Persimmons – Bitter when unripe, but soft and sweet when ready to eat.
  • Pomegranates – Well known as an antioxidant powerhouse.
  • Quinces – Nearly inedible raw, but they make incredible jam when cooked.

Make Your Table a Veg Table

Pumpkin pie. Potato leek soup. Roasted acorn squash. Green bean casserole. What would fall be without the veggies that make these iconic dishes possible? Make room for mushrooms, unbeatable beets, tubular tubers like sweet potatoes and all the other fall favorites coming to a market near you!

  • Beets – Available year-round, but often at their freshest during fall.
  • Broccoli – Available year-round, but often sweeter during cooler harvests.
  • Brussels Sprouts – Delicious with a simple sauté of butter, garlic and lemon.
  • Cabbage – In the same family as Brussels sprouts, and fantastic in the fall.
  • Cauliflower – Look for green, crisp leaves at the head’s base to signal freshness.
  • Garlic – At its most flavorfully plump and sweet late summer into fall.
  • Green Beans – In season from late summer into fall in most areas.
  • Herbs - Rosemary, parsley, thyme and sage are essential to fall recipes.
  • Leeks – Sick of crying over onions? Chop leeks instead; no more tears!
  • Mushrooms – Many ‘shrooms are at their peak in fall leading into winter.
  • Parsnips – Similar to carrots with a lighter color and slightly nutty flavor.
  • Pumpkins – Did you know pumpkins are a fall favorite? Just kidding.
  • Shallots – They look (and taste) like a cross between onions and garlic.
  • Sweet Potatoes – Bake, roast, smash and enjoy them, sweet or savory!
  • Winter Squash – Look for fall varieties like acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash.
Interested in more fall tips from the Balance Bar® blog? Browse our autumn archive.

Tags: Autumn Tips, Lifestyle, Diet, Holidays, Ingredients.