The changing of the seasons isn’t just about the weather; produce is another mark of seasonality that allows you to experience fruits & vegetables at the peak of freshness. Wouldn’t you much rather eat aÂ crisp, sweet apple from a few miles away or a juicy, ripe pear from Washington rather than out-of-season strawberries? Not only is out of season produce more expensive, it leaves a huge carbon footprint as often those berries are flown from thousands of miles away. Play around with what’s local and in season instead. Here’s what I’m enjoying now:
PERSIMMONSÂ //Â Up until a month ago, I had never tried a persimmon. Thanks to TRADER JOE’S PERSIMMON SALADÂ I can happily say that has changed. The color alone is beautiful with its deep golden hue. High in fiber & antioxidants, eat it fresh as on the salad.
POMEGRANATES // Vibrantly red, pomegranate arils are my favorite addition to salads right now for their added crunch, color & hint of tart sweetness. The fruit is a good source of folate, Vitamin C & antioxidants.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH //Â A perennial favorite for me this time of year, spaghetti squash is so versatile – it’s spaghetti-esque strands lend well to a pasta stand-in for those who limit carbs or just those who love squash! It’s wide range of vitamins from A to K make it super healthy too. I add tomato sauce & turkey meatballs to mine. I’ve also been dying to try THESEÂ orÂ THESE.Â
CAULIFLOWER //Â Cauliflower is having a moment, making an appearance on virtually every menu lately. It’s one of my faves for its slightly nutty flavor & hearty texture. The ways to prepare it are endless – you can make cauliflower rice, pizza crust and steam then mash them for CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES. Also really tasty? Roasting them with turmeric. Health benefits include compounds that may help prevent center & phytonutrients helpful in lowering cholesterol.
PUMPKIN //Â If you only think of this winter squash as pumpkin carving material, I don’t blame you. It isÂ actually really deliciousÂ & high in potassium, B vitamins & folate to boot. I prefer canned pumpkin because it’s easier & I’m not Martha, OK? Just make sure its pure pumpkin! I add it to yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal…the options are endless. Check out THIS RECIPE for pumpkin oatmeal.
SWEET POTATO //Â I’ll always pick a sweet potato over a white potato. More nutritionally dense than their white counterpart, these are a fabulous source of Vitamin A & iron. I love roasting them with cinnamon & coconut oil for a sweet side dish.
APPLES //Â With tons of fiber & antioxidants, apples are always a good idea. When I’m hungry but don’t know what to eat, I grab an apple. They can be sweet or tart & stand up well to baking but are equally as tasty eaten on the go. Besides eating an apple raw, my go-to recipe is a BAKED APPLEÂ for a satisfying guilt-free dessert. For an even quicker variation, chop an apple, add a dash of apple pie spice & microwave for 2 minutes. Voila!
PEARS //Â I haven’t always been the biggest pear fan, but I recently discovered the Red Anjou pear & love its sweet, juicy taste. Great source of Vitamin C & fiber.Â Eat it alone or add to a salad. Also amazing baked or roasted as the flavor deepens. This TART would be a beautiful & lighter addition to a Thanksgiving spread. My idea of the perfect AUTUMN SALAD includes pear, pomegranate or persimmon, arugula & a soft cheese like goat. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy…basically all of the things that are important in life.