An Autumn Palette of Fruits and Vegetables
The September equinox has passed and the ushering in of a new season means a fresh batch of fruits and vegetables. Cheaper prices and better flavor are just two reasons to buy the colorful array of fruits and vegetable available this fall. Take a festive approach to grocery shopping and look for these autumn-colored, in-season produce.
Butternut Squash – Served mashed, pureed, or roasted, this thick-skinned vegetable packs more than triple a day’s worth of Vitamin A in a one cup serving, and has a good amount of Vitamin C and potassium as well.
Sweet Potatoes – One cup provides more than a fifth of the recommended daily intake of both fiber and potassium. Substitute regular French fries for baked sweet potato fries for more flavor.
Persimmons – Add this mildly sweet fruit to your diet this fall. It can be eaten raw after removing the top and seeds, or used to make jam.
Pears - Though high in sugar, pears are a good source of fiber. The Bartlett variety is the juiciest and softest eaten raw.
Bell Peppers – Green, yellow and red sweet peppers are readily available year round, but now is their harvest time. High in Vitamin C and potassium, these are enjoyed raw with veggie dip or in salads, or cooked for a colorful stir fry.
Rutabagas – A relatively rare find in most diets, this root vegetable is also known as yellow turnip. Its greens are edible boiled, but it is usually eaten mashed, baked, or in chunks added to soups, stews, and casseroles.
Apples – Gala and Red Delicious are just two of the varieties of apples available. In addition to eating them raw, apple pies, applesauce, and apple juice are common ways to get your apple fix.
Pomegranates – With its short harvest season of about two months, fresh pomegranates may be hard to come by. One fruit has over 25 grams of naturally occurring sugar, but the antioxidant properties it carries makes the seed- picking worthwhile. Then of course, many people just go for the pomegranate juice that’s available year round.
Figs – A good source of fiber, figs are a soft, tasty treat. Because they are easily split and don’t keep long, eat figs the day you buy them.
Spinach – One cup of this popular leafy green boiled has Vitamin A and C, calcium, and iron. It also has over 5 grams of protein. Add raw spinach to salads, or have a handful from a bag like chips.
Zucchini – This easily grown, versatile fruit may look like a cucumber, but is rarely eaten raw. Instead its usually served as a vegetable, steamed, grilled, baked, sautéed, or fried.
Artichokes – The produce from the second crop in the fall yields a smaller variety of this vegetable. Cooking artichokes is a daunting task for many, but its nutritional value and nutty taste make for some much added flair in any meal.
What in-season fruits and vegetables are you looking forward to having this fall?