Summer has finally ended and that’s good because the heat was this close to melting us into nothingness. And along with cooler air, the next season brings the best fall produce you should incorporate into your meals.
I have to say that summer is never exactly what I expect or think I want. I always have these fantasies about extravagant vacations, fun times with friends and deliciously chill dishes I put on my plates. But the reality, as opposed to that fantasy, is that I end up sweating it out in the house because the outside is way too hot for me and I am a spring child: definitely need to keep my cool.
So, when the heat finally breaks, and autumn arrives, I breathe a deep sigh of relief. I can finally go out on long walks and hang out with people without the conversation being consumed by snarking at the weather and complaining about heat exhaustion. One other thing I love about the incoming season? So many fresh fruits and veggies to enjoy and cook with. These are the ones I plan on working with this year because they have the flavor, the texture and the nutrients I long for.
Let’s rejoice! Because the season of comfort food, fall produce, blankets, hot tea, and romance is almost here!
10 fall produce you need on your table this year
1. Beets and kohlrabi
Sure, they can make your kitchen look like a crime scene with their bright, red-colored juice. But that doesn’t mean that beets aren’t something you should cook with. We tell you more about this right here. But I’ll summarize a little: they have a sweet and earthy flavor and are loaded with vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium. You can use them in a variety of dishes.
And yeah, in temperate climates, beets are in season starting in fall, until spring. Buy some with their greens still attached.
Kohlrabi, another rooty delicious veggie, comes into season at the end of fall and stays sweet into winter. Its taste is similar to that of cabbage and broccoli and maybe you should try cooking with it.
Fresh figs! Get your fresh figs, while you can! They have two harvest seasons: one in summer and the other one in late fall. They have a lovely texture and an even greater flavor, and you can do so many things with them in the kitchen. It’s true, they can sometimes be a bit expensive, but if you have the possibility of splurging a couple of times, why not do it?
They’re rich in minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper, but also antioxidants, and vitamins A, E and K. Not to mention so much soluble fiber!
These are definitely in our top berries list. They’re native to North America and they are harvested in the fall. that’s what makes them excellent for so many dishes. Half a cup of cranberries has only 25 calories, while at the same time, the berries are loaded with antioxidants and also vitamins like C, A, and K.
You can use them in so many dishes! Like salads, cookies, and muffins. Or you can make a cranberry sauce for your turkey dinner.
As I am writing this, I can almost feel the enticing smell of roasted eggplant that sometimes fills the hallway of my apartment building with promise. It's a fall produce item that comes into season near the end of summer and lasts all fall long. I like to turn it into delicious spreads like Baba Ghanoush. That means you can roast it and keep it in your freezer for a few good months, until spring.
How do you cook with eggplant? Every way you prefer. Here is a nice, simple to follow guide. But just know that you can roast it, grill it, stuff it, and so many more things!
Some people would say that pears are better than apples (I am one of those people, I confess). I love their grainy texture so much and their sweetness is unparalleled. Their season starts in the middle of summer, but some of the varieties are still picked during winter, too.
You can use them to make delicious desserts, no problem, but they also work well in savory dishes and salads!
Arguably the poster-child of fall produce, pumpkin really does signal that cooler weather is coming. They come into season in September and then they leave an impact on all of our holidays: they become works of scary art during Halloween, they shine as pie filling and let us not forget our special fall lattes.
The rest of winter squash types come into season at the beginning of fall and they last during winter, too.
I feel that people don’t talk about the awesomeness of quinces enough. Because they’re so great when you just wash one and bite into it. But they work so well when you turn them into a delicious jam. You can also use them in multiple desserts.
Quinces come into season during fall and they’ll be available and ready for you to have as many of them as possible during winter months, too.
They’re a fall fruit as well, even if they only ripen in a warm climate. Their season starts in October and fresh pomegranates are available through December. They’re not that hard to seed if you know the friendliest technique. They have fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. You can add the pomegranate seeds to salads, to your morning yogurt bowl, your rice, or to your dressing.
Fennel is a cold weather crop and its natural season starts in fall, through early spring. After that, it turns bitter, so it’s not really any good anymore. It’s a bulbous plant, but you can also use its stalks and fronds in recipes. It had a mild, licorice-like flavor. You can use all of the parts of this lovely green in salads, slaws, pasta, and it makes a delicious side dish for meats like chicken and pork. It’s rich in potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A, to name just a few of its nutrients.
10. Celery and celeriac
These two fall produce favorites have quite similar names. Celeriac is also called celery root, and the two are close cousins. Both of them are in season during the cooler months of fall and they last until early spring.
You can use celery in soups, vegetable trays, top it with peanut butter or add it to a dish. It’s an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.
Celery root is excellent in stews and soups and you can mash it to great effects. It’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium, phosphorus, and fiber.