Summer has spoiled us, when it comes to fresh produce. We’ve been able to feast on fresh melons and berries, plums and peaches at the peak of ripeness, and tasty fresh green beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
As fall moves in, your salads may seem less flavorful and picking up a piece of fruit may seem less exciting. One solution is to eat with the seasons, moving on to the fruits and vegetables that are getting ready to harvest as the leaves turn colors,
Why eat with the seasons?
Foods that are in season are often fresher and more nutritious. They contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are essential for overall health and well-being. In-season fruits and vegetables are typically more abundant, which can lead to lower prices. Eating in season can be a cost-effective way to enjoy fresh, high-quality produce.
Eating in season can contribute to environmental sustainability. Locally grown, seasonal foods often require fewer resources for transportation, refrigeration, and storage. This reduces the carbon footprint associated with food production and distribution.
Choosing seasonal produce can often mean supporting local farmers and growers. This helps stimulate the local economy, create jobs, and strengthen the community.
Seasonal eating encourages variety in your diet. As the seasons change, you have the opportunity to try different fruits and vegetables.
What’s in season this fall?
Fruits in season in the fall include apples and pears, pomegranates, citrus fruits, grapes, and cranberries.
You might be less familiar with loquats and kumquats, figs, quinces, and passion fruit, but it’s worth looking at your local grocery store.
Don’t forget frozen fruits — they do not have all the advantages of seasonal produce, but they can help if your local market has few choices.
Many greens like arugula, spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, and kale keep producing until winter. If you have some in your garden, it’s good to know that many people find their flavor is improved by a little frost. Just be sure to let them warm up before you pick them. Picking them while they are still frosty first thing in the morning will give you a poor texture.
Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, winter squash, celery, and artichokes are also in season in the fall.
Root veggies come into their own in the fall. Enjoy onions, carrots, beets, radishes, pumpkin, parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes, as well as Irish potatoes.
Eat the rainbow!
We often hear that we should “Eat the rainbow” — which is to say, choose a wide variety of foods in different colors. This is the best way to ensure that you get the nutritional range you need.
Seasonal eating can help you do just that. Along with your pumpkin spice latte, you can let delicious in-season fruits and vegetables help you feel like fall is here.