What's in Season? Part I
Fall is here and it's a season known for colorful leaves and calm weather. Fall also brings a new round of produce. Why should you choose seasonal fruits and vegetables, and which ones are in season during fall? Let's break it down.
Benefits of buying in season
Choosing fruits and vegetables in season has numerous benefits. Seasonal produce is typically higher in nutrients because the fruits and vegetables have had more time to ripen naturally. It is a bonus if these foods are coming from a local region because less travel time means higher peak of freshness. Since foods that are in season have a longer time to ripen naturally they tend to have a richer, more satisfying flavor (especially if they're local). Buying fruits and vegetables in season can also be more cost effective because these foods are easier to grow and can be found in abundance.
Our top 5 fruits and vegetables in season during fall are . . .
- Apples are high in fiber in the form of pectin, which is shown to promote digestive health. High in vitamin C, other antioxidants, and potassium, apples are great for snacking or added to breakfast. Try diced apples in your oatmeal with some almond butter and cinnamon.
- Kale is a powerhouse vegetable and is filled with vitamins A, K, and C, among other antioxidants and minerals. Kale may play a role in lowering cholesterol and evidence suggests it contains compounds that are potentially cancer fighting. Try kale added to your smoothies or sliced and sautéed with mushrooms, garlic, and onions for a delicious side dish.
- Sweet potatoes are a favorite and it's easy to see why. Sweet potatoes contain higher levels of vitamin A than any other individual food and also contain the minerals calcium, manganese, and potassium. Try baked sweet potato fries or roasted sweet potatoes with garlic and rosemary.
- Pears contain fiber and vitamin C, with most of the nutrients contained in the peel. Pears are low on the glycemic index and are delicious added to salads, yogurt, or on their own.
- Pumpkins are a fall staple. While these are most frequently seen on doorsteps with fun faces carved into them, their health benefits are also noteworthy. Pumpkins are loaded with vitamins K, C, and E, potassium, and antioxidants including high levels of beta-carotene. Try pumpkin blended in soup or simply roasted and tossed with spinach and pasta.
Other fall favorites include cranberries, green beans, cauliflower, ginger, potatoes, spinach, and grapes. Many of these items can be combined into a comforting soup or as a hearty buddha bowl topped with some hemp seeds. You should be able to find many of the items needed for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at your local farmers market.
Let us know what seasonal foods you include in your meals by posting photos on Instagram and tagging @moreholisticnutrition!