Anne reveled in the world of color about her.
“Oh, Marilla,” she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?” Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery
Autumn has finally arrived, and I’m all atingle and aglow with sheer happiness!
I know fall officially arrived in September; however, the heat and droughty summer in my neck of the woods hadn’t left me with much foliage to feast my eyes upon.
But in the past week, things have begun to brighten up. Splotches of bronze and crimson are flaring up here and there; muggy days and heat waves seem to finally be behind me; and grocery stores and farmers’ markets are bursting with fall produce. Yippee!
To celebrate, I’ve put together 10 of my favorite fall fruits and vegetables (in no particular order, as that would be almost impossible to decide—and this post would never get up!).
You’ll find links to some of my own recipes, and also recipes from great sites from around the web. Get ready to set your kitchen buzzing with the smells and tastes of autumnal delights.
Lets dig in!
Nothing quite says “fall” like “pumpkin,” wouldn’t you say? Hard to believe that I wasn’t always an ecstatic pumpkin fanatic! Now, I can’t get enough of its squat, squash-y goodness. It makes delicious pumpkin cinnamon swirl bread for breakfast, and creates dreamy slices of creamy pumpkin pudding for dessert.
2. Sweet potatoes
I try to have these orange spuds on hand whenever I can. Baked, oozing with caramelized sweetness, they need nothing but a lavish coating of cinnamon. Grated, they’re a marvelous addition to a slaw or raw salad. Mashed, they’re my go-to baking replacement for pumpkin, applesauce, and bananas.
You can also perk up bland chicken salad by subbing mashed sweet potato for mayo. There you go! A sweet potato chicken salad at home on crackers, whole-wheat bread, or a bed of your favorite mixed greens. Yes, savory or sweet, sweet potatoes are a treat for your taste buds.
Apples are (pardon the pun) the apple of my eye! With so many varieties to choose from, I never tire of eating them. I love crunchy, sweet-tart slices slathered in peanut butter, or baked up tender and piping hot in a hearty and heartwarming Middle Eastern crisp.
4. Brussels sprouts
Poor Brussels sprouts! Underrated and unappreciated. I don’t know why Brussels sprouts are treated as the bane of the universe. I’m happy to nibble on them raw; give Brussels sprouts a good roasting, however, and watch these underdogs shine.
Ah, the versatile cranberry! Use dried cranberries as you would raisins in anything from an oatmeal cookie to a broccoli salad. The ubiquitous cranberry sauce gracing holiday tables wouldn’t be the same in our family without being concocted from fresh, real cranberries—although, using a can of jellied cranberry sauce is perfectly acceptable when creating this delectable cranberry pork loin for dinner.
Pears may be related to apples, but these cuties have a shape and taste all their own. Fix up a quick snack of pear slices and squares of extra sharp, aged cheddar. Dice up a pear and “pair” it with oats for a steamy bowl of oatmeal that will warm you up on crisp mornings. Bake ‘em up whole in a gorgeous pear cake. Pick up a bag of pears, and let your imagination run wild.
What would I do without my clean, cruciferous friend known as kale? No part of kale goes to waste in my kitchen. The stalks I treat like celery: I slice and simmer them in soups, or dice and toss them into salads.
Kale is a dandy component in many a green smoothie, a necessity when a craving for kale chips strikes—and, yes, a welcome addition mixed into batter to form incredible kale breakfast cookies. Yup, kale is and will always be cool.
Broccoli in stir fries . . . broccoli in frittatas . . . broccoli sautéed in a pan with a little olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes . . . mmm, how I love broccoli!
Yet, for all their similarities, broccoli and cauliflower are completely different. Think about it: can you imagine broccoli rice instead of cauliflower rice? I think it goes without saying that the former isn’t as visually appealing! And with its subtler flavor, cauliflower works great at soaking up all the yummy flavors in my cauliflower fruit salad. So hooray for broccoli and cauliflower, both winners in my book!
Aren’t beets beautiful? Well, once you cut them open, anyway. I love their deep, red, earthy hue, but I also look forward to trying the numerous colors and varieties beets come in.
Have a bunch of beets, and no idea what to do with them? How about bedazzling your buddies with a batch of pickled beets? (Say that three times fast!)
10. Winter squash
I can’t get over the versatility of winter squash. Butternut squash makes tasty soup, spaghetti squash yields piles of spaghetti-like strands, and acorn squash halved and baked is a simple side dish that is simply amazing. And don’t you dare throw out those seeds! Roasted winter squash seeds bring a peppy crunch to smoothie bowls and salads. Ah, who am I kidding? They’re great just to munch on by the handful!
That’s a rap—my 10 favorite fall fruits and vegetables. Now, it’s your turn: what fall fruits and vegetables do you absolutely need in your life come autumn time?