Fall Produce—An Array of Deliciousness

by karen on September 26, 2019

As we enter this lovely time of year, our taste buds naturally do some transitioning with the season. Foods like hearty stews made with fall vegetables, autumnal fruits coming to market picked at perfection, and lentils simmered with aromatic spices make us ready for a return to the fall season.

Shop Local

Shopping for seasonal produce is not only a fun and welcoming way of moving into the new season of cooler weather and earlier evenings, but is also a great way to save money. Here in Reno, we get a lot of our produce locally from California, and we also grow quite a bit to our east in Fernley and Fallon.

Lattin Farms in Fallon has the following produce through October: beets, carrots, garlic, kale, lettuce, onions, peppers, pumpkins and other winter squash, spinach, tomatoes, melons and raspberries. My mind races with all the possibilities; roasted beets and onions with an orange balsamic sauce, garlicky kale (garlicky everything, yum), pumpkin spice muffins, butternut squash soup … ). And while the farmers markets are winding down for the year, we still have one, Fernley Farmers Market, that goes through the end of October. They’re located at 605 Silverlace Blvd.

Create Your Fall Meal Plan

Make sure your meals include an abundance of fall produce to keep you fueled and satisfied with wonderfully healthy food choices. Fall produce offers great sources of fiber, vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, magnesium, and small amounts of calcium, iron and protein. These fruits and vegetables protect us from seasonal illness by boosting our immune system and allow us to fend off cold and flu viruses and other ailments that come with the colder seasons.

Fall Fruits

Apples, cranberries, grapes, pears, raspberries and persimmons.

Fall Vegetables

Acorn squash, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, eggplant, garlic, ginger, green beans, kale, lettuce, mint, onions, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, spaghetti squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, turnips, and yams.

It is my humble opinion, and one based on research, that there is no healthier way to eat than to include produce at every meal. Making produce your base and building meals from there keeps you healthy and is likely the very best way of preventing chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease, so load up on these ideas for incorporating the bounty of seasonal produce we’re coming into.

Breakfast Basics

Pumpkin puree. Review our blog last week, and add pumpkin puree to anything from smoothies to yogurt to muffins.
Chopped apple. Add to yogurt or cottage cheese with some cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and a little sweetener.
Cranberries. Blend into whole grain pancake or waffle batter.
Spinach. Stir into scrambled eggs or oatmeal.

Lunch Ideas

Grapes. Toss into your pan of roasted vegetables before roasting or muddle some mint and grapes into a glass and fill with sparkling water.
Ginger. Brew a cup of your favorite tea with a one-inch piece of fresh ginger. Try powdered ginger in applesauce for a nice zing.
Beets. Roasted, pickled, or boiled, beets make a great salad addition on a bed of mixed greens with feta cheese and toasted walnuts.
Broccoli. Those of you who know me know I’ll have spaghetti sauce over broccoli to reserve my carbs for the bread. Broccoli is also great for reducing calories and carbs in casseroles—use broccoli in place of half the pasta.

Dinner Dishes

Acorn Squash. Give these recipes a try over this fall and winter, compliments of AllRecipes.com.
Eggplant. Cook and mash into a dip with your favorite seasonings, toss it with pasta, grill it, add it to stir-fry, stuff it—it’s super-versatile, just have fun!
Pears. Slice and serve with soft cheese or halve and core, sprinkle with cinnamon, and poach in a bit of apple cider on the stove in a covered pan.
Persimmon. If you’ve never tried this fruit, you’re missing out. Persimmons are ready to eat when they are soft and a dark reddish-orange color. Either version can be sliced and eaten, or some prefer to scoop out the insides and eat by the spoonful.

Enjoy the start to your fall with the inclusion of some of the impressive variety of seasonal produce available to us.

Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website atwww.NutritionConnectionNV.com

To find a nutrition expert in your area, go to the academy website – Find an Expert https://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert

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