I love heading to my local farmers’ market on the weekend to stock up on fresh, local produce and flowers for the week. It’s nice to know exactly where your food is coming from, and I also think it’s great to support local growers and small businesses. If the idea of a farmers’ market feels daunting (they can be overwhelming at first) check out Ilana’s guide to mastering your local market.
As we all know by now, it’s best to choose produce that’s in season. Not only is it eco-friendly (you cut down on the costs of transporting foods from faraway locations), but you’ll also find that fruits and veggies that are in season just taste better. So, to prepare you for your next farmers’ market excursion this fall, I put together a list of the ten best items to buy this season. Take a look…
With pumpkin spiced everything popping up right now, it’s no secret that the pumpkin is the most popular gourd of the season. When it comes to cooking with this festive squash, choose one that’s small with tough skin. The smaller pumpkins (think 5 to 8 pounds) are known for their more concentrated flavor and sweetness. If you’re on the hunt for pumpkin recipes try my Pumpkin Pie Bites or this Pumpkin Seed Pesto!
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious, but they’re also full of nutrients like Iron and Vitamin A. While they’re great when prepared simply (just throw them in the oven to bake), this creative Cauliflower Pizza with sweet potato sauce is also worth trying.
You might have seen fig dishes floating around this summer, and that’s because figs have two seasons: early summer, and then end of summer through autumn. When choosing yours, remember that a ripe fig will be heavy for its size. If you’re a little unsure about figs try adding some fig to a fresh arugula salad or a cheese plate. Its sweet flavor is the perfect contrast to a strong smelling cheese or peppery greens.
Apples are available year-round, but they’re best from September through November. When choosing, pick up an apple and make sure its firm, with no bruises. If you need some recipe inspiration, try our Autumn Apple No-Bake Chocolate Tart or Caramel Apples (because how can you go wrong with caramel apples?).
Mushrooms are also available year-round, but many are at their best in fall and winter. They’re very satisfying, and a great, healthy way to add earthy flavor to any meal. If you need some mushroom inspiration, check out our Portobello Turkey Burger or Thin Crust Ricotta and Mushroom Pizza.
Just like apples, pears are an incredibly versatile fruit that you can use in lots of recipes. To make sure you choose a ripe pear, press your thumb into the fruit. If it’s ripe, it will slightly give (like an avocado). Try adding pears to your green juice or to your festive fall cocktails.
- Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can get a bad rap, but when cooked the right way they are delicious. Fall is the perfect time to pick them up, since their harvest season is typically September through March. For the most flavor, try sautéing them. Here’s a great recipe from Health Magazine to try.
This tart fruit is harvested from August to December, making fall the perfect time to pick up a fresh crop. Packed with antioxidants, pomegranate seeds are a great addition to an autumn salad (or a cocktail, depending on your mood).
This Middle Eastern delicacy works well as an all-natural sweetener in desserts, salads, or stews. Harvested from September to December, now is a great time to give our Pre-Workout Trail Mix (with dates) or Bacon Wrapped Dates a try.
10. Butternut Squash
This popular winter squash has a deep orange flesh and nutty flavor that’s perfect for fall dishes. It’s one of my very favorite fall flavors to cook with. If you’re looking for some new ways to use this autumn classic, check out these delicious squash recipes.
What fruits and veggies do you stock up on in the fall?
Let me know in the comments below!