This blog was written by University of Utah Dietetic Intern, Britta Retzlaff.
From pears to pumpkins, apples to eggplants, squash to Brussels sprouts, the harvest season lives up to its name with a bounty of nutritious and delicious produce options. Sure, you can get most produce year-round, but in-season fruits and vegetables are naturally sweeter and more flavorful! Read on for a guide to the fruits and vegetables that appear when the weather turns cool.
Like its relatives cauliflower and kale, Brussels sprouts top the charts when it comes to vitamin C, vitamin K, and other nutrients. They are also low in calories and high in fiber. Select sprouts that are vibrant green with tight leaves. The key to keeping them delicious is not to overcook them. Roasting is a great way to prepare them, such as in this delicious maple-roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans.
These giant jewels of cold-weather cooking are harvested throughout the fall. Their orange flesh reflects an abundance of nutrients, including beta-carotene, which the body can convert to vitamin A. There are many kinds of winter squash, such as acorn, spaghetti, delicata, butternut, kabocha, and pumpkin. Most types are interchangeable in recipes, so feel free to mix and match, such as in this tasty butternut squash soup with feta drizzle.
Fall is the peak season for apples, with the harvest running from late summer through Thanksgiving. Apples make an easy on-the-go snack and add crunchy sweetness to any fresh salad, such as this fall-inspired apple chevre kale salad. Whichever variety you choose from sweet Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Gala, or Fuji to tart Granny Smith or Braeburn, you’ll be packing in the fiber and vitamin C!
Pears are a portable, healthy snack and a good source of C and B vitamins. Pears actually ripen after they’re harvested. Just take them home and let them sit on the counter for a few days until the necks soften slightly. They’ll be juicy, sweet, and perfect for baking in this easy fall-baked pears recipe.
Eggplant is popular in many food cultures around the world. Eggplants are a low-calorie, high-fiber fruit (yes, fruit!) and rich in antioxidants. Raw eggplant has a bitter taste, but when cooked, it becomes tender with a rich flavor, such as in this delicious eggplant and chickpea stew.