Sadly, the days of lounging in the sun are coming to an end and the cooler weather is upon us.
We’re trading in our flip flops and tan lines for sweaters and blankets by the fire. It’s not just our attire that’s changing but our diets tend to as well. With the cooler months comes a whole new batch of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Did you know that eating seasonally actually benefits your health? We wrote about amazing summer seasonal foods but now we’re going over seasonal food options for the fall and winter.
FALL & WINTER SEASONAL FOODS
Seasonal foods in the cooler months are going to look a lot different than seasonal foods in the warmer months. Many fruits and leafy greens enjoyed in the summer can’t withstand the harsh cold temperatures of fall and winter.
Fall is often synonymous with apple and pumpkin picking which are two great seasonal foods that everyone loves! Apples begin their season in late July and their harvest ends around November so you still have time to enjoy them. Apple recipes are endless! Apples are delicious on their own, dipped in nut butter for a healthy seasonal snack, and the perfect fruit for pies, cobblers, and crips.
Pumpkins aren’t just for jack-o-lanterns! Pumpkin is extremely versatile and also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and folate which all strengthen your immune system. Pumpkins aren’t just for pie either! Pumpkin can be used in countless recipes such as pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin muffins, or even pumpkin mac and cheese. Check out these delicious pumpkin recipes.
Pumpkins are a part of a larger group of seasonal foods: squashes! Squashes come in a multitude of varieties such as butternut squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash just to name a few. Squashes make for a great savory meal option. Try roasting butternut squash and adding it as a side to dinners, putting in salad, or even make it into a soup. Acorn squash can be scooped out and stuffed with plenty of options such as ground turkey or quinoa. Spaghetti squash is also a fun way to replicate spaghetti but as a lower carb option! All you need to do is cut it in half, roast it, and pull it apart with a fork to create a spaghetti like noodle.
A few seasonal fruit and vegetables that withstand cooler temperatures include beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, fennel, figs, leeks, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, and radishes. Check out this full list of fall seasonal foods, how to store them, and even recipes for each.
WHERE TO BUY SEASONAL FOODS
One of the great things about seasonal foods is that they’re easy to find, especially in the summer with farmer’s markets. However, now that the temperatures are cooling down in many places around the country, farmer’s markets may not be as easily accessible. Many extend into November and even December, but after that, where can you look for seasonal foods? While it can be trickier to navigate, your grocery stores will carry seasonal foods combined with other produce that isn’t seasonal. After all, many grocery stores in America import their food from farther locations where the weather is still warm. Because of this, they most likely use more pesticides and preservatives to keep them fresher longer.
Therefore, the best way to differentiate between seasonal and regular produce is price! Seasonal produce is significantly cheaper because when it’s at the peak of the season, you are buying food that is at the peak of its supply. This means it costs less for farmers and distributors to get these foods to your local grocery store. Another great way to look out for seasonal foods is to do your research! Certain areas of the country may differ from others in climate and can accommodate different foods. The best way to find what seasonal foods are best for your location is to check out seasonalfoodguide.org!
Follow us on social media to learn more about ways to live a happier and healthier life!