Finding the best produce during the fall months might seem easy, but it can be a bit challenging. The fall harvest means there are plenty of options, but you need to know a little about fall produce to really know how to make the most of the autumn crop. Fall produce knowledge can mean the difference between average autumn dishes and several months of fantastic eating.
Chances are, your grocery stores and farmer’s markets are filled with colorful, delicious produce right now. Fall produce information might be in short supply once you start shopping, but if you take a little time to plan, you can make the most of what is available. Whether you are on the hunt for fresh vegetables for soups and stews, or you prefer juicy fruits for pies and canning, it is available as autumn sets in. Our Fall Produce Guide helps you choose the best fruits and vegetables available and even includes a few healthy fall recipes.
Guide to Fall Produce:
Choosing apples is fairly easy, but you might be a little overwhelmed with all the varieties available during the fall months. First, you must determine if you prefer tart or sweet apples. If you plan to eat them raw, just try a few bites to see which you like more. If you plan to cook with your apples, tart varieties are typically better because their meat is firmer and the taste holds up to powerful spices.
No matter what variety you prefer, choose apples that are bright in color and have no bruising. Smell the outside of the apple and make sure it is not musty. The apple should feel firm and have no soft, soggy spots. Try this Apple Nachos Recipe to enjoy the fresh taste of apples with a twist.
Many mushrooms reach their peak during the cooler months. Mushrooms should be firm and evenly colored. Look for mushrooms that are full and have only a mild soil-like smell. They should not smell of milder. Mushrooms should also be dry and remain so until you are ready to eat them. You’ll love our recipe for Marinated Mushrooms.
Summer squash season is winding down, but you can enjoy an array of winter squash as autumn arrives. They can even be picked now and stored until late winter and early spring. All types of winter squash, butternut, acorn, and spaghetti, are excellent baked or grilled.
Winter squash should be firm and deeply colored. Avoid buying a squash that is soft or cracked. It is possible to buy pre-chopped squash, but whole squash is more nutritious.
Sweet potatoes are a fall produce staple. They are packed with flavor and a healthy alternative to Russet potatoes. Look for potatoes that have smooth skin and are free of bruising and “eyes.” Sweet potatoes are kicked up a notch in this recipe for Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Southwestern Style.
Nothing says “autumn” more than pumpkin. Though many people use pumpkins in their home décor, they also make a great addition to your grocery cart. It is possible to buy canned pumpkin, but you get a healthier, more flavorful food when you buy fresh. Pumpkins in the five to eight pound rage usually have the greatest flavor. Try this health spin on pumpkin cheesecake.
For more delicious and nutritious recipes from Skinny Ms., check out our Skinny Ms. Recipe Collection of 101 Fan Favorites.