Fall is here…and so are many delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables! From pumpkin to pears to beets, fall is full of delicious flavors. While our global food system allows us to find most types of produce in supermarkets year-round, eating seasonal foods is better for the health of our bodies and our environment. Produce can only develop its full flavor and nutritional content when it’s grown in season, making seasonal foods tastier and more nutritious. Seasonal foods are also better for our planet, because they can be grown locally. This means that the foods do not have to travel as far to reach your local supermarket, reducing pollution and the carbon footprint of your meal. Keep reading to learn what fruits and vegetables are in season this fall and delicious recipes you can use them in!
When it comes to seasonal fall foods, pumpkin is probably the first thing that comes to most people’s minds. However, pumpkin isn’t limited to pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes; it can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes and a 1 cup serving packs 245% of the daily need for vitamin A! Use the squash to make Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Pancakes, or a Caramelized Pumpkin and Gorgonzola Salad.
Brussels sprouts get a bad rap in mainstream media, but the vegetable is incredibly nutritious and can be cooked in many delicious ways. They are high in vitamins C and K and low in calories. Try them in one of the following recipes: Warm Quinoa Brussels Sprouts Salad, Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad with Apple.
Cauliflower is also super high in vitamin C and is incredibly versatile. There are hundreds of recipes on Pinterest and other websites that can teach you how to turn cauliflower into pizza crust, rice, or tortilla alternatives for an added dose of veggies. You can also keep the cauliflower intact with one of these recipes: Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry, Roasted Garlic Cauliflower, or Roasted Cauliflower Tacos.
Pears make an easy sweet Fall treat, plus they’re packed with fiber too! You can eat them as a snack, as part of your meal or as dessert! Try one of these tasty recipes: Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey, Sweet and Spicy Pear Salsa,or Pear Balsamic Salad with Dried Cherries and Candied Walnuts.
While the sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows that your aunt makes for Thanksgiving might not be your healthiest option, there are tons of healthy ways to eat nutritious sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are densely packed with many important nutrients; they are great sources of fiber, vitamins A and C, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. Cook one of these delicious recipes next time you buy sweet potatoes at the Farmer’s market: Vegan Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry, Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata, or Sweet Potato Black Bean Hash.
Butternut squash is another one of fall’s delicious squashes. Like sweet potatoes, the squash is a great source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and manganese, but it has its own unique flavor. Try using it to make Butternut Squash Burrito Bowls, Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna, or Roasted Butternut Squash with Spiced Lentils.
Finally, add some color to your plate with some beets! Beets are a good source of folate and can easily be incorporated into simple dishes. Beet Hash with Eggs, Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers, and Balsamic Beet Salad are all great options.
Danielle de Bruin is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Italian and Global Health. She is the blog coordinator for the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative and the director of UCLA’s Body Image Task Force, which is a committee within the Student Wellness Commission. With the Body Image Task Force, Danielle organizes events, workshops, and campaigns to promote healthy body image, self-confidence, and mental health on campus. She is also published in the journal PLOS Medicine and the Huffington Post.