In this Guide to Fall Food, we’re showcasing five of the most popular seasonal ingredients for fall: pumpkin, kale, squash, cauliflower, and apples. You’ll learn about the health benefits of In Season Produce AND we’ve rounded up 25 delicious Autumn recipes that will inspire you to get to your local farmer’s market!
Fall, which officially starts September 22nd and ends on December 21st, is an abundant season for fruits and vegetables. We’re lucky enough to still be reaping the tail end of summer’s bountiful produce like tomatoes, corn, berries and peaches, while at the same time moving into the peak harvests of popular vegetables like kale and cauliflower before the harsh winter hits.
There’s nothing like getting fresh fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market or CSA to inspire clean, healthy eating. Read on to discover some recipes that are bound to become some of your favorites this fall!
In Season Produce: Pumpkin
Pumpkins have become an iconic symbol for the fall season–these days, the festive gourd shows up not just in desserts, but in pastas, baked goods, snacks and even in our beer and lattes!
The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C content in pumpkin are key for heart health, plus pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color and is converted to vitamin A in the body.
Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration. (source)
FALL FOOD: PUMPKIN RECIPES
- No Bake Energy Bites: Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls (Gluten-Free)
- Easy Pumpkin Bolognese Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms (Gluten-Free)
- Superfood Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie (Vegan)
- Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
- Pumpkin Pie Ketogenic Fat Bombs (Paleo)
In Season Produce: Kale
While we can find kale throughout the year, its peak season is mid-summer through December. It grows sweeter after the first frost, so getting fresh kale at its peak in October and throughout the fall may even convert kale-haters to love this once trendy vegetable that now seems to have a permanent place at our dinner tables.
Kale – high in omega-3s, omega-6s and vitamin K – is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that is rich in antioxidants (which counteract free radicals, reducing our risk of cancer), and is a natural detoxifier. Kale also supports brain development in infants due to its high folate levels, and can even improve eyesight. (source)
FALL FOOD: KALE RECIPES
- Citrus Kale Salad with Maple Granola and Pancetta Vinaigrette
- Zucchini Fettuccine with Kale from Foolproof Living
- Creamy Kale Caesar Salad from 100 Days of Real Food
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Black Beans, Kale and Buckwheat from Happy Kitchen Rocks
- Kale & Artichoke Dip from Clean Cuisine
In Season Produce: Yellow Squash & Zucchini
Don’t be fooled by the name–summer squashes, like zucchini and yellow squash, may start their harvest in June, but the season lasts through October – so you can still enjoy this bountiful summer vegetable even as the temperatures start to drop.
From spiralized noodle recipes to sneaking into cakes and muffins, zucchini and squash are versatile vegetables that are handy to keep stoked in your fridge.
Zucchini helps to promote eye health, and prevents all the diseases that occur from vitamin C deficiency like scurvy, sclerosis, and easy bruising. It helps to cure asthma and has a high content of vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein and fiber. (source)
Like pumpkins, yellow squash is also high beta carotene, as well as vitamin C (great for our immune systems) and iron (important to prevent anemia). (source)
Fall Food: Yellow Squash & Zucchini Recipes
- Easy Roasted Squash with Pesto
- Grilled Quinoa Pizza Zucchini Boats from Vitamin-Sunshine
- Blueberry & Bacon Zucchini Muffins (Gluten-Free)
- Paleo Spaghetti & Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles
- Healthy Zucchini Cake from Show Me the Yummy
In Season Produce: Cauliflower
Move over, kale! Cauliflower may have just replaced you as the trendiest vegetable!
The cruciferous gem that’s available all year round, really has its peak in the fall. This anti-inflammatory fall food has creatively found its way into recipes like cauliflower pizza crusts, pasta sauces, smoothies, cauliflower rice and even cauliflower desserts!
With a special combination of phytochemicals, cauliflower consumption can help prevent TONS of diseases, including various forms of cancer (most commonly breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach), cardiovascular disease, brain disease and neurodegenerative disorders.
Glucosinolate, a compound found in cauliflower, can also help protect the vulnerable lining of the stomach, in turn improving digestion, aiding detoxification and reducing the chances of developing leaky gut or other digestive disorders. (source)
- Easy, Creamy Cauliflower Soup (Paleo)
- Lemongrass Cauliflower Shrimp Fried ‘Rice’ (Paleo) from Eat Drink Paleo
- Roasted Cauliflower Chimichurri
- Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat (Vegan) from Pinch of Yum
- Easy Cauliflower Potato Salad (Paleo +Low-Carb)
In Season Produce: Apples
What would autumn be without apples? While we can get apples year round, we all know that apples out of season just don’t taste nearly as good as the vibrant, crisp seasonal apples we get in the fall that lend themselves well to both sweet and savory recipes alike.
The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” just very well may be true. Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the skin, so be sure not to peel for maximum health benefits! (source)
FALL FOOD: APPLE RECIPES
- Vegan Apple Pie Green Protein Smoothie (GF)
- Apple Cinnamon Hazelnut Breakfast Bake from LL Balanced
- Apple Risotto with Toasted Pecans from How Sweet Eats
- Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Burrata Pizza from Half Baked Harvest
- Slow Cooker Apple Crisp from Gimme Some Oven
What are some of your favorite ways to prepare these fall foods? Let us know in the comments below!