Gone are the warm, muggy days of summer and most of the sweet, juicy produce of its season. Thankfully, the cool days of fall offer their own bounty of fruits and vegetables, equally as nutritious and utterly delicious. So enjoy the last of the tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, and corn that may still be lingering at your farmer's market, while loading up your grocery bags with autumn flavors.
Eating seasonally ensures you're consuming the most nutrient dense produce available. Minerals and especially vitamins are very susceptible to light and temperature. Once harvested, if not frozen immediately, they start to lose their taste and nutritional value quickly. This time of year, some of our staples come from thousands of miles away - asparagus from Peru, blueberries from Argentina and organic red peppers from Holland to name a few. These foods are still wonderful for us and should continue to make their way onto your plates but to guarantee the best tasting, freshest and most nutrient dense produce available, while saving a pretty penny, start to focus on what's being harvested now. For me, paying $5.99 for a container of organic strawberries is hard to swallow. Instead, I've started topping my morning steel-cut oats with locally grown apples or sugar sweet pears, toasted walnuts, flaxseed and yes, sweet potatoes - a seasonal, inexpensive, energizing and perfectly decadent breakfast that is loaded with nutrients and fiber. Below is my list of fall favorites that I recommend you incorporate into your meals over the next few months. Your local farmer's market is a great place to buy them. I've also included simple and delicious recipes to help you get started. Let me know if you have a favorite!