Fall brings about cooler weather, colorful leaves, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and more, but one of our favorite things is the produce. It's a great time of year to hit up a local farmer's market and pick out your favorite produce. But what should you be looking for? Here's a list of all the fruits and vegetables that are best bought in fall.
1. Apples: Apples are sort of a no-brainer, but then again, you can buy them year round. We may have forgotten that they actually do have a season! If you want to go apple picking, September is the perfect time of year for it.
2. Artichoke: Available in both fall and spring, this thistle-y flower is a good source of vitamin C. We love it in our Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip, which is perfect for entertaining guests this fall.
3. Blackberries: They come in season in May and will be finished in October, so if you love fresh blackberries, now is the time! Eat them as a sweet and healthy snack or enjoy them in this Skinny Blackberry Banana Smoothie.
4. Brussels sprouts: This little veggie is every kid's dream come true... not! But it is in season this fall. If you are a super mom who can actually get her family to eat Brussels sprouts, then hit the supermarket. But no worries, you can also buy them in winter and spring. Want to know more about the nutritional value of Brussels sprouts? Click here and read about them in our Glossary of Foods.
5. Chili Peppers: Starting in July, chili peppers are at their peak until about December. You can find these at a farmer's market if you want to buy locally. There are all sorts of ways to cook with these little guys and we use them to add spice to our lives!
6. Corn: From June to October, you can find a great ear of corn. It's great for grilling out, making husk dolls and feeding the squirrels! If you're buying corn, get it in the next month or so. And while you're at it, try our delicious Chipotle Corn on the Cob as your next side dish.
What other produce is best in fall? Find out on the next page.
7. Cucumbers: Although you can find them in early spring, cucumbers naturally grow from June until November. That means you still have a few months to enjoy this perfect after-school snack of Cucumber and Cheese Sandwiches!
8. Dates: Good from September to November, dates are a good way to get some potassium into your system, as well as magnesium! We love to put them into a fall salad, like this Farro and Chicken Salad with Dates and Cranberries.
9. Eggplant: It starts to show up around June and will last through October, so go ahead and plan out any dishes you want to make with eggplant. It's a great veggie when you want to get some more color on your plate. Or bake your eggplant and make these Gluten-Free Eggplant Fries!
10. Figs: You may have tried out Fig Newtons before, but have you ever had fresh figs? If you want to buy them locally, you'll have to reside in California, Utah, Oregon, Texas or Washington. These strange fruits have a dual harvest season, so you can find them in June and July, then again in September and October.
11. Grapes: Grapes come into season in June and finish up in November. They make for a great snack, so get your fix before winter sets in. Pack them in your lunch or eat them as snack in between meals! You can also use them in this delicious skinny chicken salad, which tastes great on a sandwich, in a wrap, or even on its own.
12. Green Bean: Watch out! Green beans go out of season after September. If you want to buy yours fresh, enjoy them while you can because you'll be moving on to frozen pretty soon. Try out this recipe for the comfort food class Country Style Green Beans.
For more fall produce, go on to the next page.
13. Kiwi: Did you know kiwis are a fall fruit? They're ready to harvest in California around October or November and will be around all winter long. They can range from sweet to tart and are a great way to keep things fresh-tasting when your other favorites are out of season. Try out your kiwi in this Kiwi Banana Protein Smoothie for your next breakfast.
14. Okra: Okra came into season over the summer and will be leaving us as November ends. If you've never cooked with okra, let this fall be your chance!
15. Peaches: Everyone loves a juicy peach, whether you eat it in slices or have it on a Peach and Ham Grilled Cheese Sandwich! They start their season off in May and can last as long as October, so get your fill now before they're gone.
16. Pear: Pears are best from August to November, so this is the perfect time to start enjoying them! There are tons of ways to incorporate this fruit into your day, whether it's eaten plain or in a Warm Steak and Pear Salad.
17. Plums: Like many other fruits and veggies, plums become available in early summer but won't be around past November. Plums are a juicy fruit and make for an excellent snack!
18. Pomegranates: From September to December, you can enjoy the unique fruit that is a pomegranate! They are very nutritious and make for a great smoothie ingredient, like in our Skinny Pineapple and Pomegranate Smoothie.
See more fall produce produce on the final page.
19. Raspberries: Raspberries are a delicious treat. They are full of vitamin C and low in calories, so they make for a great snack. We love them in the mid-afternoon as a way to stay full until dinner, but they go out of season in November and won't be back until May, so enjoy them while you can. Enjoy raspberries in a smoothie or better yet, in this Skinny Raspberry Lemonade Cake!
20. Summer squash: True to its name, summer squash starts to grow in June but it will be good to buy through October. Look for a summer squash that is blemish-free, because even small cuts can lead to a quicker decay. You should also choose a small or medium sized squash over the larger, because the big summer squashes tend to be more fibrous and have more seeds.
21. Winter squash: Starting in November, winter squash will come in to replace the summer squash. Winter squash is best known for its varieties of butternut squash, acorn squash and spaghetti squash. One of Skinny Mom's favorites is Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce because it's tasty, low in calories and doesn't take long to make!
22. Sweet potatoes: We're sure you were expecting this to be on our list! Sweet potatoes can be made into delicious fries for a healthier French fry alternative. But they are also great for serving up on Thanksgiving or in a Sweet Potato Mash. Better yet, make them into Sweet Potato Chips!
23. Tomatillos: If you like salsas, you are probably familiar with these small plants. They are the base of salsa verde (green sauce) and can be eaten cooked, minced, in guacamole or in soups.
25. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are best from June to October. We love using them in different recipes because they are a great source of vitamins A and C. Try using tomatoes in this delicious Mango Salsa next time you need a fresh snack.