Autumn is in full swing with the changing leaves and drop in temperature. As we prepare for the weather by breaking out those sweaters from our closet, we also need to prepare our pantries! A great way to do this is to be aware of what is popping up in terms of produce for the season! Eating for the time of year can be better for your body and your wallet. In New York City, taking advantage of the local produce markets can expand your horizons to types of food you never knew existed.
This time of year, we say goodbye to the lighter, sweeter side of the produce spectrum, and welcome a broad range of fruit and vegetables that are a bit denser, with flavors that lend themselves well to a myriad of filling recipes. They are also nutrient- and antioxidant-packed! You might notice a similar fall color theme as well!
Here are five selections of seasonal fruit to look out for at your next foray to the market:
Image source: http://thepaleomama.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/pears-1024x683.jpeg
Pears are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. There are also a bunch of different varieties, each with varying flavor profiles. They tend to create an amazing combination with savory food items such as hard cheese, or mixed with arugula or other leafy greens. They also pair beautifully with our next seasonal fruit.
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This juicy, seed-filled fruit have gotten a lot of press in recent years as a “superfood.” Pomegranates are high in vitamin C, K and folic acid, and another great source of fiber! Eating or using pomegranates in cooking can be hard to master as the fruit surrounds a small seed, but it provides a delicious outcome. Pomegranates are used in a variety of dishes and drinks, including many desserts, but also in soups, salads and as a reduction for main courses. You can eat these raw, but for a seasonal twist, drizzle the halves in olive oil and oven roast them.
Image source: persimmons.jpg?w=480&h=358http://mypantryshelf.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/fuyu-
Persimmons have two common varieties—Japanese, pictured above (called ) and American. Fuyu are rich in vitamin A and manganese and American persimmons contain 80% of RDA vitamin C in a serving! Both are treated slightly differently during the harvesting and ripening process, and have different textures and tastes, but can be eaten cooked, raw or dried. Try a classic persimmon pudding recipe or as a tart topping to a green salad.
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Another vitamin C- and manganese-rich fruit, cranberries are a staple in many traditional fall recipes, especially around Thanksgiving. Cranberries have very little natural sugar and a tart taste, so they complement meat and other savory dishes well. They can be easily sweetened with sugar or other sweetener to make desserts or cocktails!
Image source: http://www.vivamagonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SweeTango_Apples_Bowl.png
Last but not least…the most ubiquitous and well-known fruit is at its finest during fall. Like most of the fruits on this list, they are also a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Apples are extremely versatile and long-lasting, and they are one of the more inexpensive fruits, especially in this area of the world. For a less-common use in cooking, add them to your classic stuffing and stuff it all into a winter squash (a little hint to the content of one of our next articles—seasonal vegetables!)