Fall is here, and with it, a cornucopia of harvest fruits and vegetables that are in season. While it’s easy to stick to the classic fall foods, like apples and pumpkins, there are many others out there that you should try this fall. Not only are these fruits and veggies delicious, but they’re also often very healthy for you, too. Last year, we shared three of our favorites that come into peak deliciousness in the fall, but there are many others that we just didn’t have the space for. Now, we’re divulging three more that you’ve got to try to work into your cooking repertoire this fall!
Regular readers of Medicareful Living will be familiar with why pomegranates are great. They’re exceptionally healthy for you, packed with punicic acid and super nutrients that benefit the mind and body.
Pomegranates are exceptionally healthy for the mind and body!
You can get these health benefits at their freshest from September to October, when pomegranates are in their harvest season. This is also when their flavors will be at their best.
When you’re at the grocery store, it can be tough to tell which pomegranates are ripe by sight. Their color won’t tell you much. Generally, you have to pick them up to tell if they’re ready. A ripe pomegranate should be heavy, with firm, taut skin. The heavier the fruit is, the better, since this will mean more seeds and more juice.
Once the pomegranates are home, using them couldn’t be simpler! We actually shared a few pomegranate recipes that are simple and tasty in a previous post! You can even just deseed and juice your pomegranate for a fresh, healthy juice at home.
Beets are a cool-weather crop, meaning they grow best in the spring or early fall. This makes the best time of year to enjoy beets September and October. Beets are also in season in spring, but since the weather can be unreliable, we think fall is the best time to dependably get beets.
Beets are surprisingly healthy without compromising on nutrition or flavor!
Beets are versatile root vegetables that are relatively low in calories without compromising on nutrition. They may also help fight inflammation, promote digestive health through their high fiber content, and lower your blood pressure.
When it comes to shopping for beets, go for smaller beets, since these tend to be more tender and flavorful than larger beets. A ripe beet is firm and smooth to the touch with a bright coloration. They shouldn’t have any soft, moist, or bruised spots, either. If the beet’s greens are present, they should be firm and dark green.
Luckily, you have a lot of options when it comes to cooking beets. One of our favorite ways to enjoy them is to slice them thinly and roast them in the oven to make beet chips. If you need something to dip those chips in, you could make a tasty beet hummus. You can also chop the beets into heartier cuts and roast them. If the greens are attached, you can cut them off and sauté, steam, or braise them.
Parsnips may just look like carrot’s cream-colored cousin, but they have an identity and flavor all to their own. These hearty root vegetables are best harvested in November all the way to early spring. Parsnips have a long history of feeding hungry humans, with records going back to the Romans and medieval Europe!
This means parsnips could help with weight loss and improve your immune system.
Parsnips aren’t just tasty, either. They’re a great source of fiber, Vitamins C and K, and folate. This means parsnips could help with weight loss through their fiber content. At the same time, eating them may help to improve your immune system and fight illnesses through their antioxidants (Vitamins C and K).
Similar to beets, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, the larger the parsnips, the woodier they tend to be. The perfect length of a parsnip is 5 to 10 inches. You also want to make sure that the parsnips are firm and vibrant. Nobody likes a limp parsnip! If you can, find parsnips with the green tops still on. These are an excellent indicator of how fresh they are, since the leaves will wilt a few days after being harvested. That said, when stored properly, like in a refrigerator, parsnips can last for weeks.
Once you buy your parsnips, it’s time to cook them. Luckily, there aren’t many ways you can’t turn parsnips delicious. They can be mashed, sautéed, or fried. There’s seemingly nothing these tough, but tender root veggies can’t do! We even saw one person find a recipe for parsnips from the 5th century CE! That said, our personal favorite way of enjoying parsnips is roasting them in the oven with other seasonal veggies. As a dish, it pairs well with almost anything.
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With the bounty of fresh, rich ingredients to work with each autumn, not exploring your options would be to miss out on many amazing fruits and vegetables. We shined a light on three more excellent examples of what fall has to offer, but there are many others out there. If you have any favorites that we haven’t covered, give us a heads up. We’d love to know about them!