Seasonal foods are a fun way to get creative in the kitchen…but sometimes we just don’t know where to start! Today you’re in luck because I’m sharing my favorite ways to use these items, hopefully in ways you’ve not thought of before.
What is in season right now?
Keep in mind, I live in Michigan so our windows of seasonal produce being grown locally might differ than where you’re at. Here’s a typical list though of Fall produce:
Apples, beets, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, pears, pomegranate, parsnip, spaghetti squash, acorn squash (really, any kind!), sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
Why eat in season?
Food tastes fresher when it is in season but I am all about keeping frozen and canned produce on hand. There is nothing wrong or unhealthy about that! My only caveat is that I do drain and rinse any veggie or fruit in a can.
Also, if grown locally, purchasing food in season can help to reduce the foods’ carbon foot print. I’ll be the first to acknowledge I am not incredibly educated when it comes to food, sustainability, and our ecosystem. This is something I can and want to learn more about. If you are well versed in this, please reach out or share some resources with me!
Give me the new ideas!
Okay, okay. I know how much I hate fluff that tends to get added into blog posts so let’s get right to my new ideas for these seasonal produce items!
All varieties am I right? Try shredding the apple, skin and all, and add it to a turkey and cheese quesadilla. Make your own applesauce and throw it into an Autumn apple spice smoothie with vanilla yogurt, a little milk/alternative, and cinnamon.
Yes, they’ll get your hands and clothes dyed purple but they’re worth it! Chop and roast them along side carrots and potatoes with a pork or turkey tenderloin for a colorful dish. Or use a vegetable peeler to make strips to add into a salad. Extra hint, add goat cheese or feta to that salad because the two taste spectacular together.
Ever had them roasted and then drizzled with maple syrup and served over waffles? This is a fun way to get veggies in at breakfast or to do breakfast for dinner serve it up with some baked chicken. Another of my favorite pairings is roasting Brussels with radishes and chicken sausage.
Peel it down to nothing (just like the beets above) and add the “carrot-oodles” to burritos. Say what? Yes! Sweet with savory makes an excellent pairing. These are fun to eat in a salad with golden raisins too.
I mince mushrooms for everything because my husband does not like them. It’s your choice whether you chop or mince them but throw them in your burger patties or meatloaf next time! They’ll extend the meat further and add a fun flavor.
Peel, slice and put in a crockpot on high for two hours. Puree down to applesauce texture and throw in a tbsp of cinnamon. If you don’t eat it straight, add it to your morning oatmeal or overnight oats.
The white carrot with a garlicky bite! These are excellent raw (in my opinion) or pureed and used in soup, mixed with mashed potatoes, or roasted and then topped with pomegranate seeds or craisins.
Make your regular favorite chili and dump a can of pumpkin puree in! Make sure it’s not pumpkin pie in a can…that won’t go over well. This will add some orange color, some vitamin A, more fiber, and a sweet taste.
Spaghetti Squash or Acorn Squash
Have you stayed away from these seasonal gems because cutting them before you roast them proves to be too challenging or dangerous/scary? No fear! Stick the entire squash in the crock pot, dry (no water added) and let it cook for 2-3 hours on high depending on the squash. Then stuff the squash with a mix of cooked turkey (add taco seasonings like chili powder, cumin and garlic), salsa, black beans and corn. Sprinkle some cheese on top!
These are probably Lincoln’s favorite food. Can you all believe he’s turning 6 months in a week or so?? My favorite way to add them to our meal plans is to shred them (skin and all) and add them to taco meat. Another alternative is to cut them into thin slices, roast them, and use them as a nacho base.
What do you think?
Hopefully something in that list inspires you and then you come back and let me know how it went! Or come say hi on Instagram and tag me @Holden_Nutrition to show me what you made.
There’s a world of produce out there that is so easy to forget. Use this list to get you started and keep exploring from there!