As the sun sets earlier and days get cooler, it is time for apples, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes! Fall is the unofficial start of the holiday season bringing with it both Halloween and Thanksgiving. Grab your basket or reusable shopping bag and head to your local grocery store, local market, or farm to stock up on your fall fruits and vegetables.
Eating by the Seasons
Eating seasonally is easy, fun, and sustainable! Add some of the fall produce below into your normal shopping and cooking habits.
Benefits of Seasonal Eating
Eating according to the seasons can help you become a more sustainable consumer. “Over half of Americans say it is very or somewhat important that the food they consume is made in an environmentally sustainable way”(1). Not only is seasonal eating good for the environment, but it is also good for your health and wellbeing and your wallet. For more information about seasonality view my previous Eating by the Seasons blog post.
Ways to Eat Seasonally
Are you going apple picking or pumpkin picking this season? That is one way to be sustainable. When visiting a local farm or orchard for fall activities, check out their farm store or stand to see what other produce and local products they have available. Add fall produce to your next grocery order or try seasonal recipes at your local restaurant to take advantage of fall’s bounty.
What’s in Season in Fall?
Cooler weather brings a new array of fresh produce to farm stands and supermarkets. Visit the grocery store, your local farm or state’s Department of Agriculture website to see what locally grown produce is in season in your state. Every year, New Jersey grows hundreds of different fruit and vegetable varieties!
In Season Fall Fruits and Vegetables
Apples, pears, cherries, cranberries, plums, grapes, huckleberries, key limes, kumquats, passion fruit, pineapple, and pomegranate are Fall’s in season fruits (2). Over 100 different varieties of apples are grown in the United States!
The Fall season brings us the following vegetables: acorn squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, kohlrabi, mushrooms, radicchio, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, and turnips (2).
Fall Fruits and Vegetables in New Jersey
September brings the end of grape, peach, nectarine, and plum season but the start of cranberry season (3).
Fall also brings arugula, Bok Choy, broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, parsnips, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and turnips to the Garden state (3).
Other vegetables such as beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, Swiss chard, eggplant, onions, peppers, potatoes, squash, sweet corn, and heirloom tomatoes remain in season.
Numerous factors affect the seasonality and harvest of the crops, with some being available for months or just weeks during the season.
Cooking Your Fall Produce
Instead of wasting the pumpkin seeds after carving, roast the seeds and add to trail mix, bake into bread, or top a salad. Use sweet potatoes as a side, in a casserole, in a breakfast hash or grain bowl. Winter squashes both acorn and butternut are perfect for both sweet and savory dishes. Try pears on the grill, poached, in a panini or pureed in a smoothie. Get creative with this pear fries recipe! Eaten raw or cooked, cranberries would make a great addition to a salad, bread, or snack.
Enjoy Your Fall Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods we can consume. Add fall fruits like pumpkins, pears, or cranberries and vegetables such as squash, sweet potatoes and kale to your meals or snacks this season! This is the time for root vegetables and leafy greens. Take advantage of the fall season to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your routine during these chiller months.