There’s more to fall than pumpkin spice lattes and planning the perfect Halloween costume. From September to November, the fall season brings a bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables that pack a ton of health benefits. Fall produce offers everything from squash, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, and more.
While it’s technically true that you can find fall produce any time of the year these days, there are certain benefits to eating in-season food. So, check out this list of the best fruits and veggies to eat this fall.
Then head over to your neighborhood grocery store or local farmer’s market to stock up.
Why Eat Local Seasonal Fruits And Vegetables?
All types of fresh produce can be grown somewhere year-round. To keep up with demand, grocery stores often rely on trucking produce from different parts of the world. If you choose to stick to mostly local fruits and veggies, instead of produce with a long transport time, you help to:
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Support a more geographically sustainable food economy
- Avoid pesticides or preservatives that may be used to help produce withstand transport times
- Support your local economy1,2
Additional benefits to consuming seasonal produce include:
- Local produce often has a better flavor.
- Local, in-season produce is more nutrient-dense. The longer produce stays in storage, the greater the loss of vitamins and minerals.
- Local produce is usually allowed to ripen on the vine, which also results in more nutrients.
- Local produce offers more variety. Some plant varieties aren’t fit for transport.3
Fall Produce: Vegetables
Grab your standard red beet or go for a golden, white, or multicolored variety. Shave them thin and eat them raw in salad dishes, or roast them to bring out their earthy sweetness. Beets are a good source of dietary fiber, and they may help support healthy blood pressure levels.4
Full of vitamins A and C, Brussels sprouts also contain high amounts of healthy glucosinolates.5 Try roasting these veggies with some good olive oil, garlic, and sea salt.
Rutabagas And Turnips
Roast a medley of root vegetables like rutabagas and turnips for a serious fall produce vibe. These fall favorites are cruciferous veggies, which means they are low-calorie and rich in folate, vitamins C, E, and K, and fiber.6
Other Fall Seasonal Vegetables
- Bell Peppers
- Collard Greens
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potatoes and Yams
- Swiss Chard7
Fall Produce: Fruits
Pumpkins and fall go hand-in-hand. And believe it or not, squash (which includes pumpkins) are actually fruits! While you might think of carving them for Halloween before you think of digging in to eat them, pumpkins have a lot to offer your dinner table.
Pumpkin pie, first of all, is a seasonal must-have, and it’s delicious made with fresh pumpkin puree. And don’t forget the delicious seeds. Scoop them out, roast them with sea salt, and pop ‘em in your mouth for a salty snack.
Pumpkin isn’t the only fall squash in the game. Autumn is the season where butternut squash, delicata squash, spaghetti squash, and more start to pop up at your local farmers market.
Every type of squash can be prepared a different way to best bring out their unique delicious flavor.
Roast butternut squash to bring out its sweetness and then puree it into a soup. Serve roasted delicata squash stuffed with garlic, couscous, and raisins. Roast and shred spaghetti squash to make “noodles” and then serve with tomato sauce, garlic, and parmesan cheese for a delicious low-carb pasta meal.
Fall is apple picking season. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Apples are probably the best-known fall fruit. You can eat them raw as a snack or bake them into a delicious dessert. Perhaps this season you’ll want to flex your baking muscles.
Try to make something like an apple crisp with maple syrup, or an apple cake made with coconut milk and cinnamon.8,9
These small, tart fruits taste their best from October through November. Due to their strong taste, they are rarely eaten raw. Try cooking them in with oatmeal and making a cranberry juice or sauce.
These sweet fruits can be eaten fresh and crisp or soft. They are also delicious when cooked into baked goods like tarts and pies. These seasonal fruits may also support good gut health.10
Have you tried a persimmon? These orange-colored fall produce fruits are known for their sweet, honey-like flavor. They’re full of fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Make sure they’re ripe when you eat them though – under-ripe persimmons can make your mouth pucker with astringent tannins.11
Whether dried or fresh, figs make for a delicious snack. This fall-season fruit has a mild flavor and a few potential beauty benefits. Some studies have shown that nutrients in figs, like zinc and copper, may support your hair’s natural growth cycle.12,13
Other Fall Seasonal Fruits
- Crab Apples
- Date Plums
- Passion Fruit
Take Advantage Of Fall Seasonal Produce
Now that you’ve read up on what’s in season, head out to your favorite grocery store or farmers’ market and see what you can find. You can even print out this list to reference it while you shop. A new season is a perfect time to try something you may have never tried before. Go out on a limb and try something new.
Eggless Pumpkin Bread: Vegan Recipes
Fall Fitness: Tips to Stay Active When Summer Ends
The Remarkable Health Benefits of Pumpkins