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Fall is my favorite time of year.  The temperatures start falling, sweaters come out and Pumpkin is in everything!  When it comes to cooking lots of amazing vegetables are in season.  Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, fennel, sweet potatoes and kale are among some of my favorites to cook with.

Why is it important to eat seasonally?

Your body naturally craves the foods that are in season because these foods help your body adjust to the changing temperatures and weather.  Summer time you crave fresh fruit and salads because your body is trying to stay cool in the warmer temperatures.  Warm soup and roasted vegetables are craved in the fall and winter to help keep you insulated and warm.

So what is in season now?

If you live in a typical autumn area where the leaves are changing and the temperatures are starting to drop then these are the fruits and vegetables that you should be seeing come into season now:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Fennel
  • Butternut Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Acorn Squash
  • Delicata Squash
  • Pomegranate
  • Grapes
  • Figs
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Cranberries
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Broccoli
Here are some basic techniques to help incorporate these warming vegetables into your menu.

 Roasting: This is a great way to prepare root vegetables that can be served as a side, added to a pasta dish, or pureed into soup. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees, arranging the chopped root vegetables on a baking dish.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and bake for about 30 minutes or until vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork.

Steaming: If you want a fresh take on autumn vegetables, just add a handful of chopped broccoli, cauliflower, or squash to a steamer. They will retain their crisp flavor and give you the maximum amount of nutrients.

Pureeing:  After you steam or roast vegetables, put them in the blender or food process and puree them. Use pureed squash for soup or baked into casserole in lieu of cream sauce. Pureed cauliflower or turnips are a great healthier alternative to mashed potatoes!

Baking:  Baking fall fruit is one of my favorite ways to celebrate the season. Just peel and chop apples and pears, drizzle with honey and top with a mixture of oats, almond meal, honey, melted coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, and then enjoy a warm, sweet fall dessert!

What are your favorite fall foods?