Spice up your menu with fall produce (besides pumpkin!)
We are well into autumn, and the pumpkins are taking over — and not just the carved versions keeping watch from our front steps. Pumpkin-flavored products are as popular as ever, invading restaurant menus, coffee shops, dessert displays, and grocery store shelves. But whether you’re planning a fall meeting or just a family dinner, remember that pumpkin is not the only produce that’s in season right now. Mix it up a little and try incorporating these fresh autumn ingredients — just a few of the many options.
Winter Squash: The name is a misnomer, since these fruits are actually available starting in late summer and early fall. Look for a number of different varieties, such as acorn and butternut.
Kale: This hearty green, which is made sweeter by the cooler weather, is already a trendy base for salads. But that’s not all it’s good for — try it in everything from pasta to tacos to smoothies.
Quince: A lesser-known relative of pears and apple (both of which are also in season in fall), the quince requires some work, as it can’t be eaten raw. Cooked, the fragrant fruit is delicious by itself, in desserts, or made into jam.
Cauliflower: The most common type is white, but there are also purple, orange, and green varieties. Bonus: It can be used as a healthy substitute for carbohydrates in many recipes.
Figs: Fall is actually the second fig harvest each year; the trees also produce a smaller crop in early summer. From salads to tarts, figs have countless uses — as well as a number of health benefits.
(Top photo by Shutterstock.com)