Now is the perfect time to enjoy the unofficial flavor of fall: pumpkin! And though pumpkin is one of the best sources of alpha and beta carotene (which can promote healthy vision and cell growth), there are tons of other amazing autumn foods to tickle your taste buds and potentially boost your health. With colors as beautiful as the changing leaves and flavors that will warm you heart (aww), it’s time to get cozy with these fresh fall foods!
Technically pumpkin is part of the squash family, but it really stands out on its own, which is why we included the family as a whole at the top of our list. Butternut, acorn, delicata, spaghetti — all of these gourds are in their prime right now and are ready to be enjoyed. Dice ’em, mash ’em, substitute them for noodles, squash is a versatile vegetable that will make everyone at the table say, “yum.”
Before you turn your nose up at this one, know this: Brussel Sprouts have been rebranded and they’re not the smelly veggie mush your mama used to serve up. Brussel sprouts are their best when roasted, grilled or even shaved down into a salad and tossed with nuts and berries. And they bring the vitamins A and C.
When you go pumpkin picking, don’t forget bushels of apples! Seriously, is there anything better than biting into a nice crisp apple on a brisk fall day? We think not. There are 7,500 types of apples and a number of ways to enjoy them (pies, tarts, sliced, diced, cubed, with caramel, raw, even as an additional ingredient in savory dishes), making it hard to run out of ways to use this fall fruit. Plus, apples are packed with antioxidants. How could you possibly be anti-apple?
By the handful, a sprinkle or tossed in a salad, nuts are a go-to snack or topping for the fall. Almonds, walnuts, pecans or cashews can add a satisfying crunch (and some healthy fats) to any autumn dish.
Ah cranberries, not just for Thanksgiving anymore! Not only do these tart little berries add a beautiful color to any dish, they add some extra flavor to salads and pair nicely with other fall favorites like squash, pears, brussels sprouts and turkey (duh).
Pomegranates have really been having a moment lately, with their juice rising in popularity among health food lovers. That’s because pomegranates have a ton of health benefits, including antioxidants that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications like heart attacks. These delicious seeds are great to eat as a snack, on top of a salad or with your main dish, but they can be a little tricky to remove. Luckily, there are people out there who have mastered the art of seed removal and are kind enough to share their knowledge.
Roast Chicken and Turkey
Roasting can really heat up the kitchen, but when the temperatures drop it’s time to prepare some delish meals. This simple cooking method produces a beautiful brown exterior and a lovely tender interior. Feeling really adventurous? Throw in some other fall produce items and roast your entire dinner. Then have a seat and enjoy the full spectrum of fall flavors in every bite.
Chilis and Soups
Popular meals for warming your soul, chilis and soups are perfect dinners for a chilly night. Plus, making a big batch on a football Sunday can feed you all week! Delish? Check! Meal prepping? Check!
After enjoying a cozy meal among the colored leaves, pie is always in order! Apple, pumpkin, pecan, cranberry — the flavor combos are endless. Unfortunately, the pie itself is not. Might as well keep them in rotation all season long. Ready to start baking? Get your fill of inspiration here.
Move over, pumpkin — there are a plethora of fall flavors ready to be enjoyed. Need some recipe inspiration? Fall into a Pinterest hole or find something yummy here, here or here.