Content by: Erin Nugent, RD, LD
Eat the Seasons! Know what to look for when you head to the Farmer's Market this fall.
Why choose seasonal produce? Well for one, produce costs less when it is in season. And choosing to shop at your local farmers market is a great way to support local farmers as well as other small businesses that are likely in attendance. Read on for a few fun facts about some of the most common fall seasonal items…
A medium apple is about 80 calories. This fibrous fruit is also rich in vitamin C and potassium. Think twice about peeling before you eat, the peel contains about two thirds of the antioxidants in an apple. Apples are grown in all 50 states, and most are still picked by hand. It is best to store apples in the refrigerator, either in a plastic bag or separate from other fruits, and to use within 3 weeks.
Contain high amounts of antioxidants and support a healthy immune system. The state of Wisconsin is the number 1 cranberry producer in the United States. They grow on low running vines in sandy bogs and marshes, they appear to grow on top of water because they float. Try adding fresh cranberries to your morning cereal, yogurt, smoothie, or drop them in your sparkling water for a hint of flavor.
Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. Can be found in orange, yellow and purple varieties. Carrots make a great addition to a fall soup or any crockpot recipe. The sugars are concentrated in the core of a carrot, so the fatter carrots tend to be the sweetest.
Comes in many varieties: acorn squash, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, butternut squash. All varieties are rich in fiber and antioxidants, and known for their nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Try preparing them roasted, steamed or even microwaved. Due to the slightly sweet flavor, winter squash can also be used as a fat replacement in some dessert recipes.
When buying fresh, look for pods that are crisp, they should “snap” when broken. Do not wash until you are ready to use them, and they are best stored in the refrigerator and used within a week. Contain vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. Fresh green beans can be steamed, boiled, sautéed, or cooked directly in a soup or stew.
Common produce items during the fall months: