Tips for Seasonal Eating

Summer is winding down, and soon Farmer’s Markets will be closing for the winter, and we will be looking towards our local markets for seasonal fall produce. This guide will walk you through the perfect fall produce choices, indicating which are rich in different nutrients, and which complement each other. The following guide is an outline for September, October, and November produce.
 

Acorn squash: Rich in Potassium and Vitamin K, acorn squash makes a great side dish or a great addition to a salad. The bright color adds vibrancy to any dish and is simple to cook!
 

Apples: Rich in fiber (roughly 2.5g/apple with skin), apples are a great addition to any lunch or make a satisfying afternoon snack. Head to Fifer Orchards or TS Smith’s this fall to get a little exercise, enjoy the weather, and do a little apple picking of your own!

Beets: Rich in potassium, folate, and magnesium, roasted beets add a wonderfully sweet flavor to any salad, while pickled beets make a great side dish. 
 

Broccoli: Rich in potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, broccoli is an excellent choice of fall produce. If you don’t enjoy the flavor of plain broccoli, consider making a broccoli salad, or picking up a serving of the some from the Captain’s Crew Café!
 

Brussels sprouts: Rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, these sprouts get a bad rap, but are packed with essential nutrients! Brussels sprouts are easy to bake, and really take on the flavor of whatever you use to season them; try roasted Brussels sprouts with Old Bay seasoning sprinkled on top to enjoy that Eastern Shore flavor!
 

Butter Lettuce: Rich in potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin A, fresh lettuce from the market tends to stay crisp and fresh for much longer than bagged lettuce in a grocery store. Butter lettuce has an almost savory flavor to it, making it the perfect base for a fall salad.
 

Butternut Squash: Rich in potassium, Magnesium, and Vitamin A, butternut squash makes a great soup during the fall, and since you can toast the seeds to have for a snack, you won’t waste any of this tasty veggie!
 

Cranberries: Rich in Vitamins C and K, cranberries are an essential side dish for many holiday meals. In addition to that tasty cranberry sauce, these berries can add a pop of flavor and color to salad with minimal effort.
 

Endives: Rich in potassium, folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K, endives make a great addition to salads, or can be braised in a bit of butter and lemon juice to transform the bitter leaves into a more tender, sweet vegetable.
 

Garlic: Garlic is in season now, and though it may not contribute significantly to vitamins and minerals in your daily diet, it is an excellent choice for adding great flavor to many recipes. Too often we use sodium as our primary seasoning, but fresh raw garlic can add great flavor, and with only 17mg Sodium/100grams, is a great alternative!

Grapes: Rich in potassium and Vitamin A, grapes make an excellent addition to any lunch. Grapes can add texture to many dishes as well, such as chicken salad.
 

Mushrooms: Rich in potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, mushrooms are an excellent fall produce choice. If you’re looking for a meatless meal, a large portabella mushroom makes a great substitute for a burger or chicken patty! Grilled portabella mushrooms require little to no seasoning and the grilled flavor complements the meatiness of the mushroom nicely.
 

Pears: Rich in potassium and fiber, pears are another great afternoon snack. For a flavorful and filling snack, slice up pears, grapes, and apples, combine in a dish, add vanilla Greek yogurt, raisins, and nuts, and enjoy!

Pumpkin: Rich in potassium and Vitamin A, Pumpkins are no longer just for carving! Pumpkins make great soup as well as wonderful dessert choices. Pumpkin is another vegetable for which you can save the seeds and toast them to add flavor and texture to trail mix or salad.

Sweet Potatoes: Rich in potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin A, sweet potatoes are rapidly gaining popularity as side dishes in many popular restaurants, but you don’t have to go out to enjoy sweet potatoes! Make your very own sweet potato fries at home. A simple way to do so is to pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Clean your sweet potato and then, leaving the skin on, dice the potato into coins style slices about ¼ inch thick. Toss sweet potatoes into a zip lock baggy with a drizzle of olive oil and mix thoroughly. Spread on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with garlic, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the potato coins are soft. Enjoy!

With fall comes the anticipation of cooler weather, pumpkin and apple picking, trick or treating, and bonfires. Just because the Farmer’s Markets close for the season does not mean that you have to give up eating fresh and local veggies!