Autumn Harvest Peak! 4 Seasonal Superfoods to Cook with Right Now
By Elisheva Blumberg, Lubicom Staff
We’re breaking out our sweaters and suede as we head into crisp autumn days. But it’s not only our wardrobes (and the clock!) we’re changing to match the season.
We’re changing up our menus to highlight fall’s most gorgeous produce.
With the possibilities of across-the-earth shipping, we can get those Asian longans or loquats at BuyRite across the street — but with the freshest stuff being plucked from the ground just miles from home, our #1 pick is local produce.
Here’s why this season we’ll be shopping the autumn harvest:
- It’s CHEAP: Lower shipping and refrigeration costs = more affordable produce
- It’s EARTH-FRIENDLY: Quick transport = less environmental pollution
- It’s COMMUNITY-FRIENDLY: Supports local farmers = maintains local green spaces
- It’s HEALTHY: Shortest time lapse between harvest and your dinner table = higher nutritional content
- It’s as DELICIOUS as it gets: Flavor and ripeness is perfectly preserved = best quality taste
Head out to the farmer’s market and pick a bale or bushel of these bursting-with-flavor fall favorites:
These are not just for your bubby’s borscht, y’know.
Sure, beets are a nice way to offset the horseradish in gefilte fish… but this humble root veggie can do so much more.
The food world has recently recognized beets as a nutritional powerhouse, introducing products like ready-to-eat beets in a bag, beet chips, even beet fruit leathers. Bursting with flavor, nutrients, powerful antioxidants, and a natural fuschia tint (watch out, Red #40!), look for fresh beets in shades of red, purple, and yellow to add to your farmer’s market basket this fall.
Vitamins and Minerals Include: Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus
Superfood Quality: Beets contain betalains, which studies show provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification benefits. PLUS, the nitrates in beets may improve mental and physical health by improving blood flow and blood pressure.
Try these recipes to access the benefits of BEETS:
The moment the temps start to dip, we start craving pumpkin (you too, right?)
Pumpkin and all its orange gourd cousins (think acorn and butternut squash) sing fall’s praises. Pumpkin is always nourishing in a soup or side, and when pureed into a dessert (with warm spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger), it can add a seasonal thrill to the end of a meal.
Vitamins and Minerals Include: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Riboflavin, Copper
Superfood Quality: Rich with the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may reduce risks of cancer and prevent asthma, heart disease, and the negative effects of aging.
Try these recipes to access the benefits of PUMPKIN:
From the melt-in-your-mouth Bartlett to the stately and sweet Bosc, pears come in a fascinating variety of flavors, shapes, and colors to amp up your fall cooking palette.
Available all through the fall season — and beyond — pears can often be substituted for apples in cooked or baked recipes (though they may need less cooking time.) Of course, they’re also scrumptious raw.
Vitamins and Minerals Include: Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Potassium, Folate, Riboflavin
Superfood Quality: Pears are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. These fruits help to maintain stable blood glucose level, aid in digestion, and may help stave off chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Many of these properties are in the skin — so keep the peels on for extra benefits.
Try these recipes to access the benefits of PEARS:
Harness the powerful punch of cranberries during the fall season, when these glowing red jewels are in peak season.
We tend to think of cranberries in cans or as an ingredient in juice, but processed cranberry products usually contain large amounts of sugar or corn syrup — and only a trace of the benefits of the fresh stuff.
Fresh cranberries, however, are jam-packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and a unique color and tartness that complement red meat, poultry, orange veggies (like sweet potatoes and butternut squash) and baked desserts.
Vitamins and Minerals Include: Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Copper
Superfood Quality: Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which has been shown to prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberries have also been linked to cancer prevention, immune system support, and decreased blood pressure.
Try these recipes to access the benefits of CRANBERRIES: