Fall into the Season with Fresh Produce

October 05, 2016

With Shore’s first Fall Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair coming up October 15, we’re looking forward to stocking up on seasonal fall produce, like apples, brussels sprouts, pears, pomegranates, pumpkins, Swiss chard and turnips.

But what to do with all that delicious produce? We turned to Shore Patient Experience Manager and Registered Dietitian Saba Zahid to teach us some great ways to incorporate fall produce into your menus. Here are some ideas: 

  • Seasonal Salads: Take advantage of flavorful and nutrient-rich seasonal greens, such as endive, radicchio, and chard and combine them with fall fruits such as apples, persimmons, pomegranates, and grapes. Throw in nuts and some cheese and dress with a vinaigrette and you have an easy fall salad.
  • More than just pie: While both apple pie and pumpkin pie are associated with the fall season, both apples and pumpkins can be used in a number of different ways. Apples can be added to oatmeal and salads or can be used to make homemade applesauce and apple butter. Pumpkins can be added to oatmeal and baked goods. Pumpkins can also be used in baked goods as a substitute for butter or oil. A simple way to use pumpkins is to mix pureed pumpkin with peanut butter for an easy, protein and beta-carotene packed dip or even for a sandwich.
  • Seasonal Squash: There are a variety of squash available during the fall season. Squashes bake easily and can be a simple side dish. Just slice open the squash, scoop out the seeds, and season with olive oil and seasonings, and then bake until golden and tender. The seeds can be roasted separately for a healthful snack. More specifically, spaghetti squash can be used in place of actual spaghetti and served with marinara sauce for a low-carb alternative to a pasta dish. Butternut squash can be used in soups or sauces. Try using butternut squash in place of most of your cheese sauce next time you make mac and cheese for a tasty and lower-fat version of everyone’s favorite comfort food!

Zahid says choosing seasonal produce is the healthiest and most affordable way to shop for produce.

“Varying your diet to include seasonal produce ensures you’re taking in a wide variety of nutrients. Also, when produce is in season it is more flavorful, giving your taste buds something to look forward to,” Zahid says. “It’s also more affordable to buy produce in season. That’s because it doesn’t have very far to travel and thus requires less resources to make it to your grocery store or farmer’s market.”

To learn more about Shore’s Fall Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair, click here.

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