Delicious fall vegetables perfect for eating in season

handful of fall vegetablesAfter a long summer growing season — and before the frosts of winter — comes the bounteous fall harvest. This time of year offers more in-season fruits and vegetables than any other, and it’s a great opportunity to experience the best the earth has to offer.

Fall vegetables

The USDA keeps track of which vegetables are ready to be harvested in which season. The vegetables listed for fall include some of the best for roasting, soup-making (for those cooler days), and incorporating into your other favorite recipes. Sweet potatoes and yams, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips and peas, and more; in all, a great variety of veggies with endless potential for hearty fall meals. Here’s a select list of veggies that are at their peak during this time:

  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Winter Squash
  • Yams

How to prepare them

The USDA has also developed a series of recipes centered around what’s in season, as well as recipes that will complement each holiday of the year. The recipes are complete with detailed nutritional information that you can use to plan healthy, balanced meals for your family. You can choose from recipes like grilled veggie packets, dutch green beans (with fresh green beans), a delightful stuffed summer squash or a spinach potato pancake.

Autumn vegetable stir-fry

An easy way to enjoy your fall vegetables is to make a stir-fry dish. It’s as simple as chopping up your veggies and doing a light sauté in a wok or frying pan. You can also switch out some of the vegetables as the seasons change, making it a recipe you can adapt throughout the year. This recipe, inspired by the original on Once a Month Meals, can also be changed according to your family’s tastes and preferences. Once prepped, it involves less than 15 minutes of cook time.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

3 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons of soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 ½ cups red bell pepper, diced

⅓ cups red onion, diced

½ cups chop kale

2 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 ⅔ cups boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, honey, soy sauce and cornstarch. Set sauce aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add butternut squash. Stir-fry until it begins to brown slightly.

Add red pepper and red onion and saute with the butternut squash until they begin to soften.

Add kale, garlic and ginger and continue to cook until kale begins to wilt.

Add chicken to the pan, heating for an additional 2 minutes.

Slowly add the sauce to the pan, and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve over rice if desired.

Enjoying healthy eating

Choosing vegetables that are in season is a great way to enjoy the bounty of the season while also eating healthy. Choosing recipes that bring out the best flavors of these diverse vegetables will also help build healthy eating habits for the future.

Image source: Pexels/Surajith S.


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