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The Top 10 Farmers Market Finds for the Fall Season

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The weather is cooler, leaves are turning and falling – making the trees gorgeous and morning runs extra fun because there’s nothing like crunchy leaves on the sidewalk –  and everyone and their brother has pulled out the flannel and sipped their first (several) PSLs of the season. It’s evident that fall is here and he was kind enough to bring his friends along: delicious, in-season produce that has all the flavors and scents that bring fall to life. Check out these top fall produce selections the next time you make a trip to the farmers market.

Apples

apples

You can get apples in many different varieties, each having their own flavor profiles that make them slightly different. In the fall, you just can’t buy a bag of apples without making an apple pie.

This isn’t just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill apple pie, though. Nope, this one is extraordinary. Try this mile high apple pie out and watch as your apples turn into something heavenly right before your eyes.

Pumpkins

pumpkins

One sure sign that fall has arrived is when you see all the pumpkin-flavored items at the store! It’s cool, pumpkin is pretty healthy after all – as long as you’re not going for the Pop Tarts and Oreos! Fall is pretty much a guarantee that a pumpkin lover will never be disappointed.

You know what else won’t disappoint you? This recipe for warm, inviting pumpkin pie oatmeal.

Pears

pears

Pears may not be one of the main produce items that come to mind when you think of fall, but the pears in the United States typically grow on the West Coast during the fall months. If you can sneak this fruit into your week, your cholesterol will thank you.

Pears can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) because they have a good amount of soluble fiber in them. You can enjoy a pear by itself, toss it into a smoothie or even dress up a salad with it.

Squash

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Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the deliciousness that is summer squash for the past few months. As summer squash goes out of season, fall varieties are available. Spaghetti squash and butternut squash are the two popular fall varieties.

Spaghetti squash is just like it sounds. Once it’s cooked, the tender squash can be raked to form long, thin noodles that resemble spaghetti. They don’t have a strong taste, so they work really well as a pasta substitute. These spaghetti squash lasagna boats will have you wishing you’d tried them sooner.

Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are in season in the fall and are very versatile. You’ve probably eaten sweet potato fries, baked sweet potatoes, and maybe even candied sweet potatoes for dessert. Then there’s the sweet potato pie that many families serve at Thanksgiving.

Well, friends, this one is something totally different – and it’s going to blow your mind. You simply slice the raw sweet potato thin and pop it into your toaster. Voilà. Sweet potato toast. If your jaw dropped in disbelief, just wait until you try it.

Pomegranate

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Pomegranates are a fruit that everyone loves to hate. They are so delicious, but having to collect the inner seeds to be able to enjoy the fruit is annoying. Pomegranates have many health benefits, so they are definitely worth the trouble.

Lucky for you, with this technique, you can easily cut and de-seed your pomegranates without wanting to throw in the towel. Now that you awoke the deliciousness, why not use the pomegranate in a salsa recipe, served over halibut and a bed of rice?

Cranberries

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You may think of cranberries as that mysterious-looking jelly stuff that is served with turkey, but it started as a fruit. Cranberries are good for maintaining a healthy urinary tract and they are a very versatile berry.

This recipe for cranberry stuffing will transform how you think of cranberries from here on out.

Persimmons

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Persimmons look like a cross between a tomato and peach. This sweet fruit is usually found in two varieties in the United States: the Hachiya and the Fuyu. It’s important to note that the Hachiya persimmon has to be eaten when it’s very ripe, almost mushy, or they will taste very tart and unpleasant.

You can cut them up and scoop them out, slice them or use them in recipes. In this recipe, they are cut and roasted with pork and served over mustard greens.

Beets

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While you can purchase beets all year, they tend to be the best in the fall. Beets contain both betaine and nitrate, which can help with heart, liver and brain health. You can eat them in salads or roast them for a nice side dish.

Or, if you are like me and think they taste like sweet dirt and would rather not eat them but want to reep all of the glorious health benefits –  you have to try Nigel Slater’s extremely moist chocolate beet cake. It definitely will leave you with a different idea about beets.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprouts are full of vitamins A and C and glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are known for their cancer-fighting properties. There are loads of  different ways that you can eat them – from a quick hot roast in the oven or shredded and raw in a seasonal salad. See if you can convert a Brussels Sprouts hater with this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon  – I’m still working on my dad. Wish me luck!

 

The next time you are at your farmers market, be sure to pick up some of these delicious fall gifts and try out a few new recipes. It’s a great way to incorporate fresh, healthy produce into your diet in an enjoyable way. What are some of your favorite way to prepare these fall faves? Let me know in the comments !

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