Part 3: Fall Fruits and Vegetables by Region
Fall’s cooler, lengthening nights and transition from the hot summer days are a refreshing reprieve for many — and it is also the time to finally enjoy all the fruits and vegetables that were ripening throughout the summer. While you may no longer find raspberries, blueberries or watermelon, there is still no shortage of seasonal produce.
In the previous article, we saw the wide variety of options available during the summer. However, fall is harvest time for most regions of the country — even the most northern areas. That means in addition to some of the same fruits and vegetables you can find in the summer, during the fall, root vegetables, apples and more are abundantly available:
1. The Northeast
With a later growing season, the Northeast sees many types of produce in the fall:
- Apples: While you will also find them in the summer, fall makes for apples that are delightfully sweet — and ideal for apple cider or apple donuts. You can, of course, grab one to eat as a snack, too.
- Pumpkin: Pumpkins have a mild flavor, making it easy to blend into sauces, pasta dishes, cakes and more. When it is time to carve your pumpkin for Halloween, you can also save the seeds and roast them — try cinnamon and sugar, garlic Parmesan or ranch.
- Cranberries: Cranberries are bursting with antioxidants and flavor. While their taste can be a little bitter on their own, add just a tiny bit of sugar or mix into something else and you can enjoy the taste and their health benefits and pretty red color.
Fall in the Northeast also brings beets, broccoli, turnips, sweet potatoes, garlic and grapes.
2. The Midwest
In the Midwest, fall is abundant in greens and vegetables, as well as some fruit:
- Carrots: Carrots can be eaten just raw or cooked and added to main courses. To add a bit of flair to your fall dishes, you might try steaming them, cutting them into coin shapes and roasting them or even making carrot cake.
- Pears: The soft, sweet and juicy flesh of a pear is like a dessert just by itself. If you would like to do a bit more with them, you have many options — from salad and grilled cheese to cheesecake.
- Turnips: These root vegetables are rich in a variety of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. They are also a perfect addition to many dishes including soups and salads.
Fall in the Midwest also fresh brings apples, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mushrooms, onions and squash.
3. The South and Southwest
During the fall in the South and Southwest you will find many locally grown vegetables and a few fruit choices:
- Lime: Add some lime and cilantro to seltzer to create a refreshing beverage reminiscent of the summer. You might also try lime-glazed shrimp as your main course.
- Squash: The term “squash” includes many different options. Pumpkin, butternut and spaghetti are all types of squash that can be easily incorporated into a wide variety of dishes. If you’re looking to cut carbs, spaghetti squash is a delightful alternative to traditional noodles.
- Dates: Dates are deliciously sweet and can take the place of refined sugar in a variety of recipes. They are also high in fiber, making them an ideal snack just to eat by themselves.
Similar to other regions around the nation, you will also find apples, arugula, chard, green beans, sweet potatoes and more.
4. The Northwest
By the time fall arrives in the Northwest, many fruits have passed their peak season. However, apples and pears are still abundant, as well as:
- Corn: Corn mazes are a fun fall activity in the Northwest, but corn can also be added to a variety of dishes such as corn salad and corn casserole. It is also very sweet this time of year, so you can enjoy it right off the cob as well.
- Chard: Also known as Swiss chard, chard is actually a beet that was raised for leafy greens rather than its root. You can incorporate it into your fall dishes similar to arugula or spinach, such as sauteing it with a little garlic and lemon.
- Lettuce: When lettuce is in season and fresh it is delicious. With many different varieties as well, you can make your own salad mixture to eat as a main course or as a side dish.
During the fall in the Northwest, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, eggplant, potatoes and radishes are also abundant.
No matter if you are cooking your fresh squash for dinner, making apple donuts or creating your own salad mix, you are going to need something to get your produce home from the market or the store. Our canvas tote bags come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, so you are sure to find the ideal option.
Savor the delightful seasonal vegetables and fruits this fall, and in the next post, we will explore what thrives in winter’s sometimes harsh conditions.