Nutrition Notes: 10 Fruits and Vegetables to Eat This Fall

As we make our way into the middle of October, we notice the weather shifting and our cooking ingredients changing. Some of the fruits and vegetables we were so used to having in the summer may no longer be here, but with a new season comes a variety of produce packed with differing nutrients and colors.

Check out the list below to see 10 fruits and vegetables that are in season this fall along with their individual health benefits!

1. Pomegranates

Between the months of August and December, these grapefruit sized fruits are perfect to top salads or incorporate into baked goods. The seeds, also known as arils, are bursting with flavor. The juice from the seeds can even be used for coloring food. They’re also a good source of vitamin C and K, folate, potassium, copper and even iron.

2. Avocados

Avocados are great for guacamole and a wonderful addition to sandwiches, salads, and rice bowls. You can put the creamy, heart healthy fat in basically anything to liven up the dish. The good thing about this vegetable is that they are in season year round in California so you can always incorporate it in whatever you are cooking.

3. Persimmons

Between the months of October and December, these sweet, orange fruits are perfect to snack on alone or incorporate into salads. Persimmons date back 2,000 years to Asia, and are packed with Vitamins A and C. They are also a great source of fiber and manganese.

4. Radicchios

This bitter leaf vegetable is perfect in salads or dipped in your favorite hummus or spread. They are packed with Vitamin K ,which is essential for blood and bone health. Radicchios are also a good source of folate, vitamin C and copper. The best radicchios are harvested during the colder weather as they are much tastier, but they are available  between the months of April and December in California.

5. Apples

There are countless recipes you can make with this sweet and crisp fruit. You can make pies, jams, baby food or add them in salads, oatmeal, you name it. The options are endless and better yet, they are packed with fiber and vitamin C. You can find them during their peak season from August to November. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the family, go apple picking!

6. Kale

This green powerhouse of a vegetable is loaded with Vitamin K, fiber, calcium and antioxidants in the form of carotenoids. You can find them year round in California although they are a cool weather crop. You can make salads, add them in your smoothies, or even sauté them with olive oil and seasonings. A crowd favorite are baked kale chips with a little bit of salt and pepper. Yum!

7. Mandarins

You’re just in luck because December is the month to grab these little fruits to combat the cold season. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, which prevents cell damage and have immune boosting properties. Other citrus fruits to look for during the winter season are navel oranges, tangerines, Satsuma, and Clementine. Pack it in your lunch bag for a quick snack or add it to your salads or smoothies.

8. Artichokes

These green, leafy, thorn-like vegetables may look intimidating to cook but if you break down the anatomy of it, you will soon learn that the artichoke has many great features to its complicated anterior. At the bottom of the artichoke you will notice the stem, moving north of the stem you will find the heart of the plant. Moving upward even more you will see the petals, which are also called bracts. All three of these parts of the plant are edible and are great steamed and dipped in your favorite sauce. They are loaded with fiber, protein and folate. You can find them between the months of September and December, as well as from February to June.

9. Figs

The sweet inner part of a fig is so great for jams or spreads. You can find natural sugars in this fruit to sweeten up baked goods. I like to pair it with Mascarpone cheese and honey atop a whole grain cracker! The best season to buy figs is from June to November in California. Did you know that a fig is actually a flower, grown inside out? They are a good source of vitamin K and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Make sure to keep an eye out on the soft but not mushy ones, which is indicative of their ripeness. Be sure to steer clear of the sour smelling ones!

10. Arugula

Last, but not least, is the tender green arugula. They are available all year long but are traditionally a cool to moderate weather crop. There are many ways to add this green in your cooking: salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, in an omelet, the options are pretty much limitless. One of my favorite dishes is to make a bed of arugula salad and lay down grilled fish and sprinkle pomegranates on top! You will be sure to impress your guests with that one!

Source: www.seasonalfoodguide.org/california