The Fall List-Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts and Herbs
Most people are not aware of the bounty of fruits and vegetables available in the fall.If you read our post on Seasonal Eating, you would realize the importance of eating local and in season, whether conventional or organic. Summer vegetables have their appeal, but fall vegetables have their own flavors and benefits. They are very versatile, are easily stored and many keep through the winter months in your roots cellar or your refrigerator.
Frozen vegetables retain their nutrients when picked at at peak season and then frozen. Preserved or pickled vegetables also have tremendous health benefits because they contain probiotics. Cabbage, beets, carrots and cucumbers are just a few vegetables that can be pickled. Vegetables can also be dehydrated and rehydrated when placed in soups or stews. Kale, brussel sprout leaves, thinly sliced beets and sweet potatoes can be turned into chips for snacking.
The key to making vegetable chips is to slice them as thin as possible. Massage the vegetables or leaves with a small amount of olive oil. Add a pinch of sea salt and bake on parchment paper at 300F for about 30 minutes.
Fall vegetables are prebiotic and high in carbohydrates which is something that we all crave as the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder. Cabbage, in particular has antiviral and antibiotic properties. The brassica’s which are vegetables in the cabbage family have been shown to prevent certain cancers such as breast and colon cancer.
Sweet potatoes one of the first cultivated crops, has been around as far back as 2000-1200 BC.
Nuts, such as almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts are also very important for the fall diet. They are cardio protective and their oils help keep our skin supple through the dry winter months.
Herbs, such as sage, mint, parsley and cilantro keep fairly well through the cooler weather in our herb gardens.
However, when there is a threat of frost, herbs can be taken in and dried in single layers, in baskets or on drying racks. They cn then be stored in airtight ball jars for tea or seasoning.
The variety of fruit in the fall is not as extensive as it is in the summer. Pears, apples, organic grapes, raspberries (in the early fall) and kiwi are available as fresh fruit. Fresh berries, however should be avoided because they are probably not in season, depending on your geographic location. However, frozen berries, pineapple, mangoes and melons are fine.
Remember that the fall is a time to make soups and stews which are easily digestible and help hydrate us through the dry winter months.
Below are some of the vegetables available for you in the fall season.
Sweet Potatoes Mint
Brussel Sprouts Pears
Celery Citrus Fruits