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What’s In Season? October Produce Guide.

It’s the time of year we’ve all been waiting for! Or, most of us. Well, me. Even though North Carolina tends to tease us a bit with a wave of fake fall, I think we’re finally heading into the real deal—and we’ve got the pumpkins, apples, and squash to prove it. The fall harvest isn’t as bright and cheery as what spring and summer gifts us, but equally exciting in its own way.

Here’s what to look for this month.

Apples


Bowl of red apples.

Our favorite fall flavor, even more than pumpkin, is apple. Give us all of the apple cider, apple-spiced tea, and warm apple pie! Aside from being a seasonal favorite, they’re healthy. They’re high in fiber and water, which makes them filling and good for your gut. Not only are apples a smart snack choice, but they’re a fun way to jazz up your salad, too!

Try my Apple Pecan Farro Salad with Maple Vinaigrette!

Or try apples in these other recipes:

  1. Pork Chops with Apples and Butternut Squash by The Forked Spoon
  2. Apple Pie Granola by White Kitchen Red Wine
  3. French Apple Thyme Tart by Tastes Like Green Spirit

Beets


Bunch of beets.

A lot of people dislike beets because of their earthy taste; because they “taste like dirt”. But roasting them brings out a richness and sweetness that works really well in a hearty salad or as a side dish! It also has great health benefits. This nutritious root veg can help keep blood pressure in check, act as an anti-inflammatory, and improve digestive health. You can also blend it up and use it as food coloring, thanks to its natural bright fuchsia tone.

Try beets in my Fall Harvest Wild Rice Medley!

Or try them in these other recipes:

  1. Beet and Dill Lentils by The Nourished Mind 
  2. Roasted Beet Salad by Waves In the Kitchen
  3. Vegan Beetroot Risotto by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Broccoli


Two bunches of broccoli.

It’s funny how as a kid, broccoli was only tolerable if it was smothered in melted cheese. Today, roasted broccoli is hands down my favorite veg side. A simple drizzle of olive oil and a few dashes of kosher salt and cracked black pepper go a long way. However, my favorite way to eat it is with garlic salt and nutritional yeast so you get that cheesiness without the extra calories. When shopping, be sure to snag broccoli with tightly-packed green florets and firm stalks.

Try my Oven-Roasted Broccoli with Nutritional Yeast!

Or try broccoli in these other recipes:

  1. Broccoli Beef Soba Bowl by The Modern Proper
  2. Three Cheese Broccoli Soup by The Almond Eater
  3. Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Roasted Broccoli by Hello Veggie

Cabbage


Head of savoy cabbage.

This healthy cruciferous vegetable comes with quite a few health benefits. Cabbage is a digestive tract cleanser which helps improve digestion. It’s also high in vitamin C and contains vitamin K. When it comes to cooking, it’s actually really versatile! You can cook it or eat it raw in salads and slaws.

Try cabbage in my Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls!

Or try it in these other recipes:

  1. Irish Colcannon by The View from Great Island
  2. Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Slaw by Isabel Eats
  3. Healthy Carrot Cabbage Coleslaw by Yay! For Food

Carrots


Bunch of carrots.

When we think of carrots, we think of eye health. That’s been ingrained into us since we were little. But this crunchy veg has some other great health benefits, too! They’re full of both soluble and insoluble fibers; they help with digestion, boost heart health, lower blood pressure, and fight cholesterol. Carrots are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like vitamins B6 and K, potassium, and phosphorous. They’re a light crunchy snack with a hefty healthy punch.

Try our Hot Honey Roasted Carrots!

Or try carrots in these other recipes:

  1. Easy Quick Pickle Carrots by Randa Nutrition
  2. Spiralized Carrots and Quinoa Veggie Bowl by Nutritiously
  3. Roasted Carrots and Beets with Feta and Pecans by The Yummy Bowl

Cauliflower


Cauliflower

Cauliflower has been viewed as a trendy health food for a while now. It’s being shredded to substitute rice and mashed to mimic potatoes; it’s even being used as pizza crust! In addition to helping folks who are trying to lessen their carb intake, the cauliflower has a bangin’ nutritional profile.

Try cauliflower in my Easy One-Pot Roasted Cauliflower Soup!

Or try it in these other recipes:

  1. Air Fryer Blackened Cauliflower Tacos by Sprinkles & Sea Salt
  2. Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower by Every Little Crumb
  3. Maple Sriracha Cauliflower Wings by Cupful of Kale

Corn


Fresh cobs of corn in a strainer.

Crisp and sweet corn on the cob is a dream—especially slathered in butter and speckled with salt. But there are so many other ways to enjoy it, too! It can be used in salads, sprinkled over tacos, or baked into bread. It also has its health benefits. It’s an energy booster, it’s good for your skin, and it can aid in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Try corn in these recipes:

  1. Mexican Street Corn Fries by A Seasoned Greeting
  2. Corn Fritters by Grandbaby Cakes
  3. Corn Chowder by The Original Dish

Cucumbers


Plate full of peppered cucumber slices.

Cucumbers are amazing! They’re so crisp and refreshing. Whether you’re tossing them into a salad or placing them into your seltzer water, they’ll cool you right down, which makes them the perfect veg for these scorching summer months. Though cucumbers seem like nothing more than crunchy flesh and water, they’re high in nutrients, antioxidants, and could help lower blood sugar. Naturally, they also promote hydration. This is one of the easiest veggies to add to your diet this season, so make sure you load up.

Cool off with my Cold Sesame Noodles with Shaved Cucumber and Mango Salad!

Or try cucumbers in these other recipes:

  1. Spicy Refrigerator Dill Pickles by With Spice
  2. Green Goddess Sandwiches by Rhubarb and Cod
  3. Cucumber Tomato Salad by George Eats

Eggplant


Eggplant on marble countertop.

Unless breaded, fried, and heavily sauced as eggplant parm, folks are often irked by eggplant. But when done right, it’s super tasty and easy to enjoy! This low-calorie high-fiber fruit (which we all consider a vegetable) can be chalked up as another heart healthy option. It contains many nutrients that reduce the risk of heart disease while helping with weight loss and blood sugar control.

Try our Easy Baked Eggplant Parm!

Or try eggplant in these other recipes:

  1. Grilled Eggplant Bruschetta by Electric Blue Food
  2. Eggplant and Halloumi Stir-Fry by Serving Dumplings
  3. Soy-Glazed Eggplant by The New Baguette

Grapes


Bowl of green grapes.

Grapes are typically treated as a quick snack; pop’em in your mouth and enjoy that sweet juicy burst of sweetness. But grapes, green or purple, are also fantastic to cook with—even in savory meals. They’re also full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.

Try my Healthy Curry Chicken Salad with Grapes!

Or try grapes in these other recipes:

  1. Baked Grapes and Whipped Feta Bruschetta by Larder Love
  2. Roast Chicken Legs with Garlic and Grapes by Serving Dumplings
  3. Crunchy Lentil Salad by A Simple Palate

Kale


Bowl of torn kale.

Remember when kale was the star of the superfoods? Kale chips, kale smoothies—kale was everywhere. Various other vegetables have stepped into the superfood spotlight since, but kale still holds a secure spot in the nutritional world with its rich source of vitamins, folate, manganese, and dietary minerals.

Try my Soothing Chicken and Kale Soup!

Or try kale in these other recipes:

  1. Chickpea Kale Caesar Wrap by Cait’s Plate
  2. Loaded Veggie Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce by A Simple Palate
  3. Squash and Caramelized Onion Pasta by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Mushrooms


Bowl full of cremini and button mushrooms.

Fun fact: there are 20 species of mushrooms that are commercially cultivated. I think my use of them extends to about four: button, baby bella/cremini, shiitake, and oyster. Mushrooms, though a strange thing to consume if you think about it, are extremely versatile in the kitchen. They can be eaten raw, tossed into stir-frys, and scattered over pizza; they can even be used as meat substitutes in some recipes.

Try my Beer Butter Mushrooms as a side to your next dinner!

Or try mushrooms in these other recipes:

  1. Healthy Triple Mushroom Ramen by Well Is More
  2. Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms by Bowl of Delicious
  3. Parmesan Spinach Mushroom Pasta Skillet by Eatwell101

Pears


Bowl of Bosc pears on a counter top.

Pears are super nutritious with their sweet and earthy flavor, and slightly gritty texture. They promote good gut health, have anti-inflammatory properties, and are linked to lower the risk of diabetes. We tend to enjoy them as they are, but we’ve also learned to appreciate their flexibility with savory dishes, and even cocktails!

Try our Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Pear and Ginger Sauce!

Or try pears in these other recipes:

  1. Kale and Butternut Salad with Pears and Almonds by Skinnytaste
  2. Maple Baked Pears with Whipped Cream by Cotter Crunch
  3. Stuffing with Mushrooms and Pears by Snixy Kitchen

Peppers


Bell peppers on a cutting board, gutted and partly chopped.

Bell peppers are are such a wonderful addition to, well, almost anything! They fit comfortably in Italian cuisine, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, etc. And their bold flavor and crispness is always noticed. Bell peppers belong to the nightshade family and can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

Try my Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Lentils!

Or try bell peppers in these other recipes:

  1. Easy Grilled Veggie Skewers by The Forked Spoon
  2. Sweet and Sour Chicken by Bowl of Delicious
  3. Pinto Bean Nachos by Nourish and Fete

Pumpkins


Pumpkins lined up on shelves.

Photo by Ben Libby on Unsplash

Pumpkins—they’re not just for pie! Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A, antioxidants, potassium, and fiber. Sure, they’re fantastic in baked goods (and lattes), but there’s a pretty extensive list of things you can do with pumpkins away from that stuff.

Try pumpkin in these recipes:

  1. Pumpkin Carrot Soup by Lindsey Eats LA
  2. Healthy Pumpkin Bread by Erin Lives Whole
  3. Roast Pumpkin Chickpea and Feta Salad by The Yummy Bowl

Radishes


Bunch of radishes.

Thrown over tacos, tossed into a green salad, or pickled and served with charcuterie, radishes are one of my faves. There’s just something exhilarating about them with their snappy peppery flavor. Despite the fact that they’re mostly used as a garnish or addition, they’re also great on their own when roasted and they come with some pretty awesome health benefits—like supporting a healthy digestive system.

Try my Addictive Spicy Quick Pickle Radishes!

Or try radishes in these other recipes:

      1. Roasted Radish Mini Bagels by My Goodness Kitchen
      2. Roasted Radishes by Real + Vibrant
      3. Radish Potato Salad by With Food + Love

Spinach


Skillet with oil, garlic, and spinach in it, with a wooden spoon.

Spinach is a staple in our fridge. This low-calorie supergreen is loaded with nutrients and offers a boost of iron, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s great for bone health, hair, and skin! Thanks to its mild flavor, we sneak it into as many foods as we can—omelettes, pasta dishes, soups, smoothies, you name it. This gem goes way beyond salad. Though it’s technically in season now, you can keep stock year round.

Try my Garlicky Rigatoni Pasta with Spinach and Toasted Breadcrumbs!

Or try spinach in these other recipes:

  1. Creamy Chicken Florentine by Nourish and Fete
  2. Mushroom and Spinach Flatbread by Bakers Table
  3. Spinach Stuffed Sole by Olives & Lamb

Squash


Summer squash and zucchini.

Squash—there are so many varieties! And though the mention of squash is typically connected to cooler months, summer has a wonderful offering. Yellow squash and zucchini are super simple to prepare, too. Roughly chop them up, toss them in some olive oil and spices, and roast to tender golden perfection. You could also get creative and make muffins, crispy fried fritters, or make use of their blossoms.

Try my Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini Boats!

Or try summer squash in these other recipes:

  1. Calabacitas by Isabel Eats
  2. Zucchini Pizza Tart by Page & Plate
  3. Easy Zucchini Fritters by Six Hungry Feet

Sweet Potato


Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes work in recipes both savory and sweet. I can enjoy them year long, but there’s something extra cozy about them come the cooler months. Maybe it’s the association with Thanksgiving, or maybe it’s just the rich and comforting texture they bring. Either way, when you’re scoping out sweet potatoes, look for small to medium-sized potatoes. They’re guaranteed to be sweet and creamy, whereas the larger ones tend to be starchier. And hey, fun fact: the deeper the color of the sweet potato, the richer it is in antioxidant beta-carotene.

Try my Smokey + Spicy Sweet Potato Soup!

Or try sweet potatoes in these other recipes:

  1. Sweet Potato Bowl by Lazy Cat Kitchen
  2. Cinnamon Honey Butter Baked Sweet Potatoes by Nourish and Fete
  3. Creamy Vegan Chickpea Curry by Supergolden Bakes

Tomatoes


Tomatoes are never a bad idea. We put them in salads, on burgers, over pizza—there isn’t a bad time for them! But there IS a best time for them, and that’s when they’re in season. Botanically a fruit, tomatoes are treated like vegetables. They come in several varieties, they’re easy to grow, and they’re a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

Try my Summer Caprese Burgers with Pesto Mayo!

Or try fresh tomatoes in these other recipes:

  1. Basic Bruschetta by Rise Shine Cook
  2. BLT Salad from A Gouda Life
  3. Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta by It’s Not Complicated

1 Comment

  • Alex
    October 6, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you so much for featuring my eggplant recipe, Dana! <3

    Reply

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