9 Fall Groceries to Add to Your List ASAP

By Ashley Marcin on 5 October 2015 0 comments

Want to steep your belly in autumnal goodness? Buy seasonal produce and cook hearty, healthy meals. Here are some tips on how to fall-ify your grocery list and enjoy the harvest. The best part? Most of these produce items stay fresh for weeks and weeks! (Related: 10 Fruits and Vegetables That Stay Fresh a Month or Longer)

1. Squash

A quick walk around the farmers market will have you feasting your eyes on butternut, acorn, hubbard, spaghetti, and all other types of squashes. These guys aren't purely ornamental, though they do make great decorations. And don't let their tough exterior fool you, once you cut, peel, cube, and roast, the inner flesh is soft and delectable.

Try using butternut squash in this copycat Panera autumn squash soup recipe. After you roast the squash, you'll blend it with vegetable broth, apple cider, heavy cream, and a variety of spices for kick. If you're cooking for one, try freezing extra portions to enjoy throughout the season.

2. Canned Pumpkin

Canned pumpkin has a special place in my heart. If you don't have time to fuss with cooking pumpkin from square one, you'll be happy to learn that canned actually contains an equally strong dose of vitamin A, potassium, and iron. Stir it into soups, make a pie, or even eat it plain.

My favorite canned pumpkin recipe is for vegetarian smoked pumpkin chili. Theses instructions are for cooking on your stovetop, but now I actually sauté the garlic and onions before putting everything in a Crock-Pot to simmer for three or more hours on high. Serve with buttermilk or corn biscuits and shredded cheese.

3. Apples

For a nearly free fall activity, go apple picking. (Or if you're lazy, pick up some local apples at the farmers market or grocery store.) With so many varieties, you cannot get bored. You can use apples in both sweet and savory dishes. I often leave the peels on for extra fiber and texture.

I recently made this apple galette with my daughter. It's like a rustic apple pie and has tons of charm. You'll create a quick crust and chill it while you slice your apples. Then roll it out, stuff, and bake to browned perfection.

4. Pears

Don't forget pears! These power-packed fruits are full of vitamin C, potassium, and all sorts of fall deliciousness. To keep them from spoiling too quickly, try storing them with some space between each fruit. Once they're ripe, you can extend their freshness for a few days by putting them in the fridge. (See also: Fridge or Counter? Where to Store Fruit for Best Flavor)

The author of this pear butter recipe boasts that it can be ready in just one hour. You'll stir together cubed pears, honey, spices, and lemon juice before cooking the mixture down. Then blend it in your food processor before slathering the butter onto everything in sight.

5. Cauliflower

In recent years, cruciferous cauliflower has seen a huge resurgence in popularity. It also happens to be a fall food staple. If you're into gardening, try planting cauliflower for autumn harvest next year. They stand up well to frost and taste great. (Related: 10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter)

Here's a wonderful mashed cauliflower recipe to serve at your Thanksgiving table this year. You'll boil the head until it's tender and then season with salt and pepper before mashing or pureeing until smooth. I always add some herbs for extra flavor. You can use this cauliflower mash in other recipes that call for purees.

6. Carrots

Though carrots are ripe in spring and appear on menus much earlier in the year, they also do well in fall weather. You can always eat them raw atop salads or dunk them into dips and dressings. Another root vegetable, parsnips, is closely related to carrots and can be use in similar dishes.

These honey glazed parsnips and carrots make a robust side dish with any meal. Just chop carrots and parsnips (the instructions say to peel, but I skip that step). Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with honey, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden.

7. Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the longest lasting veggies in your pantry. There are many types from which to choose. If after a few weeks your potatoes are soft or accumulating small growths, transfer them to your refrigerator. They may taste sweeter or darken when cooked after being chilled, but they're typically fine to eat.

This curried vegetable and chickpea stew recipe calls for either red or yellow potatoes. I think sweet potatoes would make a wonderful match as well. You'll combine all the ingredients — cauliflower, potatoes, chickpeas, peppers, curry powder, coconut milk, and more — in your slow cooker. Then simmer for four hours on high.

8. Spices

Adding warmth and depth to a dish is all in the spices you use. Try experimenting with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, and more. Remember that a little goes a long way. You can always add more of a spice, but taking the flavor away becomes difficult when too much is dumped in at once.

Mulled cider is a classic — and you can make it in your Crock-Pot! Pour cider into your pot, then add cinnamon sticks and an orange covered in cloves. Cook on low for four hours before serving.

9. Herbs

The heartier varieties of herbs are plentiful in fall, including sage, thyme, parsley, and rosemary. You can always pick them up at the store or market, but consider keeping some of your own plants at home. Established plantings of rosemary and sage, for example, can actually withstand cold weather. They also do well in pots indoors.

Try combining all these flavors in a compound butter that spreads beautifully onto anything from steaks to toast. Simply mash butter together with the herbs and seasonings. Then wrap in wax paper and chill for at least one hour.

What are your favorite fall veggies and flavors?

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Guest's picture
Guest

Squash and pumpkin, two of my favorite fall flavors. I use them in many dishes and desserts.