My weekly trek out to Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, NH is one of my favorite “chores.” I love trying new veggies, and I truly anticipate each season’s bounty.
That’s me selecting some of their beautiful heirloom tomatoes. Local and seasonal eating is a cornerstone of the PCOS Diva philosophy. My Meal Plans are based upon eating with the seasons. Eating locally grown food in accordance to the seasons helps to create balance in your body.
As we head into cooler nights and shorter days, I turn towards more warming autumn harvest foods including squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions and garlic. My cooking also emphasizes warming spices such as ginger, cardamom, chili powder, and cinnamon. Fall fruits like pears, apples and figs become a staple for snacks. Be sure to try my “Fall in a Bowl” recipe below, and check out the Fall Meal Plan.
Seasonal, local food is healthier
When you shop at your local farmer’s market, the food is less likely to be covered with waxes, fungicides and preservatives and pesticides. Since there is little or no transit time, the produce is fresh and contains more nutrients. My body responds better to foods that are eaten locally and in season.
Seasonal produce is easier on the wallet
When you eat seasonal local food it is fresher and often less expensive than purchasing food that was grown on the other side of the globe. Living in New England, apples are abundant at this time of year. I can pick my own apples for $18 1/2 bushel. How do you like them apples? Especially when you consider Fuji Apples from New Zealand cost $2.00 a pound in the grocery store right now. It’s the basic law of supply and demand, and when crops are in season, you’ll be rewarded financially and nutritionally by purchasing what’s growing now.
Eating seasonally avoids “food fatigue”
In my house, the most highly anticipated harvest is pomegranates towards the end of fall and early winter. I could buy a pomegranate from Chile in August, but it just doesn’t seem right. I also love peach season which is just ending here in New Hampshire. Eating peaches in January just doesn’t have the same panache. When we look forward to seasonal foods and avoid buying the flown-in version from across the globe, they become much more satisfying and special.
Fall fruits and veggies to look for:
Apples, Acorn Squash, Beans, Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli Rabe, Carrots, Collards, Brussels Sprouts, Buttercup Squash, Butternut Squash,Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cranberries, Dates, Delicata Squash, Figs, Garlic, Grapes, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Parsnip, Pear, Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chopped onions (3 large)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 5 pounds butternut squash (2 large), peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet apples, such as McIntosh (4 apples), cubed
- 4 cups chicken stock (if you don’t use homemade use Kitchen Basics)
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Saute onions in butter/oil until soft and add spices. Add peeled and cubed squash, apples and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until apples and squash are soft. Cool on stovetop and then blend using immersion blender or in a conventional blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This soup freezes well.