Hi, I’m Shannon, and I’m obsessed with fall.
Well, I’m glad we agree on that! Ha ha 😛
Some of you guys may have noticed that….well, I’m fall CRAZY! Name something about fall and guaranteed, I love it! I woke up to some crazy fall rainstorms this morning, and there’s probably nothing better to me than a (semi) peaceful rainy walk to school. Wearing my favourite flower pattern rubber booties (I should post a picture of them, they’re awesome! So funky and I always get so many great compliments on them!) and crunchin’ through the colourful leaves. Sigh.
Anyway, today in my grocery store I realized there’s a lot of seasonal fruits and veggies that are so available in fall that I hardly ever take advantage of! I’ve compiled a quick list as well as some prep suggestions for how best to use them.
1. Kale: such a big one. I actually have NEVER tried kale yet, which is weird considering I love me a good powerhouse smoothie. And the healthier, the better! I got my first bunch today though, so some experimentation is soon to commence! Suggestions: I’ve heard they make amazing baked chips, as well as parts of salads and even added into soups. Smoothies, obviously. I’m going to have a hard time deciding what to make first!
2. Black Grapes: I remember growing up my mom had a grape bush (vine? bush? I don’t know!) growing along one of our wooden fences, and they were to DIE for! So sweet, juicy, and tangy all in one! We used to get into trouble, my sister and me, for eating them all before she could pick them! I haven’t had any in years though since the bush died, and saw them in No Frills this morning kind of gave me a hankering. Suggestions: Eaten out of hand honestly seems like the best option, but cut up into a fruit salad would be nice. I saw a recipe for grape jam that sounded awesome too! Google is our friend, ladies and gentlemen.
3. Melons: When planted at the right time, you can grow watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon with minimum effort right in your backyard! The growing season extends well into September and October as well, and trust me when I say a home grown melon is millions and millions times more sweet, juicy, and just plain fantastic. Suggestions: Slice ‘er up, put ‘er in a bowl, and eat that sucker right away! Sooooo goood!! Apparently you can also pickle watermelon rinds, so for the more creative chef, maybe give that a go? I can’t say I’m completely sold on that idea yet.
4. Onions: So essential, yet so overlooked. The first time I made french onion soup (in the dead of winter), it definitely became a family favourite, but the flavour was nowhere near as amazing as a batch made with fresh onions did later. Onions are a staple in my household, and with good reason: they add tons of flavour while also serving up fiber and a host of phytochemicals essential to our health! Suggestions: Any savory dish, from sauces to soups to roasts to omlettes, anything can benefit from some chopped onion.
5. Yellow Raspberries: Bear with me on this one. My grandma had this raspberry bush that always came into full swing right in September, except instead of a ruby red, the berries were yellow! Say whaat? And they were delicious! They were a very pale yellow though, so don’t get too weirded out by the colour. The flavour is very mild compared to red raspberries, but the mellowness would perfectly complement a tangier partner, like a dark chocolate pudding or a balsamic vinaegrette in a salad. Suggestions: Eat them out of hand, add them to any fruit based desserts, pretty much whatever you’re feeling like! I rarely see these gems in the grocery store, so you might have to see if your local farmer’s market carries them.
What ways do you incorporate seasonal produce into your diet? Let me know what kind of fall recipes and ideas you love. We can fangirl (or fanboy) together!