Fall has arrived with cooler temperatures and golden colors. Along with the season comes some of greatest foods that many of us look forward to as soon as the weather changes. We did a little research on a few of autumn’s staples.
Hot apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, candied apples… the apple is the most abundant fall fruit, but with over 2,500 varieties grown in the United States alone, which are the best to choose? If you are cooking or baking, use Breaburn, Fuji, or Galas. These apples retain their shape and flavor when cooked. Many of the other varieties will turn mushy, brownish, and loose their flavor when cooked. For out of hand eating or for salads try the sweet Honeycrisp, a tangy Ginger Gold, or the pinkish Empire. The apple is a member of the rose family. They are also one of the most nutritious foods we can eat. Apples are high in antioxidants, great for cardiovasulaclar health; they can regulate blood sugar and have anti-cancer properties. Apples are versatile as sweet or savory foods, so no matter your tastes, it should be easy to get your “apple a day.”
Sugar and spice make everything nice, especially in the fall season. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger are reminiscent of the season. These spices make their presence known in the fall, appearing in sauces, as well as on meats and pies. These spices are known to ease nausea, have anti-inflammatory properties, contain antihistamines and can induce calm and sleep. In addition to adding to your favorite fall recipes, try sprinkling a spice in your coffee, over yogurt, or adding a dash to a salad dressing.
Jack-O-Lanterns, soups, and pie make the pumpkin the quintessential fall squash. Sugar pumpkins are best for baking as they are sweeter and have a smoother texture. The Jack O’Lantern variety is not only good for carving, but is also very good for cooking. Try to stay away from pumpkins that are too big, as they tend to get stringy. The largest of the pumpkin family are the giant pumpkins, the largest one ever weighing in at 1,810 pounds! These are edible, but do not have as strong a flavor profile. All pumpkins have seeds, however some have more than others–only way to find out is to cut them open. Pumpkins are loaded with fiber, beta-carotene and vitamin A. It is time think beyond the front porch and pies with the versatile pumpkin!