Lots of people are under the impression that eating a diet that consists mainly of fresh foods – fruits, vegetables, and meat – is cheapest and has the most variety in the summer, when lots of fruits and vegetables are “in-season”.
But, what they don’t know is that there’s also a large variety of fresh foods that are harvested and can be found most easily, and cheapest, in the fall.
By eating primarily in-season, you can save money and have more variety in your meals throughout the year as different items cycle in and out of season.
Here are just a few things to look for this fall.
Veggies and Squash
Squash is often the first thing that most people think of when fall produce comes to mind, after all squash is often a staple at Thanksgiving dinners. But what you may not know is that in many places squashes aren’t even harvested prior to September. The best thing about “winter squash” is that it can be stored for long periods of time (uncut) thanks to its hard, thick rind.
Pumpkin is a vegetable that people often lump in with squash, but it truly is a vegetable. In the last few years, pumpkin has become a very popular fall staple and can be found in lots of things from coffee to baked goods. Pumpkin seeds can even be saved when you are carving your Halloween pumpkins and turned into a great snack with just a little help from some spices and your oven.
Lots of root vegetables and green vegetables are also just beginning their harvesting season in fall. Sweet potatoes and turnips are two root vegetables just beginning their peak season in October. Many green vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, artichokes, and celery, are available year round, but they are at their best in the fall. They can also be great in-season choices you can use to switch up your palate in the fall.
Fruits and Berries
Cranberries and pomegranates are both popular fall side dishes and baking choices because, you guessed it, they are in season in the fall at their best quality and for the cheapest price!
Kiwi and grapes might seem like summery fruits, but they both truly thrive in the fall, with Kiwi doing its best from the months of September to December.
Of course, apple pickings and bobbing for apples are both popular fall activities because apples are also in-season during the fall. With over 7,500 different varieties of apples, there’s something for everyone, from sweet to tart.
These are just a few examples of fall’s bountiful selection of fresh produce. No matter if you choose to sample some of them or all of them this fall, one this is certain: eating in-season produce makes sense, fruits and vegetables are at their highest quality and lowest cost while they are in season.
Do you eat in-season as much as possible?
What do you do with the money you save by eating in-season?