There are a few important benefits to eating fruits and vegetables that are in season. For one, they’re much more affordable because they grow in abundance. Secondly, they haven’t been artificially grown so they taste better, grow bigger, and have better texture. Third, they’re usually grown locally, which is better on the environment, and means they’re fresher because they don’t have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to reach you. And lastly, it helps you to discover new and various fruits and veggies you might not have considered trying, or thought you didn’t like.
This is how to eat what’s in season during fall and winter.
7 Veggies you probably already know
Here are six fruits and veggies you’ve probably cooked with or at least have eaten before, along with a creative new way to prepare them.
Cabbage isn’t an unusual vegetable by any means. Odds are you’ve had it raw in coleslaw; cooked in either cabbage soup or cabbage rolls; and even pickled, which we call sauerkraut—made popular by the Reuben sandwich. But, here’s a new and tasty way to cook it.
Smoky, rich bacon brings out the crisp and subtle flavor of cabbage in this warm salad recipe.
A few people have asked me recently what arugula is. It’s simple to say it’s a leafy green that’s spicy and delicate, but you really have to try it to understand what a big punch this fragile leaf can pack.
Move over salad, this awesome arugula pesto recipe is a new way to serve this leafy green.
If you haven’t had cauliflower, you’re probably living under a rock. In my opinion, cauliflower is the most underrated vegetable! It’s so versatile and has the best raw, al dente texture. You’ve had it before, but never like this!
Basically, you pulverize cauliflower florets and roll into a pizza “dough,” top with cheese and voila, cheesy cauliflower breadsticks.
Scallions, or green onions, are usually just a garnish or used as a seasoning, but they have such a fantastic spicy flavor perfect for being the star of the show.
These savory pancakes pair so well with a bloody mary and are super popular in China!
5. Sugar Snap Peas
My favorite way to eat sugar snap peas is raw, pod and all. They make the healthiest snack that is crunchy, sweet, and juicy. But, they’re also good cooked.
This fresh snap pea stir fry is drenched in an Asian-inspired ginger sesame sauce.
If you think you don’t like beets, head over to the canned vegetable aisle and pick up a can of pickled beets. Mind blown. Of course, homemade would be better, but beggars can’t be choosers. Or, just pick up fresh beets and try this recipe instead. Either way, you’ll be a beet-lover.
The earthy flavor and crisp texture of roasted beets pairs magically with the rich, creaminess of goat cheese, and the sweetness of honey in this flatbread recipe.
“Sweet Clementine, Oh, Oh, Oh!” Just kidding, wrong lyric. Clementines, are like cute, tiny oranges. They’re a little more sour, but so good and so good for you.
These clementine and oat muffins provide the perfect subtle orange flavor. A hearty breakfast idea.
4 Lesser-known fruits and veggies
These produce items may not be as popular, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less tasty or nutritious. Branch out and give them a try!
Cardoons offer an earthy and savory flavor like bitter artichokes, but come in stalks like celery.
This is an elegant dish. It’s delicate, as all risotto is. It’s complex, with bitter and mysterious cardoon, a rich butter sauce, and earthy Parmesan cheese. And a drizzle of truffle oil ties this dish together.
Kohlrabi is a dense root vegetable that tastes similar to a rutabaga but has a stringier texture. They are good boiled, roasted, or sautéed.
The kohlrabi in this spicy curry dish brings an earthiness to sweet corn, rich tofu, and tart tomatoes.
Some people like raw fennel. But it is not my thing. It tastes like juicy black licorice, but without the sugary sweetness. However, when cooked, it mellows out and is similar to celery. Definitely worth a try if you’re looking to up the fall veggies in your diet.
This cheesy, caramelized veggie pizza has a balsamic glaze and boozy crust!
What did you call me? Ha. Ha. So kumquats are super tiny—like the size of jumbo marbles—and offer the great citrus flavor of an orange with a “puckery” twist.
Kumquats add a delicious tartness to this tea cake recipe (or if you’re like me, coffee cake)
Here’s a bonus cocktail recipe that includes both fennel and kumquats, that just looked too good not to share.
Kumquat and fennel get muddled together to make this bright and fresh cocktail with orange juice, tonic, and gin.