Fall is the time of year for crisp air, warm sweaters, and a bountiful harvest. Yummy veggies that have been growing all year are at their peak, bringing us great food to look forward to as the days get shorter. Although the sun disappearing early is disheartening, nothing quite beats coming home after a long day to warm and flavorful food that's in season-- The best it can be!
- Daikon Radishes
A giant white Asian radish, Daikons are a bit of an oddity in your typical supermarket -- But, it doesn't make them any less delicious! Unlike 'regular' radishes, they have a sweet, crisp and mild taste ... Perfect for fall! Their uses are endless, you can stew them, slice them up thin, pickle them, even the greens can be eaten as a salad! Daikons are a staple when it comes to Asian fall cuisine. They grow better in colder weather, keeping their longevity through the season strong.
- Sweet Potatoes/Yams
One of the foods that come to mind first when someone says "fall veggies". This is something else with another endless list of uses! Everyone is going to have a different opinion on how to cook them -- They're something that can be eaten sweet or savory! Yams are delicious in many different ways, from candied with cinnamon, to mashed, to fried with lots of salt -- If you want to be bad!
Though available all year round, turnips are at their best in the fall! They have a similar taste to a potato, but with a creamier texture and earthier flavour. They're packed with antioxidants and fiber, and have super low calories! You can do just about anything with a turnip that you would do with a potato but with extra flavour and a bit less guilt!
Fall is the time of year when eggplant is at it's best, too. Their glossy purple skin in many different varieties is super eye-catching and beautiful, but it's the 'meat' inside that we're after! This fruit (not a vegetable, actually!) has fleshy innards that can be a great replacement for meat, for vegans that are just starting out. You can bread it and fry it just as you would for chicken parmesan, cut it up and grill it for fajitas ... You don't even be looking for a meat replacement to enjoy it! As a tip: Try brineing it before you cook it! This will keep the eggplant from getting bitter if you let it sit for too long, and will make charring it almost foolproof!
Did you really think that this list could be complete without mentioning squash? Squash is the king of fall! From pumpkins to butternut, you can barely scroll down a recipes website looking for something in-season without bumping into this guy! Squash goes great in soups and stews, be it cut up in chunks or pureed. You can even make pastries with it! Pumpkin pie is a no-brainer, but have you thought about pumpkin bread? It's like banana bread, but with a fall twist. Missing out on squash-based dishes is like missing out on fall.
Of course, there are many, many other veggies to sink your teeth into coming into season soon. This is just a tasting! Hitting up a farmers market around the time of harvest is an amazing experience, you'll see so many great veggies that are just calling your name ... and, you're eating locally! Be sure to check it.
Photo courtesty of University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability