Fall is hands down my favorite season for cooking! I find all of the produce so versatile and flavorful. This season, I have been getting all of my produce from the Imperfect Produce delivery service, a unique company that is passionate about taking actions towards reducing food waste. Did you know that about 20% of fruits and veggies grown in the US cannot be sold in stores due to their imperfections (i.e. discoloration, being misshaped, or even just being a surplus). So this company works directly with America's farmers to deliver that "imperfect" produce to you for about 30% less than what it would be sold at in stores. So you're not only getting a deal, but you're helping the environment! The service updates their database with the produce they will have for delivery the following week, so as consumers we can go in and select exactly what we want delivered to us! Feel free to use the code “R4H” for 50% OFF your first box - Link Here
Now, lets get to my favorite fall produce and how I like to cook with it!
Squash is so versatile! I'm talking, butternut, spaghetti, delicata, kabocha or even pumpkin... I love roasting it to bring out its sweet flavor. Use a sharp serrated knife to get through that skin, and scoop out all of the seeds. Spray with a little avocado oil and roast at about 425 for 40-50 minutes. They work well in both sweet and savory dishes. Some of the benefits of squash are that they strengthen bones and reduce osteoporosis!
My favorite ways to enjoy winter squash:
Add the roasted squash to a warm buddha/nourish bowls with a grain (quinoa, brown rice), greens and a creamy tahini dressing. I have a great example of one at the bottom of this page!
Add the leftover roasted squash into a big green salad with a delicious balsamic vinaigrette.
Substitute spaghetti squash for pasta, toss with your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy warm.
Butternut squash makes an incredible creamy plant based sauce. Just blend some cooked butternut squash with onion, nutritional yeast and garlic and you'll have a decadent creamy sauce to top on any pasta dish.
Add some yogurt and fruit (i.e. bananas, berries, pomegranate) to your roasted kabocha, acorn or butternut squash as a sweet breakfast treat.
Beets Beets are one of the most beautiful vegetables I have ever cooked with! Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness, you can also juice them for some antioxidants! My tip is to wear some gloves, peel, then chop the beets into cubes. Spray with avocado oil and roast at 425 degrees for about 40 - 50 minutes. Benefits of beets include improved energy, stamina and increased muscle recovery!
My favorite ways to eat beets:
Roasted beets pair well with cheese (feta or goat) and nuts (walnuts or pine nuts work great). Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and you're taste buds will thank me.
You can also thinly slice beets (with a knife or mandolin) and spray with avocado oil on either side then sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400 for about 20 -30 minutes until crispy (flipping half way) to mimic chips.
Carrots may be my favorite vegetable hands down. I love eating them raw, shredded into roasted in to bring out the sweetness. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, immune boosting and an amazing anti-aging antioxidant!
My favorite ways to eat carrots:
Enjoy raw carrots dipped in hummus or guacamole.
Shredded carrots make an amazing slaw for fish tacos.
Roasted carrots are perfect over a warm buddha bowl with some quinoa and other roasted veggies.
You can also shred carrots and add them to baked muffins or oatmeal for a "carrot cake" flavor!
There are so many different types of kale - from curly kale to dino kale and redbor kale. They are all vibrant and delicious in their own way. I prefer removing the stems and and storing them in baggies in the freezer to then add it into smoothies in the future. Kale is packed with antioxidants and is high in manganese, vitamins A, C and K!
My favorite ways to eat kale:
Massage kale with olive oil to release the bitterness and make it easier to digest.
Add raw kale and kale stems into your smoothies for extra nutrients.
Add fresh kale into a warm dish with some quinoa, cranberries, walnuts and goat cheese.
Massaged kale can make a wonderful bed to any warm buddha bowl topped with any other roasted veggie.
Apples can be crispy, sweet, tart and juicy. They are high in a mineral called chromium so they actually help lower glucose levels and balance blood sugar, they also help with reducing cravings and increasing lifespan!
My favorite ways to eat apples:
Raw apples with cheese, nut butter or honey are one of my favorite mid-day or late night snacks!
Chop an apple and sauté with coconut oil and fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice for 5 minutes to top on yogurt, oatmeal or even ice cream!
There are so many varieties of pears to choose from like Bartlett, Bosc, and Anjou! Did you know that pears are one of the highest fiber filled fruits? They pack 6 grams of fiber and even contain Vitamin C, K, B2 and B6!
My favorite ways to eat pears:
Enjoy sliced pears drizzled with some honey or paired with some sliced cheese!
Chop the pear and sauté with coconut oil and fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice for 5 minutes to top on yogurt, oatmeal or even ice cream (just like apples).
Add fresh sliced pear into a massaged kale salad with some goats cheese and walnuts!
If your pear is going bad, either freeze it to add it into a smoothie later on, or add it into a smoothie just like that!
Now here are a few of my very own ways I used my favorite fall produce!
Warm Roasted Vegetable Bowl
Roasted sweet potato
Roasted bell pepper
Spiced chickpeas (I used rinsed & drained canned chickpeas then sprinkled them with paprika & garlic
Olive oil massaged kale (cut the stems off the kale, chopped into small pieces & massaged with some olive oil)
Cozy Loaded Cauliflower Oatmeal
[oats: cook all of the ingredients below for about 20 min on low heat]
1/2 cup frozen or fresh riced cauliflower
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
Pumpkin pie spice
2 cups of water
Cinnamon sautéed pears and apples
Plain Icelandic yogurt
Pumpkin spice energy bites