We talk a good talk, but Americans seem to be afraid of fruits and vegetables. We tell each other they’re healthy and we should eat them regularly, but the reality is, not nearly enough of them wind up on our forks.
- Potatoes, tomatoes, and onions are by far our most popular vegetables. Combined we eat about 87 pounds per year. The vegetable in fourth place is lettuce at a measly six pounds per year.
- 31% of children eating school lunches throw away their vegetables without even one bite.
- 80% of the oranges we consume comes in the form of juice.
Not very encouraging is it? And those potatoes we eat? We each eat about 51 pounds per year — that’s a lot of french fries and potato salad!
While we talk about eating seasonally, we’re less likely to do it as summer turns to fall. Even though early fall is peak harvest, we often eschew farmers markets with the back-to-school rush and stick with familiar grocery store basics. Why not change that this season? Here are our suggestions (all delicious) for you to try this fall and some tips for maximizing a seasonal menu.
Tips for eating seasonally
If we’re most familiar with potatoes and tomatoes, then we need to think about seasonal eating as a culinary adventure.
Adapt an old, favorite recipe. Pasta with tomato sauce is easy, but what if we topped it with seasonal vegetables instead? Adapt a green salad or even homemade mac-and-cheese to embrace the freshest options and think about ways you can update family favorites to keep everyone happy.
Be brave. Look around your grocery store or farmers market for something you haven’t tried before and bring it home. Part of the adventure of cooking is learning new dishes and, yes, there will be a failure here and there. But for the most part it’ll be delicious.
And Google. Once you have your new item in your kitchen whip out the tablet and start searching recipes. You can tell a lot about a fruit or vegetable by how it’s prepared in recipes. Look for recipes that appeal to your palate and try those first.
Make fruit for more than just for dessert. Many people think of fruit just for dessert options. Yes, anything smothered in sugar is likely to taste good, but think outside the box. Perhaps a peach salsa? Or how about fruit compote served atop a pork chop? Grilled fruit tastes amazing and takes almost no effort.
Fall fruits and vegetables
Below is a list of the best the fall harvest has to offer. Some choices are familiar, and some might be new to you. Please look through the list and think of how you can use these fresh ingredients in your kitchen. We hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
- Brussels sprouts
- Squash (butternut, acorn)
- Sweet potatoes
- Wild mushrooms
Do you have a recipe for any of the above fruits or vegetables? Share them with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear about some of your favorite dishes.
TapGenes TakeAway: Spruce up your family’s favorite dishes by simply adding seasonal fruits and vegetables. Here’s what fall brings to your healthy menu.
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