What To Get At The Farmers Market In The Fall (And How To Cook It)
With fall in full swing, there’s a plethora of delicious and hearty foods to find at your local farmers market. Eating seasonally is a great way to eat fresh, local food, and your body will definitely thank you for it. There is an entire suite of produce that’s in full peak season throughout October and November, so you’ll be able to find them at your local farmers market. We rounded up three delicious, in-season fruits and vegetables and the easy ways to incorporate them into your cooking and meal plans.
(Pro tip: If you don’t have access or the time to head to the farmers market, your grocery store will usually display in-season items right when you walk in with big displays, advertisements, and discounts.)
A fall fan favorite, apples are more versatile than just tossing into your bag to eat on the go, although that is a great option! Try slicing up an apple morning-of and adding to your lunch-time salad. Drizzle with a little lemon juice to help prevent browning. Apple slices are a great, fresh addition to your normal salad and will bring those cozy fall vibes to your lunch. Try it with fresh greens, crumbled goats cheese, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and some olive oil and vinegar.
Apples are also a great option for a healthier dessert. Try making an apple crisp in place of an apple pie, and eat throughout the week as an afternoon treat or heat up for a cozy dessert. Try this paleo apple crisp, which will last in the fridge well all week–if you can refrain from eating it all in one sitting!
Paleo Apple Crisp
2 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tbsp cornstarch
Juice of ½ medium lemon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 cup roughly chopped pecans (almonds or other nuts would work too)
1 cup oats
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter (or oil) an 8x8 in baking dish. Cut up rest of butter into cubes and set aside.
In mixing bowl, combine apple slices, cornstarch, lemon juice, ginger, 1 tsp of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and toss until apples are well coated. Empty into baking dish and spread out evenly.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining ½ tsp of cinnamon, pecans, and oats. Evenly sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples. Dot the remaining butter (or drop small pieces of coconut oil) on top of oat mixture.
Bake until golden and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes.
There are so many varieties of squash to choose from during the chilly fall months. Spaghetti, acorn, butternut, and the list goes on. Spaghetti squash is an all-star when it comes to meal prepping; it travels well, lasts all week, and can be used as a healthy alternative to normal pasta or for a boost of veggies in your normal meal. Cut a spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, drizzle the insides with olive oil, salt, and pepper, place the meaty side face down on a baking sheet, and bake for about 45 minutes at 375º F, or until fork tender (you can easily pierce the skin with a fork). Let cool until you can easily handle, then use a fork to pull the strands out; magically, the squash turns itself into spaghetti-like noodles. Top with your favorite pasta sauce, turkey meatballs, or eat as a side along with the rest of your meal.
Butternut and acorn squash are also delicious, multi-purpose vegetables. To roast, cut in half, drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 45 minutes at 375º F, or until fork tender. Scoop out the insides and serve as a side, add a scoop on top of a salad with fresh arugula, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds, or whip up a tasty soup to bring with you to class or work for lunches, like below.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1 medium (about 3-4 lbs) butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded, chopped, and roasted
1 sprig fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk or heavy cream
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan (or right in the bottom of a big soup pot). Add onion and cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add vegetable stock, squash, sage, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove sage sprig.
Stir in coconut milk or heavy cream. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth, or transfer to a normal blender (you might have to do this in a few batches depending on the size of your blender).
Serve warm with toasted pumpkin seeds on top, a side salad, or a hunk of bread.
Another fan-favorite, pumpkin isn’t only for pie! You can buy decorative pumpkins as well as baking-pumpkins, often called “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins.” Try making your own pumpkin puree to use this season, whether for pies, muffins, or a fun take on overnight oats.
To prepare, cut the pumpkin into wedges, remove seeds (save and clean to roast with oil, salt, and pepper for another tasty snack), and bake at 375º for about 45 minutes until soft. Remove the skins and puree in a blender with a little bit of milk or milk substitute. Try the below recipe for pumpkin overnight oats to have on hand for those busy mornings when you’re rushing out the door.
Pumpkin Overnight Oats
½ cup oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
¼ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup milk or milk substitute
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in jar and refrigerate overnight. Add toppings the morning of, such as roasted cacao nibs, sliced banana, pecans, or a scoop of nut butter.
Fall farmers markets are a gold mine of delicious, fresh, and warming fruits and veggies. When those chilly days hit, whipping up a homemade soup or adding a fall veggie to your normal salad can be so comforting. Next time you’re at the farmers market or even your regular grocery store, see if you can find a new fall item to try and incorporate it into your cooking or meal prep for the week.
Do you have a favorite fall farmers market find? Share with us in the comments!