Fall seasonal produce: A guide

by Ria Gupta and Anika Rajamani

Autumn is here, the leaves are falling and the wind is blowing. As the weather changes, so does the seasonal produce. At the farmers market, squashes and apples begin to appear, while berries and peaches disappear. The best fall produce includes beets, winter squash, persimmons, and figs, allowing for a variety of recipes this season.



persimmonsRia Gupta
Bright orange and crisp, persimmons make for a great snack in the fall. The two most prominent types of persimmons include Hachiyas and Fuyus. Hachiyas, only eaten ripe, have an acorn-like shape. Fuyus resemble tomatoes, except for their bright orange color. This fruit tastes best when eaten raw, but they can also be added to baked goods. Most people eat ripe Hachiyas like pudding, using a spoon to scoop out its interior. Fuyus can be cut unpeeled and added to salads. Make sure you allow the Hachiyas to sit out on the counter for a little while, but the Fuyus should be refrigerated to keep it crisp.


wintersquashAnika RajamaniWhen buying beets, look for the ones heavy for their size. For beets with their leaves attached, check for a vibrant green, avoiding wilted and yellow leaves. The greens can be sauteed and used to make a delicious salad. Their versatility makes for a wonderful ingredient in the kitchen. Try tossing some roasted beets in your next salad or even using some to make naturally colored red velvet cupcakes. Their bright red interior flawlessly takes the place of red food coloring.


Winter Squash

 beetsAnika Rajamani
If you are looking for the perfect addition to a soup, look no further! Winter squash can be bought year-round, but they really thrive in the summer and the fall. The term winter squash encompasses many different varieties of squash. Each type of squash has its own special texture and taste which allow it to be cooked in different ways. When in the store, make sure to choose hard squashes that do not cave in when pressed. The color of the squash should be bright, and the skin should not peel easily. If you are going to prepare the squash whole, you should make sure to really give it a good scrub. For other recipes, you can just remove the outer layer with a sharp knife, cut the squash in half, and remove all the seeds.


This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on October 11, 2016.