Fall is both a time of plenty and a time of winding down. In the fall, we fill our homes with the warmth and richness of the harvest--squash, tubers, roots, cruciferous veggies, apples, pears, cranberries. Outside our doors, the light leaks away, little by little, day by day, and the world readies itself for a restful winter.
One of the best ways to celebrate the season is to cook with fall crops. Eating with the seasons ensures that you are eating a diverse rotation of local foods throughout the year, all of them rich with different nutrients. Many seasonal foods are also well suited to our bodies' seasonal needs.
Think about it--in the summer, you crave watery, cold foods, like peaches, berries, salad greens, and other raw vegetables. In winter, you crave warm, dense foods, like soups, stews, and roasts. Slow-cooked, rich, spiced, flavorful foods define the fall and winter seasons. Baked squash topped with coconut oil and cinnamon. Braised kale with onions and garlic. Grass-fed beef roasted on a bed of sweet potato, carrots, celery, and brussels sprouts.
Below is a guide to the vegetables and fruits that are in-season during the fall. Of course this differs slightly for those who live in much colder or much warmer climates than I do, but, in general, these are the crops that are in season now.
The root vegetable guide is a general guide to all root vegetables; radishes and beets are ripest in the summer, but the rest are all fall and winter crops.
There is also a separate guide to winter squash; it's always fun to try out new varieties! My favorites are red kuri, hubbard, and kabocha.