Summertime, Labor Day, juicy tomatoes, and watermelon salads are just about in our rear view mirror, and it’s all Pumpkin Spice lattes (and candles, and laundry detergent wtf) as far as the eye can see. The cooler temperatures and back to school vibe are affecting my cravings for different ingredients, and I love to turn to what’s seasonal. Here are a few great foods to toss into your fall salads and weeknight dinners this month to embrace autumn’s arrival.
In August and September, it’s all about figs. If you’re not using them in your salads, baked goods, and breakfasts you’re seriously missing out. Figs are antioxidant rich, high in calcium and iron, and super high in fiber. I recently discovered grilling figs to add to salads and it’s a great blend of sweet and smoky.
This funky cactus ingredient is said to counteract inflammation and act as a hangover cure… sign me up. It’s high in fiber and carotenoids. These guys are all over my hood but you can often find prickly pear (or cactus pear) at farmers markets or natural food markets, and it’s great peeled and raw or added to smoothies for added natural sweetness. Remember to wear gloves as you slice and peel them to not end up with spines in your fingers!
Roasted squash has to be the heartiest, most delicious, smoothest ingredient I look forward to the minute the temperature drops below 70 degrees. It’s the simplest way to make any greens into a meal, with or without additional proteins. Eating antioxidant rich foods, like squash, has been said to aid memory recall and preserve mental acuity as we age so I’m keeping this half-sweet half-savory nutrient dense squash in my regular rotation this fall.
In North America, sunchoke season begins technically in October so I’m prepping myself in anticipation of these tubers. They’re high in potassium, iron, and protein and they’re known to aid blood pressure regulation. They’re slightly nutty and a little sweet, and are great sliced thin and added to salads, baked, or sautéed and made into soups. Remember when we talked about prebiotics the other week? This is a good one!
Tell me what you’re cooking up this fall to stay warm but also keeping it high and tight! Sound off and share your favorite seasonal recipes in our facebook group too.