Today I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite subjects: food. It gives us life, nourishes our body and mind, and ties us to some of our fondest memories–creating little moments of nostalgia and an overall feeling of comfort.
Now that autumn is here, I’ve been switching our meals and produce over to more seasonal food–and man have I loved it.
I love eating seasonally because it gives me something to look forward to and helps me fully get into the spirit of whatever season we’re currently in. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s also healthier for us. Eating seasonally helps us rely more on fresher foods from our community and less on supply chain middlemen (which fares well for our wallets, too). There’s a stronger focus on locally-sourced foods from farmers that live near us, which helps the economy of local communities.
Even if you’re not one to eat seasonally, some of these might just inspire you to start. Between delicious fruits to savory soups and stews, there is something for everyone.
Hopefully I will inspire you to try something new this fall season.
Squash and pumpkin
Pumpkin and squash are some of my favorites to enjoy during the fall season (and really the winter too!). I love to peel and dice squash up and roast or sauté it by itself or mix it in with pasta. I also love a good butternut squash soup.
Pumpkin is perfect in a pie, cake, or any sweet treat. I love that pumpkin pairs nicely with cinnamon and other spices for a festive take on the season. I always look forward to some sort of pumpkin dessert on Thanksgiving.
Lentil stew and shepherd’s pie
Now that cooler weather is here to stay, I love simmering lentil stew on the stove and enjoying it over mashed potatoes (shepherd’s pie style) or in a bowl with bread on the side. It is so hearty and delicious. The warmth is just so comforting, too. Pair it with a good movie or book and you’ve got yourself a lovely evening!
Apples and pears
Apples and pears are in season during the cooler months. I love to slice up apples and either sprinkle them with cinnamon or dip them in peanut butter for a quick snack. Fresh pears are the absolute best. I eat them right off the core, just like you would eat an apple. I have been known to slice them up and sauté them in a little butter for a sweet topping on ice cream in the past, but I save that for special occasions nowadays.
Soup, soup, and more soup
I already mentioned a lentil stew, but really I love just about any type of soup. Here are some of my favorites: creamy tortilla, broccoli and cheddar, potato, chili (which I make on the thicker side, but we’ll just group that here with soups), and tomato soup. There are just so many varieties. Perfect when you’re sick or just plain tired, there is something so revitalizing about them.
Mushrooms are plentiful in the fall season, and I love adding them into soups or gravies or even adding them to other entreés for an earthy flavor. They’re also tasty added to a pasta sauce for an Italian dinner night.
I haven’t made these in years, but I like hollowing out mushroom caps and stuffing them with a cream cheese, plant-based Italian sausage, and herbs for a delicious appetizer or side dish. Mushrooms are just so versatile.
This is an obvious one. While I enjoy coffee virtually all year, I tend to lay off the iced coffees in the colder months and stick to the hot stuff. I use a french press to make it and then add in half & half with stevia for some creamy flavor.
Hot herbal teas are another favorite of mine that are so grounding and soothing to sip. Lately I’ve been getting a hot chocolate craving, too, so I may just have to make that happen in the near future!
Usually in the summers I bake very minimally. Our house can easily get up to 80º in the afternoon/evenings in mid-late summer. I try to keep the oven off as much as possible because of this. I’d rather bake pies, cookies, and cakes in the cooler months when holidays and get-togethers are more prevalent. And don’t forget all the freshly baked savory breads, too. That is always at the top of my list!
Potatoes are in season during fall and I love them all. Sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, russet, red, Yukon gold… I do not discriminate. They are so healthy and filling and full of nutrients (despite what those low-carb dieters will tell you). They are particularly versatile and affordable which I happen to love. Mashed, sliced and baked into “fries,” added to soups, or mixed with onions and peppers and sauteéd, I never did eat a bad potato dish.
There you have it. Nothing particularly enlightening or groundbreaking, but those are some fall foods I’ve been enjoying the most lately.
Maybe, just maybe I’ve convinced you to go out and try something new that’s in season this fall. Go ahead, treat yourself. You might just be surprised.