Fall is a bountiful season for harvest, offering a wide variety of delicious foods. Let’s look alphabetically at a few of the Natures pHarmacy® vegetables that are freshest in the Fall and may be found at your local Farmer’s Markets:
- Beets: Beets are at their peak in the fall and can be roasted, boiled, or pickled. They are rich in antioxidants, particularly betalains, which help reduce inflammation and protect cells from oxidative stress. Beets are also a good source of dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and potentially lowering the risk of digestive issues. Their natural nitrates can enhance cardiovascular health by promoting healthy blood pressure and improving blood flow. Additionally, beets contain essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C for immune support and folate for cell growth. This root vegetable has also been associated with improved exercise performance and cognitive function. Learn more about this colorful vegetable, and try our recipes for Festive Organic Roasted Beet Hummus and Beet Salad with Zucchini Noodles.
- Brussels Sprouts: These small cabbage-like vegetables are at their best in the fall, perfect for roasting or sautéing. Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C for immune support, vitamin K for bone health, and vitamin A for healthy vision. High in fiber, they promote digestive health and help maintain a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight management. These cruciferous vegetables also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and inflammation. Sulforaphane, a compound found in Brussels sprouts, has been linked to potential cancer-fighting properties and is important for detoxification. Incorporating Brussels sprouts into your diet can support heart health, improve digestion, boost the immune system, and contribute to overall well-being.
- Cabbage: Cabbage is a hearty vegetable that can be used in coleslaws, soups, and sauerkraut. It’s also one of the cruciferous vegetables mentioned in our Top 12 Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables article. Cabbage contains vitamins C and K, as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases. Like Brussels sprouts, cabbage also contains dietary fiber to support digestive health and sulphoraphane to support detoxification processes. Our Pickled White Cabbage and Carrot recipe showcases cabbage as a delicious salad or condiment for your holiday table.
- Carrots: Carrots are readily available and sweetest in the fall. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to salads. Carrots are known for their high beta-carotene content, which the body converts into vitamin A, promoting good vision and overall eye health. Carrots are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C for immune support and potassium, which aids in regulating blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Their dietary fiber supports digestive health and their antioxidants help reduce inflammation and risk of chronic disease. Try carrots in these Carrot and Potato Latkes, or in these Easy No-Bake Gluten-Free Carrot-Pean Bites.
- Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories but high in fiber, making it an excellent choice for weight management and digestive health. It’s also rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients such as glucosinolates, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including certain cancers. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. Additionally, it contains choline, a nutrient important for brain health and development. With its versatility in various dishes, including cauliflower rice and cauliflower crust pizza, this vegetable can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet, offering a range of health benefits, from improved digestion to reduced inflammation and enhanced overall well-being. Try it in our Digestible, Hydrating Vegetable Stew.
- Fennel: Fennel bulbs can be used in salads, roasted dishes, or as a side vegetable. In addition to other vitamins and minerals, fennel is rich in vitamin C to support immune system health and potassium for heart health. Fennel is known for its high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients, including anethole, which may have anti-inflammatory and potential anticancer properties. Additionally, it has been traditionally used to relieve digestive discomfort and bloating. Incorporating fennel into your diet can contribute to improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and overall well-being.
- Mushrooms: Wild mushrooms, like chanterelles and porcini, add depth of flavor to dishes. They are a rich source of B vitamins, selenium, and various antioxidants, which collectively support overall health. These mushrooms are known to have immune-boosting properties and may help protect against chronic diseases due to their potent antioxidant profile. Additionally, mushrooms like porcini and chanterelles have been associated with improved cognitive function and reduced inflammation. Try our Vegan Mushroom Chili or our Vegan Broccoli and Mushroom Soup. Also learn about some medicinal mushrooms here. You can even try growing your own mushrooms if you have the space. Dr. Jaffe added seven additional mushroom guilds this year, and shared his shitake harvest:
- Pumpkins: Pumpkins are not only great for carving into jack-o’-lanterns but also for making pies, soups, and roasted pumpkin dishes. Pumpkin is also nutritious, being rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin A and C, which support good eyesight, immune function, and overall health. The fiber in pumpkin aids digestion, helps maintain a healthy weight, and promotes a feeling of fullness. Its potassium contributes to heart health and blood pressure regulation. Additionally, pumpkin’s low-calorie profile and high fiber content make it a nutritious choice for those watching their calorie intake. Whether consumed in savory dishes or as a tasty ingredient in soups, roasted dishes, and snacks this versatile and delicious vegetable can positively impact skin health, mood, and bone health. Learn more about the nutritional benefits of pumpkins in our earlier blog post. Try a few of our pumpkin recipes, including Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding, Pumpkin Curry, Vegan Pumpkin Hummus, and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Soup.
- Radishes: Fall radishes, like daikon or watermelon radishes, add a peppery crunch to salads and other dishes. They are low in calories, and rich in vitamin C for immune health and potassium for cardiovascular support. Their antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and quercetin, have anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Radishes are also rich in cancer-fighting glucosinolates. This versatile root vegetable contributes to improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and overall well-being. Use them in aColorful Composed Salad, or eat them by the handful!
- Squash: Varieties like butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash are in season now, and are perfect for roasting, pureeing, or using in soups. Like many of the vegetables previously discussed, squash is high in vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. The antioxidants and phytonutrients in squash, such as beta-carotene, have anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Squash is a versatile addition to various dishes, from soups to roasted sides, offering improved eye health, immune support, and overall well-being. Tray a colorful Squash Dip recipe, or enjoy it in a Cozy Winter Squash Soup.
- Sweet Potatoes: These versatile tubers are wonderful for casseroles, fries, or mashed dishes. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, which supports good vision, and vitamin C for immune function. Sweet potatoes are high in dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and aiding weight management by providing a sense of fullness. The antioxidants in sweet potatoes, including beta-carotene, help combat oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Their natural sugars are released slowly into the bloodstream, helping stabilize blood sugar levels. Additionally, sweet potatoes contain essential minerals like potassium and manganese. Try our vegan Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Air Fryer Apple and Sweet Potato Chips, or our Oil-Free Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Stuffing recipes.
- Turnips: Turnips can be roasted, mashed, or used in stews. They contain vitamins C and K, supporting immune function and bone health. Turnips are also a good source of antioxidants, including glucosinolates, like radishes described above. Additionally, they offer a range of essential minerals like potassium and calcium, which are vital for heart and bone health.
Enjoy these 12 seasonal fall vegetables and try something new this fall! Remember that the availability of these specific vegetables may vary depending on your region, so it’s best to check with local farmers’ markets or grocery stores to see what’s in season in your area.