As autumn rolls around and I now go to school in Miami, I really miss changing leaves and sweaters.
You can call me a basic white girl, but I don’t care. I grew up in New Jersey going apple and pumpkin picking every October, eating apple cider doughnuts in the car on the way home, and burning my mouth with hot cider on a bi-weekly basis.
Now that I live in South Florida where fall means a tropical storm every afternoon and palm trees that look the same year-round, I have accepted the fact that I won’t be able to engage in these heart-warming festivities.
So, I decided that fall is really just a state of mind and came up with these ways to still “do fall” when it feels like summer.
1. Hot Cider
Drink a hot beverage like one of these hot ciders, and you can even add bourbon if you’re feeling a little frisky. This step is mandatory to get you in the right mindset.
2. Apple Pie (kinda)
Let’s be honest, is there anything better than homemade apple pie made with freshly picked (or bought) apples? No, there actually isn’t. Since you’re not frequenting an orchard, or you live in a small dorm room, legit perfect apple pies are out of the question. Instead, bake apples in your microwave so your room (or entire floor) smells like apple pie.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds probably aren’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you think FALL but they’re pretty underrated. Pretend you just went to a pumpkin patch and make five different varieties of pumpkin seeds. For more fab fall fun, invite your other fall obsessed friends over and decide which variety tastes the least like bird feed.
5. Butternut Squash
I love butternut squash in the fall because it’s delicious, but also because it’s not pumpkin (so not basic). There’s a lot of things you can do with this little gourd, my personal favorite being stuffing it inside pasta. Buy this frozen butternut squash ravioli from Publix and make it with this sauce (trust me, it’s poppin’).
6. Pumpkin Bread
I tried not to be lame but pumpkin bread is a staple, no one can deny that. Bake this insanely delicious pumpkin bread or if you’re feeling adventurous, bake this molten chocolate pumpkin bread. If you’re too lazy for that, you don’t really deserve pumpkin bread, so just go to Starbucks and buy some.
7. Sweet Potatoes (said in Michelle Obama’s voice)
Like pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes are a really under appreciated food. You can do so many things with it, and it happens to be my absolute faaaavorite. Make sweet potatoes with marshmallows in your microwave for ~Thanksgiving vibes.~
8. Sweet Potatoes Part II (I said they were my favorite)
They’re so versatile, I had to include them twice, and you’ll thank me later. I eat sweet potato fries year round because they’re good AF and when prepared with brown sugar, I feel like they’re kinda fall-themed too. Just go with it, they taste awesome. Make your own baked sweet potato fries like this.
I’ve been eating kale since before it was trendy to do so which makes me feel like I’m somewhat of an expert on this leafy green superfood. This sautéed kale is actually the easiest thing possible to make on a stove top and you’ll feel #cool and #domestic because you used a skillet. It’s great for lunch, a side for dinner, or breakfast I suppose. You can even turn them into a snack by making baked kale chips like this.
Given we’re in a hot climate, none of us are really in a position to be putting on that extra layer and cultivating our winter bods. Enter this bomb salad. This honestly might be my favorite recipe thus far as it includes three of my go-to ingredients: kale, sweet potatoes, and pomegranates. They’re all in season so #spoonlocal when you inevitably Insta this salad.
#SpoonTip: Buy kale that’s already been chopped.
If you need to know how to cut your pomegranate, we got you covered.
11. Stuff your face with candy corn until you throw up
Turn your air conditioner down to 58-62ºF, put on a sweater, wrap yourself in a blanket, watch football (optional).
Watch this video of falling leaves on loop to really get into the autumn spirit.
Happy fall, homies.