The end of Hot Girl Summer has marked the beginning of (arguably) everyone's favorite season: fall. However, the majority of us still want to enjoy those delicious summer berries since they are still relatively easy to buy in stores. Sadly, this leaves out the opportunity to appreciate all of the unique flavor and variety that fall produce has to offer. It's actually better for our health, our wallets, and the earth to eat seasonally. It's time to leave berries and stone fruits in the summer, and explore all that the fall has to offer.

The best way to know what's in season near you is to pay attention to the new produce out on the floor at the market or make an effort to go to the farmer's markets and see what the local farmers have to offer. Most of us go into the grocery store with a laser focus of what we want to buy, usually based on the same routine and being in a hurry. Try to spend an extra minute in the produce section and look at what's new. Chances are it's going to be cheaper than the same box of strawberries you always buy, and you just might find your new favorite fruit or vegetable.

I'm here to shed light on the fall produce that often gets overlooked because of the hype of apples and pumpkins. Fall deserves so much more. I propose the challenge of expanding our culinary palette this year by eating more seasonally. 

Sweet Potatoes

Meet one of my fall produce must-haves (and Michelle Obama's): the sweet potato. The most common variety to find are garnets, the orange-red ones. Because of its vibrant color, the sweet potato has a high concentration of vitamin A. Thanks to the vitamin C in them as well, they can help fight off colds (hello, flu season!). Among these vitamins, sweet potatoes also have good amounts of potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, and vitamin E.

There is much more to the sweet potato than sweet potato pie (unless that's your thing, you do you). It really had a moment last year on Instagram; ever heard of sweet potato toasts? That was a popular way to cook the sweet potato by slicing it thinly and roasting it in the oven. The simplest way to get started is to bake the whole thing the same way you would a baked potato. Cut it open and top it with all your favorite things. My go-to method is to slice it into 1/4 inch thick rounds, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and Trader Joe's 22 Seasoning Salute. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes flipping halfway, and voila. You have a delicious side or snack. 

Delicata Squash

fresh produce, farmer's market, Fall, squash, Vegetables
Kelsey Ragnini

One of the more underrated squashes of the fall produce season is the delicata squash, identifiable by its cute green stripes. It's my favorite because it doesn't have that overly prominent earthy flavor like that of pumpkin and butternut squash. It's a lot more subtle, and honestly, one of the easiest squashes to cook. You don’t have to peel or roast it beforehand! I also love them for the many health benefits they have like being rich in iron, calcium, and vitamins. Delicata squashes have become easier to find as well; I see them every year at Trader Joe's specifically, and for a reasonable price.

My favorite way to make them is to first wash the outside of the squash, and then to cut it in half lengthwise. Then, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Next, cut crosswise slices about 1/2 inch thick, and toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 425°F oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway, and until golden brown. 

Asian Pears

My all-time favorite thing about fall (and winter) is that once again, I can get my hands on Asian pears. They don't look like the typical pear though, they look like an apple so they can easily be mistaken for one; in fact, these are also known as apple pears! They have the relative round shape of an apple and yellow-gold skin. The flavor of an Asian pear is crisp, juicy, and ultra-sweet.

The best way to eat them is fresh. They keep their crisp texture long after being picked which is nice because this means they have a relatively long shelf life. Definitely try them while they're in season; it'll be well worth it, and sad apples will become a distant memory. 


garlic, vegetable, condiment, elephant garlic, relish, pasture
Kristine Mahan

Here I am, providing you with a reason to go off and eat more garlic bread. One of the best things about the fall produce season is that garlic, surprisingly, is in season right now. This ingredient that most use daily and year-round has a season, like any other fruit or vegetable.  When garlic is in season, its flavor is more intense and robust meaning that it’s time for you to take advantage and use it to its fullest potential.

The best way to fully harness peak garlic season is to roast whole heads of garlic and put it on everything. Some of my favorite uses are, of course, on some toasted bread, as well as combining it with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. It's also amazing added to hummus, or you can easily make salsa with it. Fall is the time to really hunt out recipes that call for a solid amount of garlic because the flavor it will provide will be incredible. Bonus points for fighting off vampires with your roasted garlic. 


apple, juice, pomegranate
Hannah Lazarus

The gorgeous pomegranate with its red ruby gems is one of the fall produce items that gets me so excited for the season. I have fond memories of when I was little and my mom would bring home the first pomegranates of the season; it always made me extremely happy. Pomegranates are typically eaten fresh, but they shouldn’t be limited to sweet dishes only. Because of their slight acidic profile, I recommend using the seeds as a salad topper not only for flavor but also for a bright pop of color. Also, when eating pomegranate seeds, it's perfectly safe and actually healthier to eat the entire seed; stop missing out on nutrients by spitting out the little centers.

Not only does the pomegranate have major points for its looks and flavor, but it also comes with tons of health benefits too. There's a reason Kylie Jenner obsesses over them. Pomegranate juice impressively has antioxidant benefits three times more than green tea.  It's significantly cheaper to buy the fruit while it's in season, so no need to purchase those little plastic cups anymore. 


cauliflower, sweet
Kristine Mahan

One of the rising stars of the "foodie" community in the past couple of years is the cauliflower, and it shines the brightest during the fall. It has a pretty mild flavor which makes it the perfect blank canvas for any seasonings your heart desires. When most people think of cauliflower, their mind usually goes straight to the white variation. But don't forget about the other colors it comes in! It comes in green, orange, and even purple. Fun fact: the green variant is actually known as a Broccoflower. The colors are usually quite muted, and not overly vibrant, but the flavor of the colored ones taste the same as that of the regular white variety.

At this point, there are probably one thousand different ways to cook cauliflower. Popping up in lots of restaurants lately has been the side dish, cauliflower mash. It's a low carb take on mashed potatoes, and you can even find it in the freezer section at many groceries stores now. Also, if you don't know yet, buffalo cauliflower from Erewhon market hits different, so please do yourself a favor and go try it immediately. It's incredible all the different ways people have come up with to use cauliflower in recipes, and as a substitute. I've even seen cauliflower flour in some grocery stores. Take advantage of cauliflower being in season right now, and try out one of the fun colored varieties!


fig, sweet
Kristine Mahan

No longer just meant for Fig Newton's, figs are actually sweet and delicious, and a great find during the fall produce season. Figs have a high sugar content so they are very sweet, and they're delicious just on their own. Figs are typically consumed with the skin, so no need to whip out the peeler. I personally enjoy mine sliced in a yogurt bowl or on top of some toast with cream cheese and honey. If you're feeling fancy, step up your charcuterie game by adding sliced figs too. As with all produce items, there are many varieties grown in the world. The most common types of figs that we are commonly able to get during the fall produce season is the Black Mission fig, which has a very dark skin. My personal favorite is the Tiger fig, which has a striped green and yellow skin, and the interior is a bright raspberry color. I've seen tiger figs at Trader Joe's frequently, and I expect them to remain in stores until late fall and early winter. No matter how you decide to eat figs, definitely give them a chance during their prime season.  

If you're ready to have some major fall vibes, it's time to embrace seasonal eating and to take advantage of all the delicious fall produce options available to you. Whether your mood is leaning towards sweet or savory, there's definitely an option for you. Eating seasonally will not only save you money, but it will also force you just a little bit to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. These are my personal favorites, and I hope soon you'll have a list of yours too!