Kitchen Staples: Fall Edition

Fall is my favorite season! The weather is crisp and cool, just right for snuggling on the couch and drinking hot tea. This is also the beginning of cooking season. Here in the south, we rarely dare to turn on our ovens in the summer because we don’t want to heat up the house. Fall is the timestamp that gives us permission to start baking more things, like apple pies and casseroles. Fire up those ovens and let’s get to cooking. Here is list of must have food for the fall season.

  1. Pears
    In my opinion, pears do not get the attention they deserve. They are delicious sweet little things that can be used in any dish to give a crisp, bright flavor. They are like apples in their fruit versatility. When I was a kid, we had three pear trees that always produced around this time of year. It was a mad scramble to pick as much fruit as we could and give it away. We even had turtles come by to munch at the supply.

    Mixed-Perry-Pears                                                           Photo Courtesy: www.evescidery.com

  1. Brussel Sprouts
    Now, now. Don’t wrinkling your nose. Brussel sprouts are really, really good. You guys should check out this recipe from Hungry Girl that pairs Brussel sprouts with butternut squash and chicken. It is AMAZING! Apricot Chicken with Brussel sprouts and butternut squash
  1. Sweet Potatoes
    Sweet potatoes take root vegetable flavor to a new level. I’ve always been leery of dressing a sweet potato with anything but cinnamon sugar and butter, but in my research for new and healthier ways to eat and lose weight, I figured out that sweet potatoes can be dressed very similarly to regular potatoes. I have made a bean mixture (1 can black beans, drained and rinsed; 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed; 1 can of corn, drained) and put it right on top of the potato. The sweetness of the potato and the saltiness of the beans gives an incredible balance and it is a very filling meal.
  1. Soup
    So many soups, so little time. Try these time and portion saving recipes the next time you want soup.
    Chicken and Rice Soup
    Chicken Noodle Soup
    Potato and Treet Soup
  1. Chili
    Check out this cool article on Cooking Light’s website. They did a whole spread on the magic of chili. http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/chili-guide

3. Pumpkin
The most popular of the squash family (yes its a squash!), the pumpkin is EVERYWHERE. Well, pumpkin spice is everywhere. But without the pumpkin, spice is nothing. I generally like pumpkin. It can be used a lot in baking without having the pumpkin taste. Just like applesauce, it can be used as a substitute for unhealthy ingredients.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

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  1. Apples
    Applesauce, apple pie, apple cookies, apple tarts, apple turnovers, fried apples. This list goes on and on. Apples are the most popular fall fruit. Since I’ve been out of college, I have made a point to make at least one apple pie a season. It is a lot of hard work, but there is nothing like having a piece of hot, homemade apple pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream to sink your teeth into.

    Apple Pie2

  1. Squash, squash and more squash
    There are so many varieties of squash and so many ways to use it. I love squash. Winter squash especially because it is so filling. Other winter squashes include butternut, spaghetti and acorn. I’ve come to really enjoy cooking with spaghetti squash, especially because it is a much healthier alternative to spaghetti noodles. Here’s a sneak peak of the recipe that’s coming soon!

    WP_20150428_001

Do you have any fall foods that you constantly use in your kitchen? Leave comments below and let me know what you cook with in this glorious season!

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Happy Cooking!

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