How to Use Fall Fruits and Vegetables

*Quick, upfront disclaimer: this post is based on produce that is in season across the USA. Sorry if it does not apply to all climates.

With the autumnal equinox upon us, it’s time to celebrate one of the best parts of fall: the food! In addition to the obvious favorites like pumpkins, butternut squash, and apples, autumn offers an array of other fruits and vegetables that can be used to make great healthy dishes or indulgent desserts. Given the purpose of our organization and the fact that there are plenty of recipe guides to seasonal produce out there (such as these for October and November), this post is going to focus on making the most of your purchases. That means finding a use for parts of fruits and vegetables that are typically disregarded and/or creatively using up produce once it’s no longer fresh.

fall-applesauceApples: Apples are best kept in the pantry.

Don’t toss apple peels: crispy chips, apple peel tea, or apple cider vinegar

If apples are getting old: applesauce, apple cider, or apple crisp

Beets: Store beets by chopping off the leaves and storing each in separate plastic bags in the refrigerator.

Eat beet leaves within 2-3 days: frittata, pesto, or just saute similarly to kale or collard greens

If beets are starting to go soft, try: pizza crust, hummus, or chocolate cake

Broccoli and Cauliflower: These vegetables are very similar and should be stored in sealed plastic bags in the fridge.

Don’t throw out leaves: roast, smoothie, as a raw salad base, or try the beet green recipes

fall-grapesGrapes: Grapes should be stored in the fridge. Alternatively, they can be easily frozen to serve as ice cubes that will chill wine without diluting it.

If grapes are starting to go soft, try: grape pie, grape gazpacho, or grape vinaigrette

Parsnips: Treat parsnips like carrots – store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Use the whole parsnip, peel and all: honey parsnip bread, roasted with onions, or baked fries

Pears (Bosc and Comice): Ripen pears at room temperature, store in fridge once ripe.

Treat pear peels like apple peels.

If pears are going soft: pear crème pâtissière, pear butter, or spinach-pear soup

Pumpkins and winter squash: Store these fall-centric gourds in a pantry. Butternut and kabocha squashes should be peeled, but the skin is edible on other varieties.

Roast your seeds: cocoa, rosemary-sage, or sweet and spicy (or use them raw in muffins, granola, bread, etc.)

How to make pumpkin puree, which can be frozen.


Have a flavorful fall!


Bite sized wisdom: seasons of a day

It seems like every living thing has a cycle to follow. There are four seasons in a year, different stages in a caterpillar’s metamorphosis, and different shapes a seed takes on before blooming into a flower.

If this is a fundamental truth of nature then does it mean we have seasons in a day? A spring, summer, fall and winter? If so, then our days might look something like this:

Spring (Morning) – You wake up slowly, but once off your feet you are full of energy which you acquired during your long night’s rest.

Summer (Brunch) – This is the time things really starting to heat up. You are on fire, responding to e-mails right and left, printing out copies of reports and dropping wisdom at meetings. You have reached the peak of your energy supply!

Fall (Afternoon) – After a long time in the heat you feel a bit burnt out. Your brain and muscles begin to relax from the day’s worth of work, and brain firings begin to cool.

Winter (Evening) – Having spent your energy on the day, it is time to hibernate with food, warmth and comfort. In the cold you heat yourself up, replenish your energy and set yourself for the upcoming day ahead.

With this in mind, is it possible to say that we have some cycles we follow, and the trick is to find the times or seasons that work in our favor. Doing so could help us find the period that works best to wake up to, to adjust to, to play with or to reinvent completely.

Each day is different. Just like each year brings us a new season, the goal of life is to enjoy each moment. To do that, our bodies and minds need to function sustainably and efficiently. One way to do this is to draw patterns that we can analyze and learn from.

Whichever route is taken, whichever season becomes crowned the favorite, things change, years become shorter, months become longer and everything around gets older.

Embracing the fleeting moments is what we have but uncovering its patterns is something fun to do – both for creativity and sustainability.

Happy uncovering!