Among a great amount of produce in season in September, dozens (or even hundreds) of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings are quite common. Many of these fruits and vegetables are seasonal for September, with the ability for nutritious fresh, ripe produce to support your diet.
When the fruit’s peak season hits in the fall, it’s easy to make “an apple a day” a reality. With over 2,500 varieties in the U.S. alone, many unique tastes are available. Enjoy them fresh or cooked. All have loads of fiber, antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamin C. We all know that apples are perfect for pies, crisps, and tarts, but their clear, sharp sweetness also makes them an excellent companion to rich meats like pork. Don’t forget to make a batch or two of applesauce!
With so many available, you can work with fresh beans rather than dried beans in the pantry. Shell beans have a lot going for them: they’re creamier, don’t need to be presoaked, and cook faster than their dried counterparts. They’re a tasty addition to many recipes, from soups and salads to succotash and rice dishes.
The rest of the summer stone fruits are long gone. Plums are wonderful raw or cooked. All plums are packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. They are wonderful grilled, roasted, alongside chicken or pork, in salads, jams, jellies, relishes, salsas, cocktails, and, of course, in all kinds of desserts-crisps, cakes, tarts, and ice cream.
This Southern favorite is plentiful well into the fall. Firm, bright-green pods with no brown spots or discolorations, less than four inches long are the most tender. Okra is a good source of folic acid, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. While you might be intimidated by its slightly slimy texture, you’ll love the vegetable’s earthy flavor-it’s almost like an eggplant crossed with asparagus-as well as its versatility in the kitchen. Try okra grilled, sautéed, fried, pickled, or stewed in gumbo or curry.
Bell peppers are part of the chile family but they don’t contain capsaicin, the compound that gives other chiles their heat. At their peak in late summer and early fall, bell peppers are available in a rainbow of colors. Their mild flavor and satisfying crunch make serving them raw a popular choice, but roasting, grilling, baking, or stir-frying bell peppers brings out a deeper, sweeter taste.
With these tasty fruits and vegetables, among oh so many more, there is much to be said for the product that is available in late summer and early fall. You have the ability to eat some delicious, healthy, fresh pieces while also cooking some tasty dishes. It’s the perfect season for cooking!