Delish and Frugal Fall Fruits and Veggies
Plus Slow Cooker African Chicken Stew Recipe (see below)
At certain times of year, some fruits are, quite simply, yummier than others. A lot of the time, fruits and vegetables that are not in season are not even sold in the grocery store, both because they are not being harvested and because the ones that are available just aren’t as good.
Choosing Vegetables In Season
If you’ve ever tried to buy blueberries, watermelon or peaches in the middle of winter, you probably understand that they are practically impossible to find and not nearly as juicy and delicious as the ones you eat during the summer.
Now that the weather is getting cooler, summer produce is going out of season and becoming replaced by an entirely different variety of fruits and vegetables. With so many seasonal changes, it can be tricky to keep track of which produce is at its peak and which ones you should avoid at the supermarket.
This list of six fruits and vegetables that are best to buy in the fall will help you make the most of your grocery shopping and cooking this season:
Nutty and sweet, acorn squash is a healthy addition to dozens of dinner ideas and can be added to everything from soups to casseroles and from pasta to bread. It’s an ingredient that is rarely seen on menus or in dishes during other seasons, so pick it up while you can find it. Acorn squash is hearty and healthy, making it the ideal fall vegetable.
Apple picking is one of fall’s most famous activities, so it only makes sense that apples would be at their prime in the autumn months. Apples are healthy, delicious and come in an array of varieties, flavors and colors. Eat them on their own, bake them into pies, mush them into apple butter and even put some slices in your sandwich for an instant-fall feeling.
Just like peaches are associated with summertime, pears have always gone hand-in-hand in hand with autumn’s cooler weather. Pears manage to be both crunchy and juicy at the same time, and are excellent baked in desserts or made into jams.
Pumpkin is probably the most famous fall vegetable because of its bright orange color and its longstanding association with Halloween. But pumpkin is also an incredibly versatile ingredient. You can buy pumpkin fresh or canned and can use it in all kinds of baked goods and soups for hearty fall dinners.
Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants and are healthier than typical jacket potatoes. They are delicious baked on their own, mixed into biscuits and added into easy chili recipes, soups and stews. Plus, with their orange coloring, they can make any dish look a little more festive this fall.
Slow Cooker African Chicken Stew Recipe
Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 7-1/4 hours Servings: 6 Calories: 264
PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
1 teaspoon Pure Wesson® Vegetable Oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into quarters
1/4 cup Peter Pan® Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 10 oz can Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, undrained
1 pound (2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion strips (from a 16 oz package)
Spray the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salt over chicken. Add chicken to skillet and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in peanut butter, water, garlic powder and undrained tomatoes. Cook until mixture is blended and chicken is coated.
Layer the sweet potatoes and frozen vegetables in the slow cooker. Top with the chicken mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours or until chicken and vegetables are very tender. Gently stir to mix.
LisaMetzgar, PhD, has been in the alternative health field since 1996.Shereceived her BA in Biology from UCSD, is a certified Holistic HealthPractitioner, and received her Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition. Lisa has taught body mind retreats in San Diego, Seattle, and Australia and currently has a practice in Reno, NV where she does nutritional counseling.Lisa's passion is to educate families in a healthy lifestyle. Follow Lisa on Twitter at LisamWellness4u and her Facebook page ConceptsIn Wellness or e-mail her at conceptsinwellness (at) sbcglobal.net