Of course, Fall is commonly known as a time for apple picking and pumpkin everything, but there are plenty of other foods you can enjoy when the weather starts cooling down.

The problem is that they are much lesser appreciated. It’s a shame really, because with foods as delicious and versatile as figs, root vegetables, tart fruits and dates, there really is no dish you can go wrong with.

For a comprehensive list of these “lesser appreciated” seasonal Fall foods to try and incorporate into warm, comforting dishes, take a look below.

1. Cranberries

When you think about cranberries you probably think about cranberry sauce, but there are so many more ways to enjoy this tart seasonal fruit. For example, topping a salad off with feta cheese crumbles, walnuts and cranberries makes for a flavorful and exciting combination. You can also include dried cranberries into a chicken Waldorf salad for a sweet twist instead of raisins or make seasonal desserts like cranberry bars, scones and even shortbread cookies.

2. Figs

Figs come in both dried and fresh form and both are great in different ways. For example, I prefer dried figs as a snack paired with nuts or dipped into nut butter (think: peanut butter, almond butter, etc.). Fresh figs on the other hand are great in or on desserts like tarts, jams and cookies or as a sweet addition to sandwiches or salads that contain cheeses or in a pork marinade/sauce.

3. Persimmons

Especially among American households, persimmons can be considered a much lesser known – let alone considered – fruit. You can slice them up and eat them in their natural state as a snack or in a salad, make preserves, or make a special baked good like pudding cake or tarts.

4. Parsnips

Parsnips are incredibly versatile and a great replacement for everything from carrots to potatoes. You can make awesome healthier versions of french fries, include them in a gratin or simply roast them for a quick dinner.

5. Eggplant

Perhaps eggplant is more common than I think, but I feel like people don’t really appreciate it as much as they should. Of course you can make a classic eggplant parm, but baba ghanoush, middle eastern stews, pastas, pizza and even fritters makes for great eggplant “destinations”.

6. Leeks

You probably shouldn’t eat these raw, but leeks make for a great green option and topping. Leeks are great on pizza, pasta dishes, stews, soups, omelettes and savory pies.

7. Rutabaga

Rutabaga can technically be utilized similarly to other root vegetables – like turnips and parsnips – and are great for roasting and baking. Interestingly enough you can also turn rutabaga into a great “mash”.

8. Brussels Sprouts

Ok, everyone knows about brussels sprouts, but it can also be said that everyone loves to hate them. The main reason for this? Probably because they don’t know how to prepare them correctly. Oftentimes people boil them, without roasting them after or roasting them without blanching them first. Both will likely lead to an awkward and unsavory texture. Instead, make sure you marinate, blanch and then roast them or cook them in a skillet. They will make for the perfect side.

9. Turnips

Turnips are similar to parsnips and can follow similar guidelines. They are great when roasted, in gratins, mashes and even breakfast mashes!

10. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is another vegetable that is totally underrated, probably because it is also prepared incorrectly. Typically boiled, it  gets taken to a whole new level when it’s roasted and properly seasoned or even marinated. As a matter of fact, vegans like to transform cauliflower into their “meat” option of choice. There are recipes of cauliflower “steaks” and “wings” that anyone can enjoy and will certainly change even the heftiest of meat eaters’ opinions on veggies.

11. Pomegranate

Pomegranate is messy. I get it. But did you now there is actually a much easier way to deseed one then how you’ve been practicing? Yep. Take a look at this LifeHacker article for the full “scoop” – pun intended. Once you have done the hard part, pomegranate can be used as a salad garnish, in pomegranate chocolate bark, in juices, smoothies or (at the most basic level) oatmeal toppings!

12. Dates

Dates may look like weird roach-y things, but they are seriously sweet and pack a lot of punch. I typically use it as a natural alternative sweetener in things like smoothies and juices, but they are also good as a snack (with nut butter of choice) or in baked treats. You can also make a special vegan “caramel” using blended up dates that makes for a healthier dessert topping option.

For more Cooking features, check out our articles here.

What are some seasonal Fall foods you’re excited about?

 


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