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10 Tasty Fruits and Vegetables to Try this Fall

Last updated: September 22, 2021

Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner, and endless holiday treats. Let’s face it – whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain healthy habits, fall can be a difficult time to stay on track. While it may be tempting to make a beeline for the bakery and meat department during your weekly trip to the grocery store, we’re here to prove the produce section can be just as tasty.  

Go ahead, get your fill of apple picking and pumpkin spice, but don’t stop there! Here’s 10 seasonal produce items that will leave you feeling festive and satisfied. 

1. Apples 

Enjoy your fair share of this highly popular fall fruit! Not only are there a variety of sweet and tart flavors to choose from, but the nutrient-packed apple really could help keep the doctor away.  

“Make the most of apples by keeping the skin intact,” said Ashley Krautkramer, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Clinical Dietitian at ThedaCare. “It’s full of even more antioxidants and fiber-rich nutrients than the fruit itself, all of which can help aid in digestion and build immunity.” 

Thanks to its strong antioxidant components, apples have been linked to a reduced risk of: 

  • Cancer 
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Asthma 
  • Diabetes 
  • High Cholesterol 
  • Obesity 
  • Osteoporosis 

In Season: Late July through Early November 

Serve: Sliced, oven-baked, paired with nut butter or in cider 

Try: Slow Cooker Oats with Apples & Walnuts 

2. Beets 

Not a fan? Don’t be so quick to swear off the fiber-rich beet. The nitrates, vitamins and minerals found in beets can help you regulate everything from your digestion to your weight, heart health, athletic performance and brain function.  

“One of the characteristics that make beets especially healthy for you is its deep, red-purple color,” said Krautkramer. “It’s the result of a natural plant pigment that contains a wealth of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.” 

A good source of folate, vitamins B and C, potassium and magnesium, make beets your go-to option for fighting: 

  • High cholesterol 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Heart disease 
  • Obesity 
  • Diabetes 
  • Cancer 
  • Asthma 

In Season: Late summer through late winter 

Serve: Sautéed, roasted, steamed, or shredded and tossed in a salad 

Try: Roasted Beets with Balsamic Vinegar and Herbs 

3. Brussels Sprouts 

Ok, ok … so they aren’t much to look at. But with the right preparation, brussels sprouts can be quite delicious – not to mention low in calories.  

“The vitamins, minerals and fiber found in brussels sprouts can help you do everything from fight the common cold to improve bone health,” said Krautkramer. “A half-cup of brussels sprouts can provide half of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.” 

Vitamins, minerals and fiber found in brussels sprouts can help you do everything from fight the common cold to improve bone health.

Ashley Krautkramer, RD, ThedaCare 

What are you waiting for? Give brussels sprouts a try for added protection against: 

  • Osteoporosis 
  • High cholesterol  
  • Iron deficiency  
  • Obesity 
  • Cancer 

In Season: Fall through early spring 

Serve: Roasted, steamed, shaved or added to any salad or stew 

Try: Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry and Bulgur Salad 

4. Cranberries 

Cranberries may be best known for their power to preserve urinary and digestive health, but that’s just scratching the surface. They’ve also been linked with heart health and may protect against several degenerative and chronic diseases.  

“Antioxidants found in berries can help to remove harmful bacteria in the body,” said Krautkramer. “Cranberries, especially, have been proven to aid in preventing urinary tract infections.” 

Research has found the consumption of cranberries and cranberry juice can reduce incidence of: 

  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Stomach ulcers 
  • Cancer 
  • Heart disease 
  • Obesity 

In Season: September through November 

Serve: Dried, fresh, made into sauce or juice, or in baked goods 

Try: Cranberry Orange Muffins  

5. Kale 

Kale has just started to grow in popularity in the past few years but is undeniably one of the lowest-calorie, nutrient-dense produce options available. And if you’re not into the raw lettuce version, recipes for kale span everything from homemade chips to smoothies, soups and pesto.  

“One especially great thing about Kale is that it’s cold-weather and frost resistant,” said Krautkramer. “That makes it easy to grow and maintain, even in Wisconsin.” 

This powerhouse vegetable contains amounts of vitamin A, K, B6, C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese that can help to reduce risk of: 

  • Obesity 
  • Diabetes 
  • Cancer 
  • Heart disease 

In Season: Fall through spring 

Serve: Boiled, braised, blended, steamed, stir-fried or raw  

Try: Green Grape Smoothie 

6. Pears 

Pears make a great addition to both sweet and savory recipes, and its mellow taste makes it an appealing choice to eat all by itself.  

“Thanks to their sweet taste, pears make a great snack choice for people with diabetes,” said Krautkramer. “They’re high in fiber, helping to prevent spikes in blood sugar. As a result, those suffering from diabetes can satisfy their sweet cravings worry-free.”  

Pears make a great snack choice for people with diabetes.

Ashley Krautkramer, RD, ThedaCare 

This fat-free, sodium-free fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals to guard against: 

  • Heart disease 
  • Colon cancer 
  • Obesity 
  • Intestinal issues 
  • Cardiovascular disease 

In Season: August through December 

Serve: Raw, mixed in salad, baked, grilled, roasted, and paired with cheese 

Try: Whole Grain Stuffing with Apples, Pears and Toasted Nuts 

7. Pomegranates  

This bright, ruby-red fruit doesn’t just look pretty, it’s packed with disease-fighting nutrients. Studies have even shown this great source of vitamin C and antioxidants can brighten skin, promote hair growth and ward off acne. Talk about a win-win. 

“The benefits of pomegranates extend beyond physical health,” said Krautkramer. “Rich in polyphenols, the fruit has shown signs of improving memory which could help lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.” 

The pomegranate’s tart and delicious juice-filled seeds offer a rich supply of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to ward off: 

  • Prostate cancer 
  • Heart disease 
  • High cholesterol 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Arthritis 
  • Infertility 
  • Diabetes 

In Season: October through January 

Serve: Tossed in a salad, sprinkled on yogurt or oatmeal, or as a garnish in drinks 

Try: Pomegranate, Cranberry and Brie Bruschetta 

8. Pumpkins  

Nothing says fall like pumpkin, and we’re not just referring to the highly popular pumpkin spice coffee flavoring. The pumpkin isn’t just an excellent source of beta-carotene and phytosterols – it has endless uses during the fall season. Eat it, carve it, use it to decorate, and even roast the seeds.  

“The vibrant, orange pigment of pumpkins can be contributed to beta-carotene,” explained Krautkramer. “Our bodies convert this into vitamin A, which is essential for good vision and provides a healthy boost for our immune system.” 

Adding pumpkin to your diet is a no-brainer for fighting: 

  • Obesity 
  • Vision loss 
  • Infectious diseases 
  • Cancer 
  • Diabetes 
  • High cholesterol  
  • High blood pressure 

In Season: September through November 

Serve: Cubed in soups and stews, pureed, roasted, or in baked goods 

Try: Pumpkin Pie 

9. Sweet Potatoes 

Who doesn’t love potatoes? If you’re growing tired of russets and baby reds, sweet potatoes make a great – and healthy – alternative, providing a source of vitamins A, B6, C, potassium and fiber.  

“Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and low in calories, which makes them a healthy choice and a great source of fuel for athletes,” said Krautkramer. “Keep in mind, sweet potatoes should be treated more as a healthy carb or starch, versus a vegetable. Make sure you’re still getting plenty of vegetables in your diet that contain a higher water content.” 

Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and low in calories, which makes them a healthy choice and a great source of fuel for athletes.

Ashley Krautkramer, RD, ThedaCare 

Whether you eat them boiled, baked, mashed or otherwise, sweet potatoes can reduce your risk of: 

  • Obesity 
  • Cancer 
  • Vision loss 
  • Diabetes 
  • Heart disease 

In Season: August through November 

Serve: Cooked, diced, mashed, pureed, roasted and within desserts  

Try: Sweet Potato Waffles 

10. Winter Squash 

Winter squash is a category of vegetable used to describe several squash varieties, including butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and more. Harvested in the fall, they keep well through cold winter months and offer a host of health benefits. 

“The thick skin of most winter squashes allows them to maintain freshness over a long shelf life,” said Krautkramer. “They’re also inexpensive and relatively easy to prepare, so you can stock up on a variety to find the flavors and textures you enjoy most.” 

Rich in fiber, eye-protecting beta-carotene and immune-boosting vitamin C, squash is a great way to fend off:  

  • Obesity 
  • Heart disease 
  • Cancer 
  • Diabetes 
  • Arthritis 

In Season: Fall and winter 

Serve: Roasted, baked, boiled, steamed, or as an alternative to pasta 

Try: Butternut Squash Ravioli 

Ready to get cooking? Head over to our health library for even more tasty, fall recipes.  

Tags: autumn fall fruits healthy eating seasonal produce vegetables

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