What’s In Season In OctoberTue 02 Oct 2012
Story by The Food Revolution Team
Fall is now here, bringing with it a season of change and a new selection of fruits and vegetables.
October is a great month for fruits and vegetables. So, head out and see what seasonal, vibrant-colored goodies you can pick up this month to add to your plate! And don’t forget, with Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take the kids to a local orchard, harvest or U-pick, to choose your own pumpkin and harvest a love of real food.
Large and round with vibrant orange flesh, the pumpkin is a member of the gourd family, also related to the watermelon and squash. Rich in vitamin A, pumpkins have long since been a favorite for Halloween, when children carve out the insides, using the outer shell to make a lantern. The orange flesh has a mild sweet flavour that can be roasted then pureed and used for pumpkin pie (a Thanksgiving classic). The seeds, also known as ‘pepitas’, can also be roasted and eaten as a snack, added to salads, or served alongside main meals. Are you in Pennsylvania or anywhere else where pumpkins are currently in season? Why not pick one up an extra one when you go with the kids for Halloween, and roast it to perfect your pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!
The turnip is a pale cruciferous root vegetable that has long been popular in Great Britain and northern Europe. Young, small turnips have a delicate, slightly sweet taste, but as they age their taste becomes stronger and their texture coarser and almost woody. A fairly good source of vitamin C, turnips are delicious whether boiled, steamed, mashed, pureed, stir fried, or added to this great coleslaw. So if turnips are in season with you as they are in Oklahoma why not track some down try them at home!
The sweet potato, a large edible root belonging to the morning glory family, originated in the tropical areas of the Americas. There are lots of different varieties of the sweet potato, but the two most popular are the pale yellow skinned sweet potato and the thicker dark orange skinned variety known as ‘yams’ in some parts of the US (though they aren’t actually related to the actual yam). Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C and can be used just like a regular potato in most recipes. If you are in New Mexico, or elsewhere that sweet potatoes are currently available locally, why not get a variety of different colored spuds and make some potato wedges with a twist!
A member of the mandarin-orange family, the Satsuma is related to the clementine, dancy and tangerine. The small, almost seedless citrus fruit is sweet in taste and has a thin leathery skin - dotted with large and prominent oil glands - which is lightly attached around the fruit, allowing it to be peeled easily, but also means that it bruises more easily than some other varieties of orange. The satsuma is thought to have originated in Japan before being exported to the west where it is now in season in many places, including Louisiana. Is it in season with you? If so, why not add some to our fruit salad for a sweet fall dessert.
Kale, a dark leafy cruciferous vegetable, is a member of the cabbage family and has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. Rich in vitamins A and C, and folic acid, calcium and iron, Kale can be identified by its frilly leaves, which come in many varieties and colors, the most common of which range from dark green to shades of purple. Kale has a mild, cabbage like flavor and is a perfect addition to our Minestrone soup. It’s also a popular vegetable to roast with children to create kale chips.
The zucchini, also known as the courgette, is shaped like a slightly curved cylinder, a bit smaller at the top than the bottom. Although treated as a vegetable, the zucchini is actually an immature fruit, the flowers of which are also edible. The skin color of zucchinis can vary from dark to light green, often with yellow markings along them too. The most commonly found and used zucchini is about 4 to 8 inches long and 2 to 3 inches think, although there are a number of different specimens which vary in size, some as small as a finger while others growing as large as 2 feet long. If you are in Australia, or somewhere else that zucchini is currently at the peak of its season, and fancy stocking up on some vitamin A, folate and potassium, why not roast up some zucchini?
Don’t forget to post your seasonal foodie photos on the Food Revolution Community page!
The Food Revolution Team
For U-Pick Farm locations near you, visit Pickyourown.org
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