The summer is going to its end, and fall is around the corner, but that doesn’t mean we no longer have interesting ingredients to cook with.
In fact, autumn brings lots of new seasonal fresh products that are perfect for delicious recipes.
Harvest will depend on your region, and growing seasons and crop availability will vary. Warmer regions will have longer harvest times and colder zones have shorter seasons.
Like with the summer seasonal products, some of these ingredients are available all year, no matter the season, but only those with peak season in autumn make it onto our list. Tropical products are imported and grow throughout the entire year. We will discuss tropical products in another article.
The harvest of apples starts at the end of the summer and goes well into autumn. . They are loaded with vitamin C, especially in the skin and they also have a cholesterol lowering effect. Apples keep for up to 2 months in a cool place.
In the kitchen: depending on the variety used, they are a great product in savoury dishes as well as sweet dishes. A delicious apple crumble or a succulent apple cake will surely lighten up those dark and cold autumn days.
Cranberries are native to North America.These highly nutritious berries are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. Harvest of fresh cranberries in September and October. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 months or they can be frozen.
In the kitchen: this popular super food can be served in the form of a sauce or a drink but they are equally great in a stuffing or a cake. They are often used to prepare a sauce for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.
The main fig season is late summer, but during fall, good quality figs are still available. Protect them well if you grow them because birds love them too! The entire fruit, resembling a teardrop, is edible from the soft purple or green skin to the red flesh filled with tiny seeds.
In the kitchen: they complement many foods from the Mediterranean and pair well with smoked meat. They are amazing in desserts and served with strong cheeses.
Many will think of wine when they hear grapes. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, and history attests to the ancient Greeks and Romans growing purple grapes both for eating and wine production. The growing of grapes later spread to other regions in Europe, North Africa, and eventually in North America.
In the kitchen: besides wine, we also use grapes to make grape seed oil, vinegar, jam or we just have them fresh with some ice cream.
They come in season at the end of the summer and are very well distributed throughout autumn. Do you know that they mature on the tree but ripen best off the tree?
In the kitchen: raw, poached or baked. Perfect with a salad or a red wine sauce. We will share some recipes soon to tempt your taste buds.
This underrated autumn fruit is native to China, where it has been cultivated for centuries before it spread to the rest of the world. The fruit looks like a tomato with a skin that is a little tougher than that of apples. The taste is sweet, mild, and rich with a hint of honey.
In the kitchen: fresh cheese and a dried ham make a great tostini. Puddings and salads are also great when paired with this unusual fruit.
Fresh juice doesn’t have to be green or full of spinach to be healthy. Pomegranate juice contains more than 100 phytochemicals and has been used for thousands of years as medicine.
In the kitchen: they are great in sauces with grilled meat but a crunchy salad with a garnish of fresh pomegranate is heaven on earth.
This fruit is similar in appearance to a pear and has a bright golden-yellow colour when mature. A little under appreciated most probably because it is not non-edible when raw. However, once cooked it is surprisingly fragrant and sweet.
In the kitchen: it’s perfect for jams, marmalades and jellies.
There are plenty of good recipes with fruit. Check out our recipe section or browse to Chocolate, chocolate and more for plenty of sweet fruit recipes.
These leaves are tender with a tangy flavour and are becoming increasingly popular. Arugula, also called rocket or rucola, has hints of pepper while being fresh and is slightly bitter at the same time.
In the kitchen: arugula will freshen up salads and make a great pesto or soup.
In mild climates it can be grown all year around and is considered as one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage.”
In the kitchen: if you want to keep it crunchy, then short steaming is the perfect way. It’s a great ingredient for soup or a gratin too.
These also grow in the summer but harvest goes far well into the autumn. They are available in red, green, yellow and orange and are also called sweet peppers or capsicums. When growing, they all start out green and change colour as they mature. The longer on the vine, the sweeter they are. Peeling can aid with digestion.
In the kitchen: they are perfect to stuff and will give a sweet hint to sauces and salads. A colourful coulis is also great for decoration.
Brussels sprouts look like mini cabbages and have long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, where they gained their name. The little buds are cut from the stalks and are the only part of the plant that is eaten.
In the kitchen: they are usually steamed and roasted as an accompaniment to meat.
Another popular vegetable from Belgium! These leaves are also called chicory and nowadays are often grown hydroponically, but traditionally they grow in damp sand.
In the kitchen: raw in salad, braised or used in a gratin with a rich cheese sauce, this versatile vegetable is a delight in every way.
One more vegetable that is part of the cabbage family. This ‘forgotten’ vegetable is growing in popularity and all parts of this vegetable can be eaten, raw or cooked.
In the kitchen: chop it in a fine julienne and serve with a vinaigrette as a slaw, make a delicious soup or use both the leaves and the root in a stir fry.
The end of September is the beginning of the pumpkin harvest. The seeds and the pulp are both very nutritious and full of fiber. You all know the tradition of carving and decorating for halloween.
In the kitchen: Pumpkin is an all rounder in the kitchen. From starter to dessert, all courses can handle a little pumpkin during the season.
They are large root vegetables with a bright orange colour and a starchy, sweet flavour (it’s in the name).
In the kitchen: baking is a popular way to cook this vegetable, but it also pairs well with fresh cheese.
Mushroom picking makes for a great walk in the woods where these mushrooms grow uncontrolled along the mountain slopes. Most wild mushrooms are nutritious, delicious, and safe to eat, but others can pose a serious risk to your health. Don’t bring them home if you are not unsure what you have picked.
In the kitchen: A quick stir fry will bring out the best flavours of wild mushrooms.