No matter where you live or what the actual weather outside may be, autumn can be alive and well in your kitchen when you incorporate seasonal flavors. There is nothing like the scent and taste of apples, pears, pumpkins, and cinnamon spice to usher in boots and sweater season. Even if it’s 75 and sunny outside. Or if the Halloween decorations never found their way out of the garage storage bin. When life gets busy and out of sorts, lean on seasonal ingredients as a reminder of nature’s rhythm. Here are 5 recipes bursting with the flavors of fall.
First things first. A simmering pot of apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and cloves alerts the entire household that a shift is taking place. Summer has gone; popsicles and lemonade are in the rearview mirror. Let the wafts of spicy cider send a clear message: fall has arrived. And should you choose to serve it spiked in cozy mugs to the adults, there is likely to be no complaints about this seasonal fall staple.
Is there any flavor more synonymous with fall than pumpkin? Pumpkin spice is everywhere, but what about cooking with the actual vegetable? Pumpkin bread can be baked in loaf pans or muffin tins and is the perfect grab-and-go snack to keep on hand throughout the season. Pumpkin provides a wallop of Vitamin A and fiber, so you can feel good about this seasonal indulgence.
Besides pumpkin, apples are the poster child of fall. Delicious and crunchy, fresh apples are hard to beat. However, if you need to whip up a side dish for a crowd in a hurry, try this surprisingly delicious apple dip, which combines Heath bars and cream cheese. This could arguably be served as an appetizer or a dessert depending on your party. Either way, you’ll have an empty plate in no time—the ultimate sign of side dish homerun!
Pears are sweet and juicy on their own but mixed up with pecans and blue cheese on a bed of frisee with warm bacon dressing is next-level. It’s autumn on a plate. At their peak in fall, pears are just begging to be in heavy rotation in the kitchen fruit bowl. Whether sliced and eaten alone or added to an elegant salad, fall is the time to enjoy the star of the season.
Squash is one of those foods that appears difficult to wrangle, but once you muster the energy to attack one, you realize it isn’t so challenging to cook after all. And the payoff is sublime. Whole butternut, kabocha, acorn, delicata, and spaghetti squash can double as festive fall countertop decorations until you’re ready to dive in. On the other hand, purchasing pre-cut squash can save time and effort. Butternut squash and bacon pasta is essentially macaroni and cheese topped with roasted squash and crumbled bacon. A perfect fall twist that just might become a family favorite.
Written by Kara Ludlow, RDN