Each new season brings with it fresh, seasonal produce hoping to find its way into your meals. For fall, visions of a bounty of vegetables and fruits delight, especially as we crave warm, hearty meals as the temperature starts to drop.
What are some of fall’s cornucopia of produce that can add delicious flavor on their own or in fall inspired dishes?
Fall’s Cornucopia of Produce
- Acorn squash. Acorn squash flowers appeal to children with their flower shape and are delicious, especially with a filling of honey, almonds and cinnamon. Kid friendly stuffed acorn squash boats have a fun presentation and pair the squash with beef, Parmesan and apples for kid friendly flavors.
- Broccoli. Broccoli, as well as most vegetables, have several ways they can be served. If your child doesn’t care for one presentation, try another. Here are 10 kid friendly broccoli recipes, including cheesy broccoli bites and broccoli cheese muffins, that provide inspiration beyond raw or steamed broccoli.
- Brussels sprouts. Again, plain Brussels sprouts may not be a kid favorite, but once you jazz them up, they have more kid appeal and get improved approval ratings. Try our kid friendly Brussels sprouts or perfectly crunchy Parmesan Brussels sprouts.
- Butternut squash. Whether you are looking for the warmth of a soup, a more incognito way to serve up squash, or a side dish, we have a recipe for you.
- Creamy butternut squash soup. This delicious vegetarian soup is scrumptious, plus it’s dairy free and vegetarian.
- Baked butternut squash macaroni and cheese. Butternut squash puree adds creaminess to this version of mac and cheese.
- Honey roasted butternut squash. Roasted squash with a bit of honey…delish. And it can easily be a finger food.
- Sweet and salty butternut squash French fries.
- Cauliflower. We love cauliflower almost any way we can get it in our home. One of our favorites is cheesy cauliflower dipper. The taste is reminiscent of eating a crispy breadstick, but it’s cauliflower! Some other delicious cauliflower recipes include:
- Celery, garlic and onions. Celery, garlic and onion take part in the wonderful flavors of so many dishes.
- Cranberries. Orange cranberry muffins and fresh cranberry orange relish are two of the many wonderful cranberry dishes to indulge in this fall.
- Ginger. Ginger adds to the flavors of this peanut sesame noodles and veggies recipe.
- Grapes. Many kids love grapes, and they are wonderful as a quick fruit to add to a meal or as a snack. In this apple cinnamon Waldorf salad, grapes combine beautifully with apples, pears, cranberries and a Greek yogurt dressing for a fruit salad that tastes like a dessert.
- Green beans. Many of us think of green bean casserole as a Thanksgiving dish. A few years ago, I found this green bean casserole, and you make your own absolutely delicious cream of mushroom for it. And here is another spin on green bean casserole with tomatoes, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
- Mushrooms. The mushroom barley stew and beef stroganoff featured in 10 quick and healthy freezer to slow cooker meals has fresh baby bella mushrooms as a star ingredient. Or try this creamy mushroom vegetable soup with barley on a cool night.
- Pears. I so look forward to when pears are in season. My family can eat them as is anytime, but as mentioned earlier in the post, they are fantastic in the apple cinnamon Waldorf salad as well as in pear and pomegranate salsa.
- Pineapple. Eat pineapple as is, add it to a smoothie, toss it onto a pizza…it’s delicious in so many ways. Pineapple fried rice is a speedy, colorful and delicious meal for a weeknight.
- Pomegranate. Pomegranate is delicious alone, but it’s also fantastic when combined with other ingredients, such as in the pear and pomegranate salsa and pomegranate honey-lime coleslaw. Add it to quinoa for colorful warm quinoa salad.
- Pumpkin. What can’t you do with pumpkin? It has so many uses in both savory and sweet dishes. We have a few recipe choices below. And you can even make your own homemade pumpkin puree to use in the recipes.
- Pumpkin crockpot macaroni and cheese. Mac and cheese in the crockpot with the addition of seasonal pumpkin is a great way to add a new flavor (the pumpkin) to a kid approved dish.
- One pot pumpkin quinoa chili. This vegetarian chili has pumpkin, butternut squash, beans and quinoa, with the quinoa giving the chili a meat-like texture.
- Whole grain pumpkin pancakes. Surprise the kids with yummy pumpkin pancakes, sweetened with banana and maple syrup, for breakfast.
- Pumpkin apple muffins. Muffins are great to have on hand in the freezer to defrost as needed for snacks or as part of breakfast.
- Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are frequently a part of the Thanksgiving meal, as in this sweet potato casserole, but they can also make appearances in other dishes.
- Chicken and sweet potato curry. This is a mild curry with creamy coconut milk.
- Sweet potato bar. Bake the sweet potatoes, put out a range of toppings, and let each member of your family create his own perfect sweet potato.
- Sweet potato and apple soup. This soup balances sweet and savory and is perfect for the crock pot.
- Sweet potato tots. These tater tots are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and they make a great finger food.
- Swiss chard. Swiss chard adds to the layers of this Swiss chard and sweat pea lasagna. It also adds lovely color (and nutrition too) to this chicken pie.
- Turnips. Need a kid friendly way to serve root vegetables? Try these root veggie chips or oven turnip fries.
For a complete list of what’s in season throughout the year, check out the USDA’s Seasonal Produce Guide. Recipes for the produce listed above abound, so feel free to find one that makes your family’s bellies happy. For healthy recipes featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables, Super Healthy Kids offers a meal plan which is delivered to you each week and is customizable to your family’s preferences.
Along with looking forward to a lovely change in weather, the beauty of the changing leaves, and holidays spent celebrating thankfulness and family, the plethora of seasonal produce that fall provides is yet another reason to eagerly anticipate this time of year.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie