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There’s more to fall produce than just pumpkins

By Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN,Food City Registered Dietitian • Oct 23, 2019 at 12:00 AM

When it comes to fall produce, pumpkins often monopolize the conversation. While pumpkins are great to carve and eat, there are lots of other produce options to put on your plate this fall especially with Halloween right around the corner.

TROPICAL FRUITS

Go tropical this Halloween with pineapple or melons that can be carved like a pumpkin. Pick up other nontraditional options as well like fresh papaya, which has tiny black seeds on the inside — a perfectly weird fruit to give a try. Mashed avocado provides an eerily green color that can be added to spooky recipes, while hairy fresh coconut is fun to play with and eat! Try it in baked goods, smoothies or blended into a creamy coconut butter.

ROOT VEGETABLES

While we all love potatoes, there are many interesting root vegetable options that you’ve probably never tried before. Turnips were actually the original jack-o-lantern before pumpkins stole the show! Like most root veggies, it is delicious roasted in the oven or added to soups and stews. While orange sweet potatoes and carrots are common, why not try purple or yellow varieties to mix things up? Yuca root is another veggie similar to a potato that can be mashed or roasted in recipes. Ginger is considered a root veggie and is delicious grated into hot teas or stir fry.

FLAVOR BOOSTING OPTIONS

Don’t forget to add some aromatic produce to your cart that help develop depths of flavor in whatever you’re cooking. Garlic not only wards off vampires, but complements a variety of dishes when minced and sautéed. Onions and celery caramelize in a pan or in the oven to provide a gentle crunch and sharp taste.

SPICE THINGS UP

Hot and spicy peppers take any meal from ordinary to extra fiery! While bell peppers are mild in flavor and often slightly sweet, banana peppers add a tad of tang particularly when pickled. Jalapeno and serrano peppers dial up the heat, perfect for a chilly fall night.

Have fun exploring new fruits and vegetables in the produce department to find something just right for your family’s spooky celebrations.

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