Seasonal Produce: Autumn Harvest

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, 

and if I were a bird I would fly above the earth

seeking the successive autumns.”

~George Eliot

It is finally autumn and that means that it is time to slowly switch from the fun summer produce to the hearty fall ones. These are some of the produce in season across the United States. For a more detailed list specific to your area, please see the Eat Well Guide website and yesterday’s post.

Acorn Squash

In Season: October through December

What to Look For: Look for skin clear of blemishes and a heavy squash based on its size.

How to Store: Can be stored at room temperature for up to one month, or longer if kept in a cool, dark place.

Apples

In Season: Late August or early September through November.

What to Look For: Choose apples that are heavy for their size and feel firm with no bruises.

How to Store: Store apples in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and use within three weeks.

Brussels Sprouts

In Season: September through February.

What to Look For: Choose small and compact fresh green sprouts that do not have blemishes, or wilted and yellow leaves.

How to Store: Store unwashed, in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within three or four days.

Butternut Squash

In Season: Early fall through winter.

What to Look For: Choose one that feels heavy for its size. The skin should be smooth and uniform in color (light-tan) with a matte surface.

How to Store: Do not refrigerate but keep in a cool, dry place for up to three months.

Chanterelle and Oyster Mushrooms

In Season: Fall.

What to Look For: Look for firm, smooth, and dry caps.

How to Store: Refrigerate loose, unrinsed mushrooms  in a paper bag, and containers of mushrooms in their original package. Use within a few days of purchase.

Cranberries

In Season: October through December.

What to Look For: Bright-colored and firm.

How to Store: Store in the original packaging for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, or up to one year in the freezer.

Figs

In Season: Late summer through early fall.

What to Look For: Look for plump, tender, and heavy for their size figs that smell like honey at the stem. Any sign of a stickiness indicates overripeness.

How to Store: Cover and refrigerate in a single layer for up to two days.

Grapes

In Season: Late summer through December.

What to Look For: Grapes should be plump, smooth, and firmly attached to the stems.

How to Store: Place bunch in a plastic bag, and refrigerate up to three days. Throw away bad grapes as you come across them so they do not spoil the rest.

Pears

In Season: Late summer through January.

What to Look For: Choose pears that are firm with no soft spots or blemishes.

How to Store: Pears are unique in that they are best when picked unripe and then allowed to ripen off the tree. Choose hard pears and leave on a counter to ripen.

Persimmons

In Season: Late September through December.

What to Look For: Hachiya persimmons remain tart and chalky until they are extremely ripe, while Fuyu persimmons are sweeter and can be eaten while still firm. Look for persimmons with taut, glossy skin, avoiding fruit with soft spots or bruises.

How to Store: If still firm, store at room temperature and allow them to ripen. Store soft, ripe persimmons in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Pomegranate

In Season: September through January.

What to Look For: Choose deeply colored purplish-red pomegranates that feel heavy for their size. Avoid cracks and soft spots.

How to Store: When kept in an airtight bag in the refrigerator, whole pomegranates will keep for a month or more. Seeds should be refrigerated and used within a few days.

Pumpkin

In Season: September through winter.

What to Look For: Sugar pumpkins and cheese pumpkins are good for cooking and baking.

How to Store: Room temperature for up to a month. In a cool dry place or refrigerator, they can last up to three months. Once cut, the pieces should be wrapped tightly and refrigerated and used within five days.

Sweet Potatoes

In Season: Early fall.

What to Look For: Hard with no large nicks. Sweet potatoes can be long and tapered or squat with rounded ends.

How to Store: Store loose in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month.

Swiss Chard

In Season: Late summer through fall.

What to Look For: Look for crisp, vibrant green leaves with no yellow or brown marks or small holes.

How to Store: After a mild rinse, store chard in moistened paper towels in a plastic bag (with a few pinholes to allow air to circulate) in the refrigerator for two or three days.

All information and photos (except for first one) from: www.marthastewart.com
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One Response to Seasonal Produce: Autumn Harvest

  1. Pingback: Winter Squash Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sauce with Fried Sage and Shaved Chestnuts | Oh Lovely Lolo

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