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10 Fruits and Veggies to Fall in Love with This September

September's Best Fruits and Vegetables

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Even with the summer coming to a close and the beginning of fall on the horizon, there’s still a lot of delicious produce to choose from. September is well-known for its bounty of apples, but don’t forget to stock up on bell peppers, green beans, and Bartlett pears.

Come fall, the leaves start to change color and lots of orange-colored produce are in peak season—and those brightly colored eats contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant form of vitamin A. Many people don’t get their fill of this vitamin, so now is the perfect time to get your fill! (You can scoop up what's left of The Freshest Fruits and Vegetables Available in August.)

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Apples

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Gala, McIntosh, and Macoun are apple varieties that are at peak bounty come September. Gala apples have reddish-orange- and yellow-striped skin and a sweet flavor. McIntosh are green- and red-skinned with a fragrant scent. But if you’re looking to make homemade applesauce, pick up juicy Macoun apples for their sweet yet tart flavor. (Here's The Definitive Guide to Fall Apples.)

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Bell Peppers

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These peppers get their name because they resemble, well, a bell. And one cup of chopped bell pepper contains 30 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 200 percent of the recommended dose of antioxidant vitamin C. It also contains at least 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamins A, K, and B6. Even better, red peppers contain more beta-carotene than green peppers and are also a higher source of the antioxidant vitamin E.

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Sage

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This perennial herb is native to the Mediterranean. Not only do herbs add flavor to dishes, they also contain small amounts of nutrients for very few calories. One tablespoon of fresh herb has only 6 calories, but contains vitamin A, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Shopping tip: Choose fresh sage that has a strong aroma and is bright in color. To store, wrap in a paper towel and place in a re-sealable plastic bag for about 4-5 days. (Stock up on sage and cook up one of these Tasty Herb Recipes to Make the Most of Your Spice Rack.)

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Leeks

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This oversized scallion has been cultivated in the U.S. since the 1700s. One cup contains 50 calories, 2 grams of fiber and over half the daily recommended amount of vitamin K. Use leeks in place of onions in pasta, chicken, seafood, or egg dishes.

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Celery Root

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Also known as celeriac, this root tastes like a cross between celery and parsley. It can range in size from an orange to a small cantaloupe, and the flesh has a creamy white color while the outside has a brown color.

This veggie can be eaten raw or cooked. Because it has such a potent flavor, it’s best when paired with other strongly flavored produce like beets and carrots, in dishes like soups and stews.

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Carrots

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Head to your local farmers market and you’ll find carrots in all kinds of colors: purple, white, yellow, red, and the more common orange. Carrots are best known for their high amounts of beta-carotene, the antioxidant form of vitamin A, which helps give you good eyesight and protect the body from heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

So where do those bagged mini carrots come from? They’re actually full-grown carrots that are not as pretty as the ones you find at the store. Instead of tossing them, they are chopped and shaped into their cute miniature size. (Carrots are also one of the 12 Fall Superfoods You Can’t Miss.)

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Purple Potatoes

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These spuds have a distinct nutty flavor, and moist, firm flesh that maintains its shape in dishes. The preferred way to cook them is roasting, grilling, and baking.

The deep purple color means these babies are brimming with anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant shown to help prevent certain types of cancer, reduce the risk for heart and Parkinson’s disease, and help maintain healthy eyes. Leave the skin on when cooking as there are too many good-for-you nutrients to peel away.

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Green Beans

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A cup of these raw green beans has about 30 calories and 15 percent of your recommended daily amount of fiber. Green beans are also a rich source of vitamins K and C, and have at least 10 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, folate, and manganese.

Shopping tip: When choosing loose green beans, choose slender beans that have a bright color and are free of brown spots and blemishes. When you get home, place in a plastic bag and tightly wrap, then store in the refrigerator for up a week.

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Bartlett Pears

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Barletts are an extremely aromatic pear which shows little color change as it ripens. For a crunchy-tart flavor, choose ones with green skin. If you want a burst of super sweet juice, go for Bartletts with a golden hue. If you’re looking for something in the middle, select those with a yellow-green hue.

No matter how you like your pear, this medium-sized fruit is 100 calories, an excellent source of fiber, and a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C.

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Spaghetti Squash

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This squash is oval in shape with bright yellow skin. Its pale yellow, stringy flesh has a mild flavor, and when cooked, you can shred with a fork to look like strands of spaghetti.

One cup of cooked spaghetti squash contains 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber. It also contains a long list of important nutrients like vitamin C, B-vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. (Before you buy, read these 6 Tips for Buying Fall Produce.)

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