9 Fall Produce Picks to Add to Your Plate (2024)

The sun is setting sooner, the nights are getting cooler and wool socks are starting to sound like a good idea. This is the perfect time to celebrate the seasonal produce gems of autumn! Head to your local market and fill your basket with these fall produce picks.


Pumpkin is full of dietary fiber and beta-carotene, which provides its vibrant orange color. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A in the body, which is great for your skin and eyes. To balance pumpkin’s sweetness, try adding savory herbs, such as sage and curry.


Beets are edible from their leafy greens down to the bulbous root. The leaves are similar to spinach and are delicious sautéed. The grocery store most likely will carry red beets; your local farmers market may have more interesting varieties, such as golden or bull's blood, which has a bullseye pattern of rings. The red color in beets is caused by a phytochemical called betanin, making beet juice a natural alternative to red food coloring. Beets are a source of naturally occurring nitrates and may help to support healthy blood pressure. Roasting or steaming beets whole takes the fuss out of peeling — the skin easily slides off after cooking. They also are delicious raw, shredded and tossed in salads or thinly sliced and baked into chips.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are full of dietary fiber and vitamin A. They also are a good source of potassium and vitamin C. Try them as a breakfast side dish, or serve them at any meal.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a fun, kid-friendly vegetable that is a lower-calorie and gluten-free alternative to grain-based pasta. Cut one in half to reveal a pocket of seeds; scoop those out and pop the two halves into the microwave or oven and cook until tender. Scrape a fork into the flesh and spaghetti-like strands appear! Voilà! Toss with pesto or marinara sauce for a quick veggie side dish.


We can't get enough of this luscious leafy green and with good reason: Kale is a nutrient powerhouse. It tastes sweeter after a frost and can survive a snowstorm. If you plant kale in your garden, you can dig it out of the snow and serve fresh salad in January. One cup of raw kale has only 8 calories and is loaded with vitamins A, C and K, as well as manganese. Kale is great sautéed and cooked in soup, but also is excellent raw in salad; simply remove tough stems, slice into thin slivers and pair with something a bit sweet such as carrots or apples. One advantage of using kale for your leafy greens is that you can add dressing ahead of time; kale becomes more tender and delicious, not wilted.


When we can buy fruits year-round, we tend to forget they have seasons. Pears are the most delicious in the fall when they're at their peak. Pears are unique in that they do not ripen on the tree; they will ripen at room temperature after they're picked. How do you know when they are ready to eat? Check the neck! If the fruit near the stem gives to a little pressure, it is ripe. There are a wide range of pear flavors and textures. And, just like apples, some are excellent eaten fresh while others are best cooked or canned for the winter. Try pears on the grill, poached in red wine, tucked into a panini, pureed into soup or a smoothie, or simply sliced with cheese. If you eat the peel too, one medium pear has 6 grams of dietary fiber.


Okra commonly is fried, but also is wonderful in other forms. Around the world, chefs cherish the thickening properties of the seed pods in dishes from Louisiana gumbo to Indian curries and other stews. If you wish to minimize the thickening property, try okra briefly stir-fried. The pods are high in vitamins K and C, a good source of fiber, an excellent source of folate and low in calories. At the market, look for pods that are no longer than 4 inches and are bright green in color and firm to the touch.


Parsnips are cousins to carrots — they have the same root shape but with white flesh. They're typically eaten cooked, but also can be eaten raw. One-half cup of cooked parsnips is full of dietary fiber (3 grams) and contains more than 10% of the daily values of vitamin C and folate. Try these pale beauties roasted, pureed into soup or mashed. You can even top a shepherd's pie with mashed parsnips instead of the traditional mashed potatoes!


Fall is the time to get to know these tart berries and their wealth of nutritional benefits. Fresh and dried cranberries pair well with a variety of meats and poultry. Fresh cranberries can be eaten raw but often are cooked. Dried cranberries are delicious in grain and vegetable salads and make a healthy snack on the go.

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9 Fall Produce Picks to Add to Your Plate (2024)


What produce is harvested in fall? ›

Fruit: cranberries, apples, pomegranates, citrus fruits, and pears. Green veggies: arugula, broccoli, spinach, kale, celery, and artichokes. Root veggies: onions, carrots, squash, pumpkin, turnips, and sweet potato.

What foods are popular in fall? ›

I have apples, winter squash, pumpkin, cinnamon, candy, pies, chiles, cheese, caramel, chocolate, brussels sprouts, figs, pomegranates, a roast, pastas galore, chips, dips and breakfasts… basically my 75 favorite fall foods. If you are one of those lucky ones still sweating your butt off, congratulations!

How much of your plate should be fruits and vegetables? ›

Like veggies, fruits have vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The red section of MyPlate is slightly smaller than the green, but together fruits and veggies should fill half your plate.

What fall fruit is known as a superfood due to its high nutrient content? ›

People may also consume cranberry juice or sauce. Cranberries are native to North America. They now grow on around 58,000 acres of farmland across the northern United States, Chile, and Canada. Many people consider cranberries to be a superfood due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content.

What vegetables are available in fall? ›

Peppers both sweet and spicy are harvested in late summer and early fall. Potatoes are excellent storage vegetables, but most varieties are harvested in the fall. Pumpkins are the most common winter squash and come into season in September in most areas.

What vegetables are best in the fall? ›

Vegetables that can survive light frosts (in the 30 to 32˚F range) include beets, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collards, green onions, potatoes, Bibb and leaf lettuce, mustard, parsnips, radishes, spinach, and Swiss chard.

What is the most popular fall vegetable? ›

Our top 10 choices for fall veggies:
  • Brussels sprouts. ...
  • Kale. ...
  • Carrots. ...
  • Turnips. ...
  • Spinach. ...
  • Lettuce. ...
  • Radishes. ...
  • Garlic. Although these culinary stars won't be ready to harvest until the following early summer, garlic bulbs are best planted in fall to get their roots growing before winter sets in.

What is the healthiest vegetable? ›

1. Spinach. Spinach is a leafy green vegetable and a great source of calcium, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants. Due to its iron and calcium content, spinach is a great addition to any meat- or dairy-free diet.

What vegetables should you eat every day? ›

Healthy eating means consuming more dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens. Include more red or orange vegetables, such as carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and legumes, in your diet (dry beans and peas).

What veggies have the most protein? ›

Among the highest protein vegetables are chickpeas, corn, spinach, artichoke hearts, and edamame. To get all of the amino acids your body needs, aim to eat a variety of foods, such as legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables throughout the day.

What fruit is a fall fruit? ›

Autumn is a great time for food: the last blast of summer veggies, like plump tomatoes, coincides with fall favorites: apples, pears, and all kinds of squashes.

What fall fruit is a superfood? ›

Apples rank as the top fall superfood. They boast a wealth of health benefits, including abundant antioxidants, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Additionally, they provide essential nutrients like potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin B6.

What is harvested in October? ›

Here is a list of some of the vegetables and fruits that will come to harvest in October: Vegetables: beans, capsicum (sweet peppers), carrot, celeriac, chilies, Chinese cabbage, corn, cucumber, eggplant, kale, lettuce, melons, okra, peas, pumpkins, purslane, rutabaga (Swede), snow peas, spinach, summer squash, tomato, ...

What fruit is in season during fall? ›

Pears have a season that runs from mid-summer well into winter, depending on the pear variety and region. Peppers (early fall)—both sweet and spicy—are harvested in late summer and early fall. Persimmons are available for a short window in the fall and early winter—look for bright, heavy-feeling fruits.

Do farmers harvest in the fall? ›

It's that time of year again when the air becomes cooler, the leaves start to change color, and crops are ready to be harvested. Autumn wouldn't be the same without a bounty of corn, apples, and pumpkins at your local market, and we have our local farmers to thank for it.


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