Weather you can take a walk in, the start of football season, and a reduction in our cooling costs, aren’t the only thing that Texans look forward to with the start of the fall season. Farmers markets in the Lone Star State begin buzzing with a new haul of produce, to welcome the cooler weather.
Our dinner tables are ready for those quintessential flavors of autumn. While turnips, zucchini, green cabbage, and cucumbers are still producing into the early cooler months, we take a look at some fruits and vegetables that debut this time of year. Put on your walking shoes and head to your nearest farmers market this weekend, where you’ll find a selection of these favorite Texas fall foods!
Pumpkins and Squash
Pumpkins and squash are the face of fall, for good reason! Pies, earthy soups, home décor, and easy roasting are just a few ways pumpkins find their way from the patch to our dinner tables. Pumpkins, squash, and gourds belong to the same family, so keep your eye open at the markets for varieties that grow in Texas including butternut, delicata, and sweet dumpling.
To roast squash, peel the skin, scrape out the seeds, and cut into 2-3 inch pieces. Position your oven rack at the top and turn your oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange pieces on a baking tray single layer and drizzle with olive oil, Himalayan salt, and a dash of pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, turning once, until tender.
Those fortunate to have a pecan tree on their property know that pecans aren’t ready until after the first frost around late October, perfect timing for baking pies as we near Thanksgiving. Pecans are also incredible added to stuffing in meats, and toasted then tossed on top of fall inspired salads.
Shelled pecans will be a little pricier so opt for whole pecans to save a few dollars. You’ll instantly have a “project” and a fun activity for the little ones in your life, too. Watch children find the joy in stomping on a pecan to crack it, only to find a tasty treasure inside!
Texas may boast about its peaches, but it’s the red fleshed grapefruits that became the official state fruit of Texas in 1993. They are delicious sliced in half with a sprinkle of white sugar on top, and their juice is a nice diversion from orange juice served at the breakfast table. Look for Rio Star and Ruby Sweet grapefruits, most likely grown in the southern tip of the state, in the Rio Grande Valley.
Are you unfamiliar with the incredible health properties of beets? Perhaps it’s time to get to know them. Both the leaves and the root of this vegetable can be eaten, so just treat the green leaves as you would chard or kale. Beets fight inflammation, boost your stamina, contain antioxidants, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals including potassium and manganese. Include them in salads, in your fresh juices, and as a roasted dish served with goat cheese. Their electric magenta color will make your fall dinner table come alive!
What are your favorite ways to enjoy the fall produce in Texas? Share with us below!