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Most people are familiar with the term “seasonal produce”. This is the fruit and vegetables that are currently being harvested. Most of us who have grown in cities have no idea what is in-season at any given month. We are really missing out on the best and freshest tastes in favor of a fruit or vegetable that was picked months ago. One way to ensure you have the fresh seasonal product is is to buy at local farmer’s market. These produce are almost always picked at peak ripeness, to give customers the most flavorful food possible.

Seasonal produce naturally helps our bodies adjust to the season. Eating cool fruit during the summer allows us to stay hydrated, for example. On the other hand, leafy greens can help us lose weight after a winter filled with heavy meals. Eating what is in-season can allow our bodies to absorb the nutrients it really needs, which is often an issue for busy adults. In addition, fresh fruits have much higher value of certain vitamins and nutrients as storage degrades those over time.

Now that you know the benefits of eating in-season produce, let’s look into which foods are available in fall. In California, where I live,  you’ll find a wide variety of vegetables available well into the season. These include: beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots,  celery, corn, eggplant,  lettuce, and onions. Some fall fruits are: apples, cantaloupes, persimmons, pumpkins, and tangerines. If you’re looking to make a delicious pumpkin roll or oven-roasted corn on the cob, check out your local farmer’s market to find the best produce to use in your dishes. One of my favorite dishes to cook in this season is butternut squash soup with ginger and spices on cold nights.

As we move into the December holiday season, the selection of fresh produce will greatly decrease. Apples and persimmons will be left, so you could try an Apple Persimmon Crumble Pie.

Even if you’re used to doing all of your shopping at one grocery store, consider venturing out to a farmer’s market to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables. Your body and your taste buds will thank you.