It’s fall, y’all! Summer is officially over. It’s hard for me to get excited about all things fall here in southern Alabama.
Sooner or later, the days will get shorter and the air will get crisper. The humidity will drop below 100%, and you can wear jeans without being miserable. If you were expecting the next thing to be about how much I love Pumpkin Spice everything, we still need to get know each other a little better. I have zero judgement for you if you count the days until you can slow sip a pumpkin spice latte. However, some of us may have gotten a little too excited about pumpkin spice season (I’m looking at you, Pringles).
My favorite thing about this time of year is… apple season!
I love apples. I know what you’re thinking. But Stacy, apples are easily the most boring fruit. I disagree. There is a difference between being boring and being a staple. After all, apples are the symbol of health. And who doesn’t love apple pie? I love the crisp texture of an apple, how it can be juicy but not messy, and sweet, but not overly sweet. Apples are super versatile and pair well with many different foods. Apple and peanut butter? Delish. Apple and cheese? Yes, please. Apple and cinnamon? My fave.
So why all the excitement about apples? It’s because I just went all summer with zero good apple choices. There are few, over-priced, and underwhelming apples when they aren’t in season. And you cannot get that beautiful crispness that makes an apple in July. Essentially, it’s because I eat seasonally. Eating seasonally means that you mostly eat the produce that is in season. Here’s why I do it:
- Fruits and vegetables are their cheapest when they are in season.
- Fruits and vegetables are freshest when they are in season.
(Please note this is for fresh produce. Frozen fruits and veggies are picked and frozen in-season. They can be a good option if you just have to have something out of season.)
By buying fresh, budget-friendly produce it ensures that I get in my servings of fruits and veggies every day. The current recommendation is 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. More health benefits are seen if you are closer to the 9 than the 5. Our friends in Canada recommend 7-9 servings. I like your style, Canada. However, 76% of Americans do not meet the recommendations for fruit and 87% of Americans do not meet the recommendations for vegetables, according to the CDC. Baby steps, guys. We will get there. A great resource is www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org. It tells you what fruits and veggies are in season, budgeting tips, and recipes. There’s even a section on getting kids to eat more fruits and veggies.
I am lucky to live in an area that grows a lot of stuff. I have my choice of several local farmer’s markets and roadside stands. I get beautiful produce and can find super low prices, and support farmers in my area. It’s a win-win. Not sure about farmer’s markets in your area? You can search for them through the USDA’s website. For my fellow Alabamians, you can visit the Farmers Market Authority website and find everything you need to know about buying local.
My current struggle is being excited for apples, but not quite ready to transition to fall. This means I’m not ready for apple cinnamon oatmeal or apple cheddar soup. Our temps are still in the 90’s right now. I need light, cool, summery meals. Until it cools off a little more, I’m eating my apples in my chicken salad.
Chicken, cooked and chopped or shredded
Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
Your favorite apple (I like Gala, but you do you), finely chopped with skin
Celery, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley to taste
This is an eye-ball, dump, and stir recipe. You want to have just enough yogurt to coat the other ingredients. From there, make it your own by adding more or less of each ingredient.
What seasonal favorites are you enjoying? Are you as excited about apple season as me? Leave me a comment and let me know how you are getting your fruits and veggies!