How is in-season produce and Miley Cyrus the same? They're both cheap and ready to go right now.
But for serious, fall practically calls you back into the kitchen, kinda like how a full-bodied shiraz from Australia calls my name after a 12 hour day with a teething one year old.
You break out the trusty crockpot after months of exclusive monogamy with your BBQ, and turn the oven on for the first time since it's broken 75°F.
Here in Canada, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and my thoughts go back to the good ole days when I could actually eat my mom's homemade stuffing (one year I actually ate so much that I threw up afterwards. Give me a break, I was 14 ... and it was so good).
Back in the summer, I wrote the summer edition of what's cheap and in season where I linked to this incredibly handy (at least if you live in Ontario) produce availability guide. Even if you don't live by me, I can bet that at least some of the list will still apply to you. When you buy what's in season, it's cheap and it tastes great. How could you go wrong?
So here's some new ways to use up the best-of-the-best (and cheapest) in season produce, inspired by my new love of scouring Pinterest for all the recipes that make me drool:
1. Brussels Sprouts: You're probably making some really unattractive face right now as you conjure up childhood memories of being stuck at the dinner table 2 hours after everyone else because you refuse to put those boiled-to-death mini cabbages in your mouth. Well don't fret, because in this recipe, you roast them and add pancetta a.k.a Italian bacon. Really, how could you go wrong? Plus, the recipe also includes leeks and cauliflower, two other nutritional powerhouse that are in season, too.
2. Apples: Yes, apples are pretty much in season all year round, but they're extra good and extra cheap in the fall. Plus, for a frugal family outing you can go apple picking. So I'm not going to tell you how to bake an apple pie, or another version of apple crisp, but I am going to send you to recipes for crockpot applesauce, breakfast potatoes with apples, and sugar-free apple pie chia seed jam + breakfast parfait, just to mix it up!
3. Squash and pumpkin: I trust that you already know how to cut a squash in half, remove the seeds, and roast it. Bam! Let's kick it up a notch! Check out these mouthwatering recipes for butternut squash with honey, lemon and parmesan, roasted butternut squash with mustard vinaigrette, and gluten free & vegan butternut squash pot pie (it had me at pot pie ... and gluten free). All of these recipes could be made with any type of squash or pumpkin, not just butternut squash.
4. Crabapples: Just kidding, but apparently these have just come into season in September! The only thing I thought they were good for is throwing into the neighbours' pool from my cousins backyard when I was a kid, apparently clogging the pool filter. Details. Other than that one tree, I have no idea where I would even find crabapples in my area, or recipes. Scratch that, I just searched for crabapples in Pinterest, and got an entire page. Holy crap-apples, did you know that you can make toffee crabapples, crabapple sauce, and ginger crabapple jelly? How did I ever know how to do anything before the internet? BTW, I just googled that exact phrase, and got about 890,000,000 results.
By now I've probably enticed you to come and join the Pinterest party, if you're not already on it. I thought it was just going to be another way to waste spend my time not watching my one year old fall off the coffee table and slam his head off the floor on my iPhone, but it's really the place I go to for inspiration for healthy recipes, new ways of cooking the same old meals, and about a million resources to save time with crockpot cooking.
I've organized a ton of yummy recipes into different boards by topic, so come and follow each one (or you can just follow all of my boards by clicking this Ashley Srokosz)