October is here and we welcome it with open arms. The leaves have started to change, the nights are a bit crisper and we say goodbye to the many fruits and veggies we loved from late summer. The good thing though is we welcome lots of root veggies and winter squash to give us all the vitamin A (beta-carotene) we need to keep our eyes healthy for the rest of the year. If you think this is the time to put away your reusable shopping bags for the farmers market, you are wrong. There are so many great types of produce coming in season this month and we are sharing some of our favorites below.
There are some who love beets and some who despise them. No matter which side you are on, beets are in abundance right now and great to incorporate into your diet. They are rich in antioxidants and nitrates which in turn improve nitric oxide levels in the body. When juiced and consumed, this can lead to better lung function, increased blood flow and muscle contraction. Juice some beets in the morning with fresh ginger, celery, and oranges for an amazing pre-workout drink. New to beets? We recommend trying golden beets first because they have a more mild flavor and a little sweeter than the average red beet.
Whether you like it hot or mild, all peppers are in season right now from bell to poblano. One nutritional side effect? Less pain! Many peppers are high in capsaicin which is a chemical with analgesic properties that can ease nerve pain. We love stuffed peppers for an easy meal prep go-to.
Want a perfect thing to snack on before dinner? Radishes! These crunchy, spicy vegetables are perfect to accompany hummus or a Greek yogurt dip. They are low calorie and get rid of your “crunch” craving without all the carbs. They are also wonderful pickled and added to chicken tacos!
It doesn’t get much better than a fresh-picked carrot! The sweetness is almost like candy. Forget the baby carrots this month and head straight for the originals. You can thank us later! Carrots are great in salad, slaws or just as is.
We cannot end this article without mentioning everyone’s favorite October vegetable, the pumpkin! You might notice from Whole Foods to Trader Joe’s that there are many things you can do with pumpkin. From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin and quinoa salads, pumpkin is so versatile!
Just like pumpkin, nothing screams fall more than apples. One of our favorite October activities is picking apples and tasting all of the different kinds. Try a cinnamon spiced apple oatmeal for breakfast, or apple pie inspired protein shake — the possibilities are endless.
Some people may not like pears when compared to apples due to their graininess and sometimes more tart flavor but we think they deserve a good try. We love pears in an arugula and blue cheese salad with a drizzle of balsamic or roasted for a healthy dessert sprinkled with cinnamon and almonds.
Grapes are so delicious right out of the bag but one thing many people don’t know is that they are also amazing roasted. Since the flavor of the seasonal grapes is so delicious, the warmth highlights and intensifies the flavor.
Surprisingly enough, melons are still going strong—specifically honeydew and canary melon. We like to add melon to what would be considered more savory dishes because it is very sweet all on its own. It is also super rich in potassium and magnesium—two very important electrolytes that need to be replenished after our tough ClassPass workouts.
In our opinion, we think that October has some of the tastiest and most diverse groups of produce in season. There are some areas that may not have all of these fruits and vegetables local to them so it’s important to look at more area specific guides to see what is the best choice this month in your area.