It’s official. It’s fall ya’ll!
Save for a couple stubborn ones, most of the hummingbirds have left for warmer pastures. So even though the weather turned cooler (and wetter) today I continue to refill the hummingbird feeders. This way any other stubborn ones and stragglers can find some nourishment on their way south for the winter.
With the change in the weather the leaves will start to fall. Now’s a good time to get out into the woods(or the back yard) and mark trees and limbs that need to go. Of course, if you don’t have too many go ahead and take care of this chore. Often times, if I wait too long, I’m unable to tell which trees and limbs are still viable since there are no leaves to tell me.
With the cooler temps you’ll probably want to adjust your menus and your grocery list going forward. We just love warm comfort food in the cooler months, don’t you?
You can do your budget a favor by buying fruits/vegetables that are in season. While this is true all year, you might not think about what’s available ‘now’.
Right now, the farmers (and the farmer’s markets) have ‘most likely’ the last of the tomatoes and peppers. But what’s coming on now? That would be your fall veggies and your root crops.
Root crops are a great vegetable to add to warming soups and stews!
We’ll begin to see more carrots, squashes and sweet potatoes. (Around here the sweet potatoes are ready close to Thanksgiving… or after the first frost.)
While people tend to think of carrots as a spring vegetable many growers start a second crop for fall harvesting. Carrots go well in soups, stews, salads and for snacking. You can roast carrots too, just like any root vegetable.
The more popular fall squash is the butternut. They’re low in calories and full of flavor. Their natural creaminess goes well in your fall/winter soups. Butternut can also be steamed or roasted. Such goodness makes my mouth water! You can find my recipe for roasted butternut squash and my lentils with butternut squash and spinach in their respective blue links!
And then there are the sweet potatoes… You can bake them, mash them, boil them, roast them…. I like mine baked then topped with butter and maple syrup.
While these three are popular there are more root and fall vegetables for your family to enjoy. There’s yams (similar to sweet potatoes) broccoli, cauliflower, radishes (fall crop), beets, turnips… and of course PUMPKINS!
There’s SO much you can do with a pumpkin. I’d never ‘carve’ one as that basically ruins it for cooking, but you can decorate one and then use it for cooking. Now, carving pumpkins are typically much bigger than pie pumpkins BUT they still work for cooking. The taste just isn’t as strong.
You can cut one in half, scoop out the seeds/pulp (you can roast the seeds for an evening snack) then bake cut side down until tender. Time will depend upon the size of the pumpkin. You can then scoop out the ‘meat’ and freeze in portion sized baggies. This way you can make pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread at the drop of a hat any old time!
Introduce your family to a new fall favorite while helping your grocery budget at the same time.