Ask the Chef: How can I incorporate the fall colors into the foods that I eat?

by Julie Morris, Navitas Naturals Executive Chef
November 14, 2016

How can I incorporate the fall colors into the foods that I eat?

For many of us, there is no season quite as stunning as fall. Sure, spring is pretty, summer is fun, and winter is cozy, but fall is downright breathtaking. The crisp weather, clear skies, long shadows, and dramatically colored leaves make fall a creatively inspiring season, full of romance and reflection.

But from a food standpoint, fall may initially seem to be a let-down from summer’s fireworks display of seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables. For most people, after a few pumpkin recipes, the excitement quickly fades. Yet some of fall’s finest additions on the plate can quite literally mirror the brilliance of the season with their beautiful colors. And what’s more, these reds, oranges, and purples are the aesthetic signal of major antioxidant activity found within each food. So, if you’re already sick of the obsessive #PSL vibes, here are some great ingredients to really make your dishes stand out as of-the-moment autumn creations, in the healthiest of ways:

Apples & Pears – While these beauties will be in season all winter, that first crop in the fall is often the most flavorful (and freshest!). Enjoy the blushed varieties like Pink Lady, Fuji, and Barlett pears as a nod to the changing colors of leaves.

Squash – It’s not all about pumpkin! Enjoy some of the beautifully-hued seasonal squashes like acorn squash, butternut, kabocha, and blue hubbard for a swatch of orange on your plate.

Goldenberries – Most people don’t think of berries as a fall food, but in fact dried goldenberries are a perfect compliment to many other seasonal specialties. Their citrus-like zing complements comfort dishes featuring squashes, roots, and grains perfectly, and their golden-orange appearance is a welcome pop of color on the plate.

Goji BerriesGoji berries match the red leaves of the most magnificent trees of the season, and are a wonderful way to make dishes look extra festive. Plus, thanks to the low-sugar attributes of the goji berry, you’ll find them a perfect addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

Persimmons – Persimmons may look like miniature pumpkins, but these delectable fruits offer a welcome sweetness that begs to differ! Whether sliced up in salads or baked into goodies, the persimmon’s warm orange color is a welcome sight to behold.

Grapes – Grapes really hit their peak at the tail end of summer and into the beginning weeks of fall. The purple and red varieties in particular can help round out a fall color theme, and can be used either fresh, or cooked down into succulent morsels of sweetness for sauces and sides.

What foods are you most enjoying this fall?

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