Fall Fruit and Vegetable Recipes
The autumn months bring the beautiful colors of fall fruits and vegetables, but the fall also adds additional health and nutritional challenges. The shorter, cooler days can make it harder to get physical activity outdoors. And there is the looming (and calorie-packed) temptations of football party snacks, Halloween sweets and Thanksgiving buffets.
However, one good way to avoid those extra seasonal pounds is to keep eating plenty of Fall fresh fruit and vegetables. While grocery stores will carry an assortment of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, buying seasonal produce can take some of the strain off your wallet. When foods are in season locally, they are usually more abundant and affordable and may also add zest and flavor to your meals. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are typically fresher and more flavorful.
Apples, figs, squash and Brussel sprouts are just a few of the colorful Fall fruits and vegetables that are available. Yesterday we posted a recipe with Brussel sprouts and I trust I’m not the only one scarred by childhood memories of disgusting, boiled Brussels sprouts. But give the fall vegetable another chance. They're a good source of iron, which helps your body form red blood cells, as well as vitamin K, which can boost bone health. The mini cabbages are also packed with vitamin C so you can survive cold season intact. Roast them with some EVOO and salt and pepper and Bellisari’s Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread and they are instantly way more delicious.
Figs are a solid source of fiber, which may help decrease cholesterol, promote blood sugar control, prevent constipation, and keep you feeling full longer. Figs are also packed with potassium, which helps control your blood pressure.
Nothing screams "fall" quite like apples (and all the activities and treats associated with them). The fall fruit is rich in antioxidants—specifically vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system and may even lower your risk of cancer. Here is one of my favorite Fall pork recipes.
Pork Loin with Apples and Corn Bread Stuffing
4 ounces bacon (about 5 strips), cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
2 small onions chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 jar of Bellisari’s Saigon Street Sauce
1 fennel bulb trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
6 firm, tart apples 1 peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1 1/4 cups); 3 peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each; 2 cored and cut into 8 wedges each
4 sprigs fresh thyme finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary finely chopped
10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, plus 6 whole leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
12 ounces corn bread cut into cubes (about 3 cups)
1/3 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
1 boneless pork loin (4 pounds; about 1 foot long), butterflied (3/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups apple cider
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in a large (9-quart) heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Add chopped onions, fennel, and chopped apple to fat in pot; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add thyme, rosemary, and chopped sage; cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl; let cool completely. Keep pot on stove with heat off.
Add corn bread, stock, and reserved bacon to bowl. Season stuffing with salt and pepper, and gently stir (do not break up corn bread too much).
Generously season cut side of pork with salt and pepper, and then spread with apple-corn bread stuffing, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Starting from one short side, roll up pork, encasing the stuffing. Tie rolled pork at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Generously season rolled pork with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in pot over high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown pork all over, about 10 minutes total. Transfer pork to a large plate. Pour off fat from pot; blot any left in pot with paper towels.
Bring cider to a boil in pot and deglaze pot by scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Return pork to pot; put peeled apples, and sage leaves around sides. Transfer to oven; cook, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Turn pork over; add unpeeled apples. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted at least 2 inches into pork registers 140 degrees. about 15 minutes more.
Finish the pork by brushing with Bellisari’s Saigon Street Sauce and let it stand in pot at room temperature 15 minutes; transfer to a carving board. Discard twine. Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve with apples and sauce from pot.