Fall/ Monthly Produce Guides/ Roundups

What’s in Season: October Produce Guide

October 31, 2020 (Last Updated: November 16, 2020)

Crisp fall temperatures have definitely hit and it’s time to enjoy all the best in the last of summer’s vegetables and the beginning of the autumn harvest. Learn all about the fruits and vegetables that are in season in October and how to use them in your kitchen.

Vegetables and fruits in season in October

While temperatures may still be higher in some portions of the northern hemisphere, I can definitely say fall is here. Leaves are turning colors and dropping to the ground, there is a definite cold bite to the air at night, and the farmer’s markets are full of fall produce. It’s the right time to start enjoying some of those warm flavors and using all that season produce in the kitchen.

Every October, I look forward to my farmer’s markets being full of winter squash like butternut and pumpkins, apples, pears, and lots of root vegetables. It’s the perfect time for lots of roasted meals and earthy flavors. But there are still the last of the summer flavors if you are lucky, a few tomatoes and peppers, and even some melons are there to remind you of summer.

So, let’s get creative and see what we can make from the produce available now. Embrace those fall flavors and turn the oven on. I suggest roasting up a mix of root vegetables and add them to a salad. Or bake some apple and pear treats with the first fall fruits. Dive into all that is best in autumn produce!

Apples

Apples

With so many varieties ranging from tart Granny Smith to sweet Fuji, the first apples each year are the best indicator of fall. Whether you go apple picking or just pick up lots of apple from the markets, there are so many options for cooking with this versatile fruit.

YUMMY ADDICTION APPLE RECIPES:

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Beets

This Vegetable Wellington is a vegetarian variation of the classic dish. It is packed with goat cheese stuffed whole beets, carrots, leek, and mushrooms! | yummyaddiction.com

When the colder months start, so do the root vegetables. Beets are one of the beautiful options, from rich red ones to extra sweet and earthy golden varieties. Don’t forget that the greens are also great to eat – they can be steamed, sauteed, or braised along with the roots.

YUMMY ADDICTION BEET RECIPES:

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Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli is often thought of as a vegetable available year-round, but like many of the brassicas, it grows best in the colder months. Broccoli is a great nutritional source: high in vitamins and fiber, but low in carbohydrates. Peel the stalks and they make a great raw snack or can even be roasted with root veggies.

YUMMY ADDICTION BROCCOLI RECIPES:

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Brussels Sprouts

Chicken with brussels sprouts and pomegranates

Often a divisive vegetable, Brussels sprouts can be delicious when prepared properly. Extra healthy, they are full of vitamins C and K, and antioxidants shown to promote heart health. Pair them with something slightly sweet for a great change of pace – perhaps roasted with apples or glazed with balsamic.

Only once I cooked Brussels sprouts for the blog (the recipe featured above) but definitely plan to use them more in the future.

MORE AWESOME BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPES:

Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

Like all the cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is a great nutrient source. Iron, vitamins C, K, and B6, folate, and so many other things that are good for your body. Plus, there is plenty you can make with cabbage besides coleslaw. Try roasting wedges or braising with apples. Or even stuff individual leaves with meat and rice to be simmered in a rich tomato sauce!

YUMMY ADDICTION CABBAGE RECIPES:

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Carrots

Carrots

Don’t dismiss carrots as completely commonplace. When in season, freshly harvest carrots have a depth of flavor that is wonderful. Like with other fall root vegetables, carrots are fabulous roasted or turned into soups. Get an extra dose of vitamin A from this beta-carotene rich vegetable that is perfect almost any way you serve it.

YUMMY ADDICTION CARROT RECIPES:

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Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cauliflower has become the go-to low carb replacement or so many dishes: You can make cauliflower and cheese, mashed, riced, and even roasted as steaks for a plant-based main course alternative. With a light, earthy flavor, cauliflower is the perfect base for many dishes – especially when paired with Mediterranean spices.

It’s really hard to believe that I have zero cauliflower recipes on the blog (well, except this shrimp kale pasta with awesome cauliflower sauce). Frankly, that’s a crime. I need to fix that ASAP. Meanwhile, enjoy these gorgeous recipes from other food bloggers!

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Celery

Celery

While many people overlook celery as something added to sauces, soups, and stocks, there is a lot more you can do with it. On its own, celery can be almost earthy and sweet. It pairs beautifully in salads with apples or fennel. You can also roast it in stalks with carrots and onions for an easy fall side dish.

YUMMY ADDICTION CELERY RECIPES:

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Corn

Corn

That sweet corn that is available right at the end of summer and into fall is so tasty. Add fresh corn to your early fall casseroles or make sweet corn fritters. Corn cut off the cob sautés beautifully with some fresh herbs and butter for those looking for a unique holiday side dish. And of course, it is perfect to grill in the husk.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any fresh corn recipes on the blog (only canned) but I hope to fix that in the future! Meanwhile, check out what other food bloggers are up to.

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Cranberries

There is so much more to do with cranberries than just sauce to go with your holiday roast. These tart berries are great when paired with other fruits for fall desserts. Or add a few to your pan of roasting root vegetables to brighten up the flavors. Don’t be afraid to get creative with these healthy vitamin C and antioxidant-packed bombs.

YUMMY ADDICTION CRANBERRY RECIPES:

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Eggplant

Japanese eggplants

Often thought of as a summer vegetable, eggplants can keep producing until the first frost of the season, sometimes even later. Pair this creamy and earthy vegetable with bell peppers and tomatoes for an early fall pasta, or stuff it with ground meat and spices for a low carb choice that is still high in nutrients.

YUMMY ADDICTION EGGPLANT RECIPES:

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Figs

One of those fruits you are really only going to find fresh for a short while every year, figs come in a variety of colors and levels of sweetness. From the rich, jam-y Mission figs to the more vegetal Kadota ones, they are a great addition to any fall cheese plate or salad. Or make a lightly sweet fig jam as a crostini and flatbread spread to keep throughout the winter.

I discovered my love for figs not such a long time ago so it’s natural that I don’t have any fig recipes on the blog YET. These little gems are worth all the praise they get so recipes are definitely coming! Meanwhile, check out how my food blogger friends used figs in the kitchen!

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Grapes

Forget the boring flavorless grapes you find in supermarkets year-round. In late summer and early fall, you can find really fresh grapes of all varieties. From dark and crisp black grapes to the incredibly sweet green princess grapes, there are a lot of choices for eating them straight. But if you want to get more adventurous, try marinating or roasting grapes – you can even make a grape galette!

My family adores grapes but usually we enjoy them straight out of the bag (or straight from the vine), not in recipes. I need to pull myself together and cook something with these sweet berries ASAP because you can really do so much with them. Check out what other food bloggers came up with!

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Leeks

A cousin to onions and garlic, leeks are milder in flavor and become sweet when roasted or braised. They make a delicate addition to lighter stews, soups, and easy family meals like pot roast. Leeks also make a great topping to many dishes when lightly breaded or battered and roasted until crispy.

YUMMY ADDICTION LEEK RECIPES:

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Melons

Watermelon salad

Like so many fruits and vegetables that only start to develop in late summer, many types of melons are available well into fall. Fresh, sweet melons pair wonderfully with salty foods and make for excellent appetizers at autumn parties. Whether you are wrapping cantaloupe in prosciutto or pairing watermelon with feta, there are a great many options to try.

YUMMY ADDICTION MELON RECIPES:

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Pears

Pears

Juicy pears are a fall classic. With several varieties and different textures, they can go sweet or savory, soft or crunchy. Pair them with arugula or spinach plus some tangy cheese for a fall salad or make a sweet pear crisp. As long as they aren’t bruised, pears can be stored for a long time in a cool dark area like apples and squash.

YUMMY ADDICTION PEAR RECIPES:

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Peppers

Mushroom stuffed peppers

You’ll find the last of the fresh peppers at the markets in October and I really recommend taking advantage of them. A fresh pepper harvested in season is so much more flavorful than the hothouse versions found the rest of the year. Explore the variety of bell peppers available – from purple to orange and everything in between.

YUMMY ADDICTION PEPPER RECIPES:

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Persimmons

Persimmon salad

These bright orange fruits come in two varieties, the short, squat fuyus that are supposed to be eaten when firm (they are great on salads), and the oblong hachiyas that are harvested firm, but need to be left to ripen until fully soft before eating. You will only ever find these fruits in the fall, so eat them while you can!

MORE AWESOME PERSIMMON RECIPES:

Pomegranates

Pomegranates

Delicious but so challenging to peel and eat, pomegranates are one of the gems of the fall fruit season. The little arils that look like garnets give you that great pop of tart sweetness on a salad or creamy dessert. If you have a large number, you can also crush the fleshy seeds and extract the juice to turn into jelly.

YUMMY ADDICTION POMEGRANATE RECIPES:

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Potatoes

Stuffed potatoes

A kitchen staple year-round, potatoes are most often harvested in early fall before the frost sets in, so you will get some of the fresh crop right around October. While there are certainly many things to make with potatoes, fall is a great time to embrace this comforting vegetable that is the perfect base for so many dishes.

YUMMY ADDICTION POTATO RECIPES:

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Pumpkins

Pumpkins

There is so much more to cooking with pumpkins than pumpkin pie. Roast them, fill them with soup or custard, batter and fry slices, there are plenty of options. Experiment with the different varieties – some of the larger ones are actually the best for eating! But what ever you do, don’t forget to save and roast the seeds for snacks.

YUMMY ADDICTION PUMPKIN RECIPES:

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Radishes

Radishes

While radishes are great raw in salads, fall is the perfect time to try them roasted or sauteed. Cooking brings out the natural sweetness of these normally spicy vegetables. Plus, the greens are tasty too! Sauté them with the roots or turn them into a pesto for a nutrition-packed meal that uses every part of the vegetable.

YUMMY ADDICTION RADISH RECIPES:

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Romanesco

Romanesco cauliflower

Sometimes referred to as romanesco cauliflower, this cruciferous vegetable is very similar to broccoli and cauliflower, but with a delicate flavor that pairs beautifully with citrus. Roast it with some root vegetables and chickpeas for an easy sheet-pan meal.

YUMMY ADDICTION ROMANESCO RECIPES:

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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and bell peppers on a baking sheet

Less starchy than standard potatoes, sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors and flavors. From the rich and sweet deep red ones to the nutty and buttery pale yellow options, sweet potatoes are great roasted, sauteed, steamed, or even mashed. And don’t be afraid to eat the skin – that’s where a lot of the best nutrients are!

YUMMY ADDICTION SWEET POTATO RECIPES:

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Tomatoes

In warmer areas you are still going to see some fresh tomatoes coming into the markets. It’s a great last chance to can some for winter use or just relish in those last few lightly acidic bites. With so much vitamin C, tomatoes are a great addition to your immune boosting fall meals as the colder weather starts coming in.

YUMMY ADDICTION TOMATO RECIPES:

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Winter Squash

Winter squash

With the onset of fall, several varieties of winter squash have arrived at the markets. One of the most common, butternuts are incredibly versatile. Roasted whole, its soft texture can be a fun change from mashed potatoes. Or there’s the fun spaghetti squash with its pasta-like flesh. So many options to choose from. One of the great things about winter squash is how long they last when stored in a cool dark area – sometimes up to 3 months!

It’s unbelievable that there are zero winter squash recipes on the blog considering my deep love to butternut squash (I enjoy it more than pumpkin, honestly). This horrible mistake has to be fixed ASAP! Meanwhile, have a look at what other bloggers came up with!

MORE AWESOME WINTER SQUASH RECIPES:

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