Autumn is in full swing and our appetites our craving new flavors! Eating seasonally is a great way to experience fruits and vegetables that we may not normally eat. Seasonal produce is fresher, less expensive, higher in nutritional value, and more friendly to our environment.

Pumpkin may be the traditional fall food celebrity, but there are plenty of other delicious autumn fruits and vegetables worth giving a shot. Here are a just a few of our favorites:

Beets: With a hint of sweetness, this root vegetable is high in antioxidants and can be roasted, steamed, pickled, and more. They are great on salads or for adding natural sweetness to baked goods. Shredded beets go great in these Cheddar Beet Biscuits. If you’re looking for something sweet, try one of our favorite desserts, Red Velvet Whoopee Pies.

Butternut Squash: A colorful root vegetable that can be steamed, roasted, or cooked and pureed. Heating this vegetable allows its natural sugars to caramelize. It’s great for soups, dips, or on salads. Try adding roasted butternut squash in your Lasagna Cupcake filling or in these Butternut Squash Empanadas.

Mushrooms: Fungi with a pleasant earthy odor and numerous medicinal properties including being an anti-inflammatory. Be sure to store them in the refrigerator in a loose paper bag with damp paper towels for a longer shelf life. Our warm Mushroom Risotto is perfect for a chilly night.

Persimmons: A fruit with the texture between a tomato and a date, its bright reddish-orange color brightens every dish whether raw or cooked. They’re packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K (among many other nutrients). Give this fruit a try in a Fruit Pie or Rustic Fruit Tart.

–Chef Shannon, Nutritionist, TBK Southlake