At The Table With: Ty Schmidt, Creator of SchmidtyBakes

At The Table With: Ty Schmidt, Creator of SchmidtyBakes

We’re kicking off Pride Month with a spotlight on one of our most colorful creators—Ty Schmidt, founder of SchmidtyBakes! We talked about the importance of acceptance, the joy of sharing a meal and who he’d invite to a dinner party.

In Season: Fall Produce & Recipe Guide

Oct 3, 2023

fall produce and recipe guide

Summer’s taking a back seat, and as we embrace sweater weather, it’s time to dive into the flavors of fall. While you may not be seeing as many bold and bright colors at your local farmers market, you’ll see instead the beautiful transition to warmer hues of buttery yellows, sunset oranges, deep reds and purples—which introduce a richer and heartier palette of flavors.

From the crispest apples to funky-looking squashes, there are plenty of delicious autumn fruits and vegetables to dive into. In this guide, discover tips for shopping, picking and cooking with the season’s best offerings.

 

Hungry for more? Explore our recipe library for ideas & inspo for your next gathering.

Explore Our Recipe Library

fall produce and recipe guide

APPLES

Recipe to try: Granny Smith Apple and Smoky Bacon Stuffing

Whether you go sweet or tart, apples are great for adding crunch to salads or for baking into pies and crisps. And don’t forget the goodness of homemade applesauce! They’re also great baked into savory dishes, adding a bit of tart flavor to stuffings, soups and even as toppings for pork and chicken.  

How to pick them at the store: Look for apples that are firm to the touch with smooth skin. Be sure to avoid those with soft spots or blemishes. For maximum freshness and shelf life, you should store apples in the fridge; however, if you plan to eat them within a week, leaving them out on the counter is fine.

fall produce and recipe guide

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Recipe to try: Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus

Butternut squash’s sweet and nutty flavor intensifies as it matures, making it perfect for creamy soups, savory roasts, and comforting casseroles during the chilly autumn months. Its hearty texture and adaptability to various dishes epitomize the warmth and richness of fall cooking.

How to pick them at the store: When picking butternut squash at the store, choose one that feels heavy for its size with smooth, matte skin. Avoid squashes with soft spots or deep cuts. A firm stem is also a good sign of freshness.

fall produce and recipe guide

PEARS

Recipe to try: Baked Pears with Pecans and Maple Syrup

Pears, with a delicate, buttery texture and sweet, juicy flavor, are a hallmark of autumn produce. They’re perfect fresh off the tree, cubed and folded into salads, baked into desserts or added to savory dishes for a burst of sweetness.

How to pick them at the store: Look for one that’s firm but yields slightly to gentle pressure near the stem, indicating ripeness without being overripe. Avoid pears with deep bruises or cuts. For freshness, store unripe pears at room temperature until they reach desired ripeness, then transfer them to the refrigerator to slow further ripening and maintain their juicy texture.

fall produce and recipe guide

CAULIFLOWER

Recipe to try: Instant Pot Lamb Chops with Creamed Cauliflower

In many areas, especially in milder climates, cauliflower can be grown almost year-round. However, it generally thrives in cooler weather, which makes it primarily a fall and spring crop. And when cauliflower is in season, it tends to have a sweeter, milder flavor and more tender texture.

How to pick them at the store: Cauliflower should have tight, white florets and fresh-looking green leaves at the base. When shopping, look for heads that are firm, compact and creamy white (or their respective color if you’re buying a colored variety), with no dark spots or blemishes.

fall produce and recipe guide

PERSIMMONS

Recipe to try: Persimmon Spice Waffles with Persimmons, Pomegranates and Pecans

Persimmons, often described as “nature’s candy,” are a distinctive fall fruit known for their vibrant orange hue and sweet, honeyed flavor. Whether enjoyed fresh, dried or baked, they add a touch of autumnal elegance to dishes. There are two primary varieties: the crisp Fuyu and the luscious, custard-like Hachiya, making them a versatile and cherished pick during the cooler months.

How to pick them at the store: When selecting the best persimmon, consider its variety. For Fuyu persimmons, choose ones that are firm, with a deep orange color and smooth skin, free of cracks or bruises. For Hachiya persimmons, they should be vibrant in color but may be bought while still firm—just ensure they become fully soft before eating to avoid astringency. In either case, a fresh persimmon should have a glossy appearance and a green, intact calyx (the leafy top).

fall produce and recipe guide

PUMPKIN

Recipe to try: Mini Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkins

Pumpkin, with its vibrant orange hue and earthy, sweet flavor, is the very symbol of autumn produce. Harvested as the leaves begin to turn, its rich flesh is perfect for hearty pies, soups and spiced lattes made at home. Offering both sweetness and a creamy texture that lends itself to a variety of culinary creations, this versatile squash is a staple in fall cooking and celebrations.

How to pick them at the store: Opt for a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size with smooth, consistent coloring. Ensure it has no soft spots, deep cuts or visible mold, and look for one with a sturdy, well-attached stem (which indicates freshness). If it’s for baking, smaller “sugar” or “pie” pumpkins are preferable due to their sweeter, less fibrous flesh.

fall produce and recipe guide

CRANBERRIES

Recipe to try: Apple-Cranberry Crisp With Oatmeal Topping

As one of the few fruits native to North America, cranberries hold a special place in fall feasts, particularly Thanksgiving.

With their vibrant red hue and unique tartness, this fall produce favorite complements both sweet and savory dishes, and their natural pectin content makes them perfect for jellies and sauces.

How to pick them at the store: When selecting fresh cranberries at the store, look for berries with a vibrant, deep red color and firm texture. The skin should be taut and shiny, free from wrinkles or blemishes. Avoid bags with excessive moisture or any signs of mold and decay. A quick squeeze should reveal no soft or mushy berries.

fall produce and recipe guide

TURNIPS

Recipe to try: Pot au Feu

While they can be grown and harvested at various times throughout the year depending on the region, turnips thrive in cooler weather.

Fall-harvested turnips tend to have a sweeter flavor, especially after a light frost, which can help convert some of the vegetable’s starches into sugars. Roast the roots alongside your favorite fall vegetables or use the leafy, tender greens to create a classic soul-food side.

How to pick them at the store: Look for ones that are firm to the touch with smooth, unblemished skin and brightly colored greens on top. They should be medium in size for the best flavor and texture, as overly large turnips can be woody.

fall produce and recipe guide

FIGS

Recipe to try: Pork Chops with Figs

Figs capture the transitional essence of early fall, bridging the gap between summer’s bounty and autumn’s heartier fare.

These small, often teardrop-shaped fruits come in various hues, from deep purples to vibrant greens, each enclosing a rich, jammy interior dotted with tiny seeds. With a natural sweetness and soft texture, figs are a versatile ingredient in fall recipes—from being paired with cheeses and prosciutto on a charcuterie board to starring in delectable desserts.

How to pick them at the store: When selecting figs at the store, look for ones that are plump and slightly soft to the touch, indicating ripeness. A subtle, sweet aroma is a good indicator of a fresh and flavorful fig. Their skin should be smooth and free from excessive wrinkling or tears. Avoid figs that are overly squishy, have dark spots suggesting decay or ooze from their stem, as these are signs of over-ripeness.

fall produce and recipe guide

SWEET POTATOES

Recipe to try: Fall Pizza with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Onion and Bacon

Roasted, mashed or turned into pies and casseroles, sweet potatoes epitomize the comforting flavors of autumn. Their ability to bridge the gap between savory side dishes and delectable desserts makes them an essential ingredient in fall feasts and celebrations.

How to pick them at the store: To pick the best sweet potato, choose one that’s firm, with smooth and even-colored skin, free from cracks or blemishes. Medium-sized potatoes are often the most flavorful, and the potato should feel heavy for its size. Avoid those with sprouts or a sticky residue, as these can indicate age or a decline in quality.

 

Hungry for more? Explore our recipe library for ideas & inspo for your next gathering.

Explore Our Recipe Library

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