As the air turns crisp and leaves begin to change their colors, there's nothing quite like a visit to the local Farmers Market. The stalls are overflowing with a vibrant array of seasonal fruits and vegetables, each bursting with flavor and the essence of autumn. Join us as we explore the delightful world of fall produce and share a mouthwatering recipe to make the most of your Farmers Market finds.
Apples: Fall wouldn't be complete without apples. From the sweet and crisp Honeycrisp to the tart Granny Smith, there's an apple variety for every palate. Look for firm apples with vibrant skin and a fragrant aroma. These can be enjoyed fresh, baked into pies, or transformed into homemade applesauce.
Pears: Pears are a true fall delicacy. Choose slightly soft pears with a sweet aroma for the perfect ripeness. Slice them for a fresh snack, or pair them with cheese for an elegant appetizer.
Grapes: The grapes of fall are small, sweet, and incredibly satisfying. Select plump, unwrinkled grapes with vibrant color. Enjoy them on their own or add them to salads for a burst of juicy flavor.
Cranberries: These little crimson jewels are quintessentially autumn. Fresh cranberries should be firm and glossy. Experiment with cranberry sauces, muffins, or use them as a garnish for seasonal cocktails.
Pumpkins and Winter Squash: From jack-o'-lanterns to hearty stews, pumpkins and their winter squash cousins are versatile and delicious. Look for varieties like Butternut, Acorn, and Sugar Pie pumpkins. Their firm, blemish-free skin indicates freshness.
Sweet Potatoes: These tubers lend natural sweetness to fall dishes. Whether fashioned into crispy fries or whipped into a velvety pie, sweet potatoes are a kitchen essential. Choose ones with unblemished, smooth skin.
Brussels Sprouts: Miniature cabbages with a nutty undertone, Brussels sprouts are a fall favorite. Select tightly packed, vibrant green sprouts for the best flavor. Roast or sauté them to perfection for a delectable side dish.
Kale and Swiss Chard: These leafy greens thrive in cooler weather. Choose leaves that are crisp and deeply colored. Use them in hearty salads, sautés, or as a nutrient-packed addition to soups.
Remember, when shopping at your local Farmers Market, always keep an eye out for freshness. Look for vibrant colors, firm textures, and minimal blemishes. Fruits should yield slightly when gently pressed, while vegetables should feel sturdy and crisp.
The Fall Recipe: Apple and Sweet Potato Casserole
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and sliced.
3 apples cored and sliced.
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans.
2 tablespoons melted butter.
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
A pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes and apples.
In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, pecans, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.
Pour the sugar and spice mixture over the sweet potatoes and apples. Toss to coat.
Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and cover with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and the sweet potatoes are tender.
Serve and enjoy!
Fall is undoubtedly a magical season at the Farmers Market. The bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables offer endless culinary possibilities. Embrace the flavors of autumn, and don't forget to share your own Farmers Market discoveries and recipes in our social media and the comments on this post.
Tell us about your favorite fall Historic Manassas Farmers Market finds or share your go-to fall recipes. We'd love to hear from you!