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Top 5 in-season vegetables (September)

September 17, 2009

 

Who doesn’t love the fall weather? The colors changing on the leaves, cooler weather (well, maybe we will be a couple degrees less than 100), the beginning of a new football season, the glorious Austin City Limits festival, the list goes on. Some of the best tasting vegetables are also in season in the fall such as the mushrooms, oranges, lemons, cauliflower and fennel. All of the following vegetables have unique flavors and can be used in a variety of dishes.

The top five are:

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are known for their immune boosting benefits in the nutrition world. They have been used for thousands of years in helping prevent cancer, boost the immune system and are also known as a great anti-aging food. There are several different types of mushrooms that are fabulous to cook with. Try grilling some beefy Portobello’s with Italian seasonings for a nice vegetarian meal this fall.

Oranges
The beloved orange; it’s one of the most popular fruits in North America. Known for the immune boosting vitamin C, oranges have many other health benefits. Oranges also have a good amount of Potassium (which helps with muscle contraction), fiber and vitamin A. Oranges are very versatile when it comes to cooking. Try this yummy recipe from celiac.com: Orange Chicken

Lemons
Lemon is one of my favorite citrus fruits. I use it with everything from my homemade salad dressings to marinades and sauces. Lemons are also high in vitamin C, potassium and have a surprisingly good amount of calcium. The salad dressing I make and put on most all of my salads is:
For one serving:
– 1 tablespoon high quality EVOO (or sometimes I use Macadamia nut oil, rich in omega 3’s)
– ½ tablespoon or less of balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
– 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (for extra punch, add some lemon zest)
– Fresh thyme, I use 1 sprig. You may use more or try other fresh herbs. Most all of them go great with this simple vinaigrette.
– Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cauliflower
Let’s face it. Cauliflower is not as popular as its lookalike cousin, broccoli. Cauliflower is really delicious and great for you. It can be easily steamed and pureed into a nice cauliflower soup with fresh herbs or can be eaten raw and served with a nice gluten-free dip. Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, fiber and vitamin K, which is helpful in increasing bone mass.

Fennel
Fennel is not widely used in the average American kitchen but it should. It is easy to cook with and has a slightly sweet taste. Fennel is a good source of vitamin c, potassium, fiber and iron. Try this delicious celery-fennel soup from the oh-so-tasty website of Karina’s kitchen.

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