Fall is around the corner and so is the seasonal Fall produce. To be honest, Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, especially here in NYC. The leaves turn orange, red and golden and the farmer’s market is still vibrant and colorful. Since I moved to NYC, I also discovered so many new types of veggies and fruit, that are native to the US. I'm truly in love with Fall produce!
Although I love most veggies and fruit equally, I do have a couple Fall favorites and would love to share them with you. I also added some links to recipe ideas that you can prepare with these delicious ingredients.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Yes! They are back! While you can find sweet potatoes at grocery stores all year round, their true season is Fall. Fun fact: Sweet potatoes are actually not related the normal potato. They are high in starch and complex carbs and hence provide you with long lasting energy. They are also a good source of beta carotene as well as Vitamin C. For some recipes ideas, check out Jenné's delicious sweet potato noodles and my tempeh bacon sandwich with sweet potato hummus.
2. Kabocha Squash
Another starchy vegetable, also knows as Japanese pumpkin and part of the winter squash family. Kabocha is also high in beta carotene as well as iron and potassium. You can enjoy it just baked in the oven or in soups and drips. One of my favorite ways to eat it, is mixed with other veggies in a simple skillet recipe.
Figs are my absolute favorite, and quite frankly, I mostly just eat them as is. When they are ripe, they feel soft on the outside and sometimes you can even see the sugar come out from the bottom. There are tons of different kinds of figs and I definitely have a particular love for the green candy stripe ones. Figs are part of the mulberry family and are good sources of manganese and phytochemicals. Have a look at this delicious fig cookie recipe for more inspiration.
Originally from Asia, cauliflower is related to cabbage and Brussels sprouts. It's high in Vitamin C and a good source for Vitamin K as well. It doesn't only come in white, but also green, orange and purple and hence makes for some nice color on your plate. You can eat it raw, and make cauliflower 'rice' out of it or roast it and add it to salads and other veggies dishes. This delicious Fall salad and these tahini crusted cauliflower pops make for some good recipe ideas.
A lot of my friends and clients tell me, that one of their biggest challenges in going vegan, is to find a good replacement for milk and coffee creamers. Other than ethical reasons, health reasons definitely justify why giving up dairy milk is a good idea: Did you know that dairy is actually causing osteoporosis and not protect us from it? Yep, it’s the acidity in milk, cheese and yogurt made from animal products that will leach the calcium off your bones. More on that topic, here.
The solutions are easy though. Today, you can find tons of milk substitutes in your local grocery stores. It ranges from soy and hemp milk to different nut milk options such as almond, cashew, pecan, hazelnut and even macadamia milk. The great things is that all these products are wonderful alternatives to dairy as they don’t contain the harmful animal protein, nor any animal fat.
The downside to store bought nut milk, can be additives, that might be harmful for your health down the line. A lot of processed vegan milk options contain for example a series of additives, such as carrageenan. This ingredient functions as an emulsifier, which can trigger an immune response in your digestive system. The consequence can be inflammation or even intestinal bleeding. Even though science isn’t 100% clear about this topic, I try to stay away from ingredients I can’t pronounce. I prefer going with minimally processed products, that contain a short list of ingredients. And there are definitely options out there, such as Malk milks, my recent discovery.
Alternatively, you can make your own nut milk. It’s really easy and doesn’t take too much time. The bonus is that you can control 100% what goes in it and you can customize it to your taste: thicker or thinner, sweetened or unsweetened, vanilla flavored or plain. The world is your (vegan) oyster! ;)
And this is how you do it:
1 cup of soaked nuts (you can use seeds too; most nuts need to soak at least for 6 to 8 hours)
3-4 cups of water
optional: salt, vanilla extract, dates, maple syrup, orange extract etc.
Blend nuts and water until smooth.
Strain your nut mixture through a nut milk or cheese bag. Make sure to strain well so the remaining nut pulp is really dry when you are done.
You can now add any other ingredients for flavoring and blend again.
Et voilà, there is your nut milk!
The nut pulp can be dehydrated in an oven or dehydrator and then you can make flour out of it.
Enjoy in your coffee, on top of cereal or just as is with some nice cookies!
Some become vegan for health reasons, for others it's for the welfare of animals, and for many it's out of concerns for the environment. Whatever your reason for giving up animal products, these documentary films will inspire you to stick with the lifestyle, and help you understand the implications of your choice to become vegan.
Watch these movies with friends or family who want to learn more about the lifestyle, or who are skeptical of your decision to become vegan.
As summer comes to an end it's common to start seeing fall produce next to summer produce at the farmer's market. While it may not seem obvious at first, the two season's produce can compliment each other in many dishes (especially Buddha bowls) during those cross over weeks. Here are some tips for making that happen.
1. Put it in a bowl. Summer ingredients like corn, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, and greens are great to eat all year round because they don't necessary scream 'summer!'. Toss these ingredients into a Buddha bowl along with fall produce like butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
2. Herb it up. Use summer herbs in pestos, pasta, salads, and soups. I especially like to add summer herbs like basil, cilantro, and parsley, to warm soups. One of my favorites is tomato butternut squash soup with basil.
3. Grill fall produce. If it's still warm out, and the farm stand has a ton of summer and fall produce, don't be afraid to grill it all together. Try grilled pears and peaches served with quinoa, fresh summer herbs, and beans.
4. Eat your fruit. Lastly, keep eating as much fresh fruit as you can get your hands on. I like to make sorbet with surplus fruit, and I also make jams with the summer bounty. Do this and you'll be able to enjoy fresh summer produce into winter.
Jenné & Isabelle
We're both passionate vegan foodies with backgrounds in nutrition. We decided to bridge our skills to create Buddhalicious; a program that guides members to find balance, excitement, and flavor on their plates, and in their lives.