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By Lindsay Verraster

fall fruits & veggieAutumn in Massachusetts is a great time to visit a local farm or farmers’ market.  Many fruits and vegetables are in season right now—not just apples and pumpkins!  Massachusetts farms produce a wide variety of both fruits and vegetables, from Brussels sprouts to sweet potatoes. The fall harvest reminds us that the more fruits and vegetables we eat, the more nutrients we will get.  Eating a variety helps to make sure that we’re getting enough vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber, for example. Here is a list of just a few seasonal fruits and veggies that I’m excited to buy:

  • Apples
  • Arugula
  • Bell peppers
  • Bok choy
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cranberries
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Pears
  • Pumpkins
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Winter squash

Fruits and vegetables are the freshest and most flavorful when they are in season, and they are also cheaper, since this is when they are most available. You can even find local fall fruits and vegetables on sale at grocery stores. You can buy them in bulk when they’re on sale and cut them up and freeze them to enjoy in the months ahead.  This can really help you save money on your grocery bill!

Here are a few tips on how to eat more fruits and vegetables:

  • Keep them visible. Leave a bowl of fruit on your table or counter, or cut them into slices and store in the fridge in clear bowls or plastic bags.
  • Be adventurous and try a new food! You can likely find a fruit or vegetable that you’ve never eaten before.
  • Make soup – it’s an easy way to get your vegetables. You can try a smooth tomato or butternut squash soup, or something chunky like a garden vegetable soup.
  • Make a fruit salad. You can use up older fruits by mixing them into a sweet fruit salad.

Check out the full list of fruit and vegetable varieties available in Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/agr/markets/farmersmarkets/availability-chart.pdf.

To find a farmers’ market near you, visit http://www.visit-massachusetts.com/state/farmers-markets/

Lindsay Verraster is a dietetic intern from Simmons College.

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