This year, one of my goals is to cut down on grocery expenses by buying in-season produce. Since I’m doing the research anyway, I thought I would share it with you guys! Buying in season is more important than ever. It keeps grocery costs down and ensures food will supply the most nutrients.
For this month, be sure to also check out the September Produce Guide as well. Some of the produce for September will still be in season through October or even November. In fact, as it reaches the end of its growing season, some produce items may be priced even lower than they were at their peak as they try to sell the surplus!
Of course, what produce is in season can vary by region, so I focused on the Southwest in my research. If you are on the east coast, it should still apply, but some things vary. I also included recipes you can make with this month’s produce, so hopefully, it helps inspire your weekly menu this month!
Enjoy some fresh summer produce with some vibrant, gorgeous looking fruits and vegetables! I’ve included some of my top favorite produce items for October, as well as recipes for each one, so you can be inspired to eat healthfully this month.
They’re not just good for jack-o-lanterns! Pumpkins are such a fun October vegetable, getting their bright orange color from beta carotene. Beta carotene is a nutrient that makes vitamin A, an important antioxidant that can help give your immune system a boost.
Pumpkin is also packed with vitamin C, another antioxidant essential for healthy skin and immunity. Pumpkin is delicious roasted or steamed, and you can even roast the seeds with some simple seasonings for a tasty crunchy snack, full of healthy fats, magnesium, and zinc. When you’re picking up a pumpkin to carve this Halloween, grab an extra to put in the oven!
Check out some of my favorite recipes featuring pumpkins:
This month, fill up your plate with green! Swiss chard is a dark leafy green that really packs a nutritional punch. It’s in the same family as beets and spinach, and comes in a variety of colors, from green to red to rainbow.
Both the leaves and stalks of chard are edible, and are excellent sources of Vitamins A, K, and C, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Chard makes an excellent sauté with a bit of olive oil and garlic or can be a lovely addition to your favorite pasta dish. Go ahead and enjoy this leafy green while it’s in season!
Check out some of these other dietitian recipes featuring swiss chard:
- Swiss Chard Frittata from Dietitian Debbie
- Swiss Chard with Freshly Shaven Parmesan from Heather Mangieri, RDN
- Swiss Chard Pecan Lasagna from Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN
This fall, get creative in the kitchen and reach for Bok choy! Bok choy, also known as Pak choi, was first grown in China but is now available around the globe. A member of the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli, kale, and cabbage, this crisp vegetable has powerful anti-cancer properties thanks to its high folate, antioxidant, and selenium content.
Bok choy is perfect for stir fries, as its mild flavor pairs wonderfully with Asian flavors such as soy, ginger, and sesame. Give this crunchy, refreshing veggie a try for dinner tonight!
Check out some of these dietitian recipes featuring bok choy:
- Sweet and Sour Bok Choy from A Little Nutrition
- Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl with Bok Choy from Kara Lydon, RDN
- Edamame Bok Choy Rice Bowl from Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN
I love adding fresh herbs (such as parley) to my meals, as it’s a great way to boost flavor and nutrition. Parsley is a flavorful Mediterranean herb, that goes well with many dishes, such as tomato sauces or seafood.
Not only is parsley tasty however, it also provides over 500% of your daily Vitamin K needs and 100% of Vitamin A. Vitamin K is essential for healthy bones and blood clotting. Parsley is an easy addition to your favorite meals or can be blended with other ingredients to make flavorful sauces such as pesto or chimichurri.
Check out some of my favorite recipes featuring parsley:
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- Chimichurri Chicken Marinade
- Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
- Crockpot Turkey Meatballs