Welcome to September, the most perfect time to experiment with new seasonal fruits and vegetables at home. There’s an amazing mix of late-summer and early-fall produce available this month, so I put together a quick run-down of my favorites. In case you’re new to cooking with any of these veggies, I also included tips for properly selecting, storing, and cooking each to perfection. And you know I couldn’t leave you hanging without a few healthy seasonal recipes to try. You’ll find links to those below, too!
This month, I’m excited for crisp hikes, my first batch of crock pot chili, the return of pumpkin spice, and a long weekend away to visit friends and family in the Midwest. The first official day of fall is September 22nd, and I’m already knee-deep in autumn recipe development. (Yay! Hope you’re ready for all things cozy and delicious, including simple, fall-inspired weeknight dinners and vegetarian tailgating snacks.)
If you have another recipe or nutrition topic you’d like to see covered on the blog this season, be sure to send me a quick message to let me know!
September Produce Guide
(Disclosure: Recipe development clients are mentioned below, but I was not compensated for this post.)
Produce Featured This Month:
Honorable Mentions: More September Fruits and Vegetables
- Celery root
- Chile peppers
Choose beets that are small, firm, and deep red in color. Smaller beets tend to be sweeter. Beets with greens attached are likely to be fresher. Look for beet greens that don’t show signs of wilting.
To retain beetroot moisture, trim the leaves a couple of inches from the root. Store the leaves separately, and use them within a few days. Store beetroot in the veggie crisper in your fridge, and use within 7-10 days. Cooked beets can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or the freezer for up to ten months.
Beets can be eaten raw, but they are usually boiled, roasted, steamed, fried, or grilled.
Roasted Beet Black Bean Dip by The Grateful Grazer
Garlic Tarragon Roasted Beet Sandwiches by The Grateful Grazer
Simple Roasted Vegetables by Culinary Nutrition Cuisine
Roasted Beet Pesto and Greens Pasta Toss by One Hungry Bunny
Cauliflower heads should feel heavy for their size, and have fresh outer leaves that don’t show any signs of wilting. Look for white/cream-colored cauliflower, or try purple, yellow, or green cauliflower varieties.
Store cauliflower in a bag in the fridge for up to two weeks. Chopped cauliflower florets can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
Cauliflower florets can be served raw with dips, or roasted, steamed, fried, sautéed, or mashed. Pulse in a blender or food processor to make cauliflower rice.
Chili Lime Walnut Buddha Bowls by The Grateful Grazer
Sweet Potato Cauliflower Flatbread Pizza by Amy Gorin Nutrition
Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Curry by Champagne Nutrition
Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Chowder by Nutritious Vida
Look for eggplants that feel heavy for their size, and have smooth, shiny skin without signs of blemishes, brown spots, or bruises. Smaller eggplants tend to be sweeter and more tender.
It’s best to use eggplant as soon as possible, but it will keep in the fridge for up to four days. Eggplants bruise easily—cover with paper towel if desired, and store in the vegetable crisper of your fridge. Cooked eggplant can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to three days, but it will get mushy if its reheated.
Eggplant can be roasted, sautéed, grilled, or stuffed. It absorbs lots of flavor, making it perfect for soups, sauces, and curry.
Charred Eggplant Tahini Wraps by The Grateful Grazer
Roasted Eggplant Coconut Curry by The Grateful Grazer
Grilled Eggplant with Pecan Pesto by The Foodie Dietitian
Greens should appear fresh, crisp, and vibrant in color. Look for greens that don’t show signs of wilting.
Rinse well and dry before using. (Dry with a salad spinner or lightly pat with a towel.) Wrap with a clean paper towel and store in a bag in the fridge for up to a week. Some greens (like spinach and kale) can also be frozen and used in smoothies or soup.
Different types of greens vary greatly in flavor and texture. Romaine and butter leaf lettuces are mild (good for salads). Kale and collard greens are heartier, and can be steamed or sautéed.
Spicy Peanut Chickpea Bowls with Sesame Collard Greens by The Grateful Grazer
Grilled Fig Quinoa Salad by The Grateful Grazer
Linguini with Swiss Chard by LiveBest
Sautéed Power Greens and Mushrooms by Erica Julson
Tofu Kale Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing by Sharon Palmer
Squash should be firm (without any soft spots) and feel heavy for its size.
For longest life, don’t store winter squash in the fridge. Whole squashes can be stored up to a month in a cool (50-55º F), dark place (like a pantry or cellar). Cut/cooked squash can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.
Winter squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, spaghetti) tends to have a sweeter, nuttier flavor than summer squash (zucchini, yellow). It can be roasted, stuffed, boiled, or sautéed.
BBQ Jackfruit Squash Bowls by The Grateful Grazer
Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad by Rachael Hartley Nutrition
Spaghetti Squash Egg Nests by Kroll’s Korner