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Seasonal foods are considered a healthy option in contrast to what we can see in supermarkets all year long – at least, that is what the Chinese stick to. What is more important is to have a diverse diet which is often associated with complex recipes many people simply can’t keep up with. Yet, you can have a rich diet and not spend hours on cooking, which is a priority for busy people, including students.
So, what is so special about ‘student-level cooking’? Well, when you prepare meals at home and have plenty of time, you can create real masterpieces (if you are a fan of cooking, of course). In addition, at home, you have utensils and appliances that simplify the process. But who has time for cooking when studying at college or university and especially living in a dorm?
Some students can’t even make it through the term without deciding to pay for essay at EssayPro – otherwise, they risk dealing with burnout. Therefore, we have created a list of seasonal foods, most of which do not even need to be cooked or will not take much of your time. And as a bonus, there are recipes and some exciting facts!
Seasonal Foods To Try
Pumpkins & Squashes
Did you know that these are actually fruits? Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A which is so crucial for your body in the fall. What is also important is there is a whole range of kinds of squashes (100) and pumpkins (150)! So, your diet won’t be boring at all, especially if you try:
- acorn squash
- Red Kuri (reminds of sweet potato)
- butternut squash
- Long Island Cheese
They combine well with garlic and ginger and taste good in all kinds of dishes, so it doesn’t matter whether you saute, boil, or roast them. Some pumpkins are even delicious enough to be eaten fresh – just peel and cut them into cubes.
Here comes one of the most nutritious vegetables and a vitamin-C champion. Once grown in home gardens as an exotic plant, broccoli looks magnificent on a dish and is a perfect source of fiber and vitamin K. It does not need to be cooked for a long time or prepared in a special way. Just cut the florets and fry them with garlic or boil them for 5-7 minutes. By the way, did you know that California produces almost all of the broccoli sold in the US?
These guys are something you can see on the supermarket shelves every day, yet, seasonal apples varieties are the best, and in fall, they include but are not limited to:
- Granny Smith
They are also tasty when baked and topped with honey and ground nuts, and of course, they are fun to catch and eat on Halloween when playing apple bobbing. By the way, did you know that apples float because they are 25% air?
This fruit has over 3,000 varieties, so you will definitely find the one you will like. It is a fiber-rich product and student-friendly snack and can also serve as a healthier substitute for sweets. Pears are a good combination with soft-ripened, blue, and hard cheeses, so they are suitable for salads as well. Also, soft sorts can be baked just like apples or make amazing filling in:
- New York plum torte but with pears
- pear upside-down cake
- pear tart
If you want to give up eating sugar, grapes are a good alternative (in moderate volumes, of course), and they are also easy to take for lunch, especially if you are in a hurry or have a day on the go. Although you can barely see them in recipes, they are actually a great match with shrimps, nuts, and cheeses.
Kale leaves are among the leaders when it comes to vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. The very taste of the leaves is not that vivid, so one can use them as an addition to most salads. They can be cooked just as spinach – saute them to get the soft texture, add butter, and serve as a separate dish or as a garnish.
This representative of the grass family adds sweetness to dishes and is a popular ingredient in Mexican dishes. So, do try to mix it with chili or other spicy ingredients.
Canned corn usually contains sugar. Meanwhile, in the fall, you can buy fresh corn and either add it to other products or cook it on the cob (whether grilled, roasted, or boiled, it tastes amazing). Actually, it is okay to even eat it fresh – just make sure you wash it properly or, better, put it in boiling water for several seconds.
This vegetable doesn’t need any introduction – french fries are one of the most popular snacks in the world. Even though potatoes are 79% water, they are very nutritious and can be cooked in a million ways: deep-fried, fried, mashed, boiled, roasted, or baked. And by the way, most of the nutrients in a potato reside just below the skin layer. So, baking it unpeeled is not only tasty but also good for your health.
Grapefruits are one of the leading sources of vitamin C and a helpful dessert after a heavy meal. You shouldn’t boil, roast, or fry them. Peel them and mix the candles with greens, chicken, and cheese, or just eat them fresh and add to smoothies.
Cantaloupe, muskmelon, Golden Beauty, watermelon… Do hurry to buy one of these because melons are a seasonal product only at the beginning of the fall. In comparison to watermelon, other kinds are quite nutritious, but all of them are delicious and can help one deal with sugar cravings. More so, cantaloupes and Golden Beauty go well with cheese, so you can snack on them or make extraordinary salads!
Mushrooms are most suitable for most one-pot recipes, along with pumpkin and potatoes. Just slice and fry them for 5-10 minutes, and they can make both an addition to pasta sauce and an excellent garnish. For instance, fry them with onions and add them to mashed or fried potatoes.
Once considered a medicinal herb, celery is extremely useful as a whole. Its ribs are rich in C and, especially, A vitamins. They go well with apples and taste amazing when fried in butter. At the same time, celery root is a proper substitute for salt and is a nice addition to stew. By the way, celery seeds are also rich in vitamins and can be used as a spice in dressings, sauces, and salads.
Being able to cook one-pot dishes without wasting much time or using a lot of cooking utensils is a must for most students, especially if they live in a dorm where they can’t find the same appliances and utensils as at home. But who wants to have boring meals? Well, we hope that after reading this list, you will have plenty of products to include in your menu in the fall. In addition, they are rich in various nutrients, which is extremely important since, in fall, you need to pack your body with vitamins (especially C, A, and E).
Of course, this list is not comprehensive. Peas, cranberries, courgettes, eggplants, and brussels sprouts also belong to seasonal foods. So, pay attention to those when going for groceries!