How to Use September Produce (And 4 Healthy Recommendations)
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How to Use September Produce (And 4 Healthy Recommendations)

Seasonal produce is a great way to nourish the body with fresh foods. Aside from providing optimal taste and nutrition, it also supports local agriculture and promotes sustainability. Let's explore the incredible array of September fruits and vegetables that add flavor, color, and health benefits to our meals.

We will delve into various locally grown produce, share tips on selecting, storing, and preparing them, and suggest some delicious, healthy recipes. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a culinary novice, stick around for fresh ideas for incorporating September produce into your meals.

The Benefits of Eating Seasonally

Eating seasonal produce is a practice that bears multiple benefits. From a health perspective, fruits and vegetables picked at their peak of ripeness are often more flavorful. They are also packed with more nutrients. Environmentally speaking, it reduces the carbon footprint of transporting goods from distant locations. Buying local is the more sustainable and environmentally friendly option. Economically, it supports local farmers who contribute to the community's prosperity.

September Produce to Look Out For

In the Chicago/Evanston area, September brings an array of colorful, nutritious produce. Apples, peppers, tomatoes, pears, squash, and cucumbers are favorites. These fruits and vegetables provide unique health benefits. Apples are particularly notable for their benefits to heart health. Cucumbers are popular for their hydrating qualities.

How to Select and Store Seasonal Produce

Selecting the best produce involves checking for firmness, color, and aroma. Apples should be firm and fragrant. Tomatoes should have a deep, rich color. Regarding storage, most fruits are best kept in a cool, dry place. Vegetables like peppers and squash prefer a bit of humidity. Properly storing your produce can help prolong its life and ensure you enjoy every tasty bite without waste. 

Creative Ways to Use September Produce

There are several ways to utilize seasonal produce and elevate your meals: 

  • Apples, for example, are great for baking or making applesauce. You can also add them to salads for a sweet crunch. Baked apples offer a sweet treat without the sugar overload. It’s a healthier alternative to traditional desserts. 
  • Peppers can be stuffed, grilled, or sautéed and added to a stir-fry. They are packed with fiber, making them a great way to stay full longer. Peppers also promote good digestive health.
  • A simple cucumber and tomato salad with a vinaigrette is as refreshing as it is beneficial. Cucumbers are also great for helping you stay hydrated!
  • Squash, a fall favorite, can be roasted, pureed into soups, or used in baking. Roasted butternut squash soup provides warmth and comfort as the weather cools down. It’s packed with a good dose of vitamins and fiber too.

Need Help With Meal Preparation?

Incorporating September produce into your diet can be a delicious, healthy, and environmentally friendly choice. We hope this guide encourages you to discover new ways to enjoy these seasonal treasures while supporting local farmers. If you or a loved one in Chicago or Cook County, IL, need support with meal preparation or other daily activities, Senior Helpers Chicago/Evanston is here to help. Contact us today to explore our services, and let us help you live a healthier, happier life.