Buying local, seasonal produce is one of the best things you can do for your health, your community, and the environment. Not only do you have easy access to healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks and meals, but you’re putting your hard-earned money back into the local economy by supporting community farmers. Plus, you can talk to the farmer and learn about their farming practices, how far away the food traveled to get to your local market, and more. Or, if you have a green thumb, knowing what’s in season can help you choose which fall crops to plant!
Try these northeast Florida seasonal fruits to make a delicious fall-inspired fruit salad for an easy addition to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks.
Apples: Apples are a great source of fiber, with one small apple meeting over 17% of your daily fiber needs. They possess great antioxidant, cardiovascular, anti-cancer, anti-asthma, and blood sugar-reducing attributes. Slice them up as part of a fruit salad or to add to a green salad, or eat as is for an on-the-go snack.
Cranberries: Cranberries have a variety of nutrients, including vitamin C, fiber, manganese, vitamin K, and vitamin E. It is suggested that cranberries offer prevention against urinary tract infections, and anti-inflammatory benefits for the cardiovascular and digestive systems. Be careful if you’re choosing these tiny fruits in their dried form; look for ones with minimal or no sugar added.
Oranges: Oranges are known for being vitamin C powerhouses – in fact, one glass of orange juice is more effective than a vitamin C supplement! Vitamin C is the most prevalent water-soluble antioxidant in the human body, which is why the vitamin C in oranges can help resist cancer, inflammation, and high cholesterol. Additionally, vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron in the body, making orange juice pair perfectly with the spinach in this recipe!
Pears: Pears are great sources of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support. Some studies suggest consuming pears lead to decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Additionally, compared to other fruits, pears can have better digestibility and decreased allergic response in sensitive individuals.
Pomegranates: Known for their antioxidant strength, pomegranates provide a diverse amount of health benefits. These little seeds can fight breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer; work in Alzheimer’s disease prevention; protect the arteries; protect our teeth; and lowers blood pressure and the LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin is low in fat, but high in fiber and vitamin A. These nutrients, along with various phytonutrients, can protect both our eyes and our skin and mucus membranes.
Tangerines: Tangerines are very low in calories but are very high in nutrients like soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and other various phytonutrients. Being a rich source of these antioxidants, tangerines can help with wound healing, anti-cancer activity, and more. Plus, since they have a thinner peel, they’re easier to peel and eat as a quick on-the-go snack.
Ginger: is also seasonal to northeast Florida this time of year, so toss your fresh fruit with some ginger and freshly-squeezed orange juice for zesty treat! Try combining diced apples, pears, and pomegranate arils with the ginger and orange juice combo, and you’ll have a tasty fall fruit salad for any time of day!
Need Help Finding Locally Grown Produce?
Head over to the North Florida Farmers Market page, there you can find a farmers market in your local area. I love our local farmers markets…the produce is so much fresher than at a super market, as it’s been picked at the optimal time and you can really taste the difference.