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V is for Vegetables (Autumn)

Fresh autumn vegetables mean one thing. “It’s comfort food time!”

Here are 5 of my favorites and suggested uses.

Rutabaga – This is my favorite autumn vegetable. This root plant adds delicious flavor and texture to soups, stews, pasties, and even by itself. Mashed with a pinch of nutmeg, a dash of salt (optional), and heavy cream (or low fat milk for a healthier version), rutabaga will surprise most tasters. Mash well to obtain a smooth texture. This is a must-try if you haven’t already indulged.

Squash – Another autumn favorite, there are plenty of wonderful squash varieties. A few favorites include butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash. They are great in soups, mashed, roasted (cut into sections, top with a teaspoon of butter or cut into pieces, cover with olive oil) brightens any holiday meal. Bake at 375 or 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until tender. Very popular!

Sweet Potatoes – Usually available throughout the year, this fresh, robust flavor comes front and center in autumn. This favorite is scrumptious mashed, cut and fried—or baked (similar to French fried potatoes)—sweet potato pie, and don’t forget the Thanksgiving casserole!

Pumpkin – It’s pumpkin season—time for pies, bars, cakes, and breads. Most of us get pumpkin from a can. I often do, too. But, when fresh pie pumpkins are available, there’s nothing like fresh grown. I’ve baked large chunks of fresh pumpkin on microwave-safe dishes in the microwave or on a baking pan in the oven. Cook until tender. Then it’s easy to pull off the outer peel, mash, and use…or freeze pre-measured in baggies. Yum!

Carrots – If you have access to late-grown carrots, you’re in for a treat. Chose the small ones that are sweet and tender this time of year—or joyful colors—when you least expect it.

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