Fresh produce tastes best in season—and it's cheaper. So welcome autumn's bounty with these nutritional superstars.
Greens like collards and kale grow in summer and fall, but colder weather makes them tastier. They're high in antioxidant vitamins A and C and other nutrients that promote healthy vision and may lower cancer risk. Simmer, steam, or sauté chopped greens, or add them to soups or stews.
Sweet potatoes, harvested in fall, are one of the most nutritious vegetables around. High in the antioxidant vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes may help to boost your immune system. Store them at room temperature for use within a week, or up to a month in a cool, dry place between 55 and 60 degrees.
Pomegranates debut in September and bow out by the end of December—but keep them in the fridge for up to two months. Eat the seeds or press them for juice. These tart jewels contain lycopene and other heart-healthy antioxidants. Cut the top off, score the outside lengthwise, and place in a bowl of water. Separate the scored sections, remove seeds under water, and strain. The seeds can be packed in an airtight container and frozen for up to three months.
Brussels sprouts are available all year, but peak in flavor during fall and winter. Steam, boil, or microwave sprouts after you've cut off yellow or wilted leaves, trimmed the stems, and carved a shallow X in the bases to improve heat penetration. Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables, high in vitamin C and cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Cranberry beans are available fresh in the pod every fall. These speckled beans have a creamy texture that resembles chestnuts. They're packed with protein and are also high in calcium and potassium.