Fall Harvest Underdogs You Didn’t Realize Were Michigan-Grown

When it comes to Michigan produce, it can sometimes feel like cherries, apples and blueberries get all the glory. But those three are just the tip of the grown-in-Michigan iceberg. There are, in fact, loads of other less obvious fruits and vegetables to be found here—especially this time of year. Here are three in-season fruits to help expand your taste buds (and keep you from getting too sad that summer is coming to an end):

Raspberries: These sweet, intensely-colored berries are hard not to love – and they happen to be super nutritious thanks to vitamin C and fiber. Raspberries are commonly thought of as a summer fruit, but they are harvested in Michigan through the end of September.
How to cook with them: You can use the berries to make raspberry vinaigrette, raspberry Brie grilled cheese, raspberry cheesecake with a chocolate crust or frozen yogurt pops. If you’re feeling adventurous, try combining raspberry and chipotle together –the spicy/sweet combination has a surprisingly amazing taste.

Eggplant: If all you know about eggplant is that it tastes good fried and covered in parmesan cheese, you’re in for a surprise. Eggplants actually come in a variety of colors and shapes and make for a great entrée or side dish. They’re high in fiber, iron and potassium. In Michigan, eggplants are in season from July to late October, so stop by your local farmer’s market this weekend and grab a couple.
How to cook with them: Use your eggplant to make a tasty grilled salad this weekend. If you’re looking for something more unique, try Pad Ma Kuer (ground chicken with eggplant and Thai basil). Eggplant can also be a sneaky ingredient in desserts, like this chocolate eggplant torte.

Plums: Certain plum varieties ripen at the end of summer through mid-September. In addition to being tasty, plums are high in potassium, fiber and antioxidants, and contain lower amounts of sugar than other fruits.
How to cook with them: Plums are a great accent flavor for fish and pork If you’re looking for a yummy dessert that also happens to be healthy, try grilling or roasting plums and topping them with honey and rosemary. You can even add a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt to finish it off.

These underdogs are sure to get your outside of the normal fall flavors and add a little oomph to your culinary skills. Give a couple of these recipes a shot!

Photo credit: Ketzirah & Art Drauglis

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