10 Fun Facts About Fall Foods

Michigan is home to more than 50,000 agricultural farms. Together, they yield more than 300 products including blueberries, grapes, pumpkins and potatoes. Every year, the fall harvest provides key ingredients for various holiday dishes and popular comfort foods. Here are 10 fun facts about the season’s top-selling produce:

  1. Apples: There are over 11 million apple trees in Michigan, producing more than 900 million pounds of apples per year. They’re an American staple that can also be used in healthy, fall-inspired desserts.
  2. Brussels Sprouts: When overcooked, Brussels sprouts release a sulphur-based compound, causing a bitter taste and displeasing smell. One can avoid this by roasting or sautéing the vegetable instead of boiling.
  3. Cabbage: An average head of cabbage is about 90% water. Yet, it’s still high in vitamins C and K as well as folate and potassium. Take advantage of its health benefits by incorporating it into your favorite soup.
  4. Carrots: One carrot has more than twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, a key component for healthy vision and a strong immune system.
  5. Celery: Celery is a nutrient powerhouse with chemical compounds that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Get the most from each stalk by pairing it with carrots as an awesome soup base.
  6. Grapes: In Michigan, there are more than 140 commercial wineries, where the Riesling grape reigns supreme. Grab a cluster and invigorate your taste buds by mixing with vegetables and curry.
  7. Onions: Despite the tearful side effects, the average American consumes about 20 pounds of onions per year. The bulb vegetable can add a surge of flavor to any dish.
  8. Potatoes: Potato chips are not the best food option. Yet, 70 percent of Michigan’s potatoes are used to make the addictive snack. For a healthier spin on spuds, create homemade mashed potatoes with cauliflower instead.
  9. Pumpkins: In North America, the pumpkin’s roots run deep. In fact, it’s been successfully grown in the region for more than 5,000 years. It’s a fall favorite that’s also a Halloween and Thanksgiving staple.
  10. Squash: The word squash originates from the Native American term “askutasquash,” which means “eaten raw.” However, most people prefer it cooked and as part of a larger meal.

Fall Favorite Recipes
Fall produce can add a new twist to an old dish. Here are 10 recipes that make the most of this season’s offerings:

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Photo credit: Brzozowska

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