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When the weather cools down, families turn to the kitchen for warmth and comfort. While some ingredients thrive during the warmer months, fall produce can be transformed into delicious dishes that even the pickiest eaters will love. From hearty root vegetables to sweet fruits, the autumnal harvest offers a variety of flavors, textures, and immune-boosting vitamins for the whole family.

Rooting for Root Veggies

Root vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets, are the unsung heroes of fall. Nutrient-rich and full of earthy, naturally sweet flavors, they can be roasted, mashed, or even blended into soups and sauces for a comforting meal. Here’s one delicious produce-packed marinara perfect for pasta night:

Toss chopped sweet potatoes and carrots in olive oil with some salt and roast on a baking sheet at 425 degrees for 35 minutes. While they’re cooking, add one 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, one stick of butter, and one yellow onion, peeled and quartered, to a sauce pot. Bring to a boil; then, reduce to a simmer for half an hour. When the root veggies are finished cooking, add them to the sauce pot. Use an immersion blender or pour the pot’s contents into a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.

Seasonal Snacking

When it comes to snacking, the fall harvest has got you covered. From simple apple slices paired with sunbutter to roasted pumpkin seeds, the possibilities are endless for yummy eats that can provide fuel for all sorts of autumn adventures.

One tried-and-true fall flavor is apple butter, and it’s easy to make at home with a slow cooker! Simply peel, core, and chop 5 lbs of apples and add to the slow cooker with one cup of brown sugar and several shakes of pumpkin pie seasoning. Stir and cook on low for 8-10 hours; then, blend until smooth. Delicious!

Baking Memories

Turn baking into a family affair for cozy, tasty memory-making. For a simple treat with a fall fruit focus, try baked apples! Even the littlest kitchen helpers can contribute. Simply wash and core four large apples; then, fill with a mixture of butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. (You can also add nuts for extra protein!) Using a 2-quart baking dish, add ¾ cups of water and place apples into the dish upright. Bake for an hour at 375 degrees and dig in!