All Posts In In Season

5 Healthy Ways to Pump Up the Fresh Pumpkin

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, October 14, 2015

Cooking with Fresh PumpkinThough canned pumpkin puree stars in many of our favorite baked goods, fresh-picked pumpkin isn’t as widely used, even when it’s in season. As it turns out, fresh pumpkins have uses beyond jack-o’-lantern carving: Cooking with this tender-when-roasted squash variety brings a hearty, mildly sweet element to many of our favorite fall dishes. This season, use a little elbow grease to break down fresh, in-season pumpkin so you can use it in some of fall’s finest good-for-you recipes.

1. Next time you crave innately creamy risotto, bring morsels of diced, semisweet pumpkin into the mix. This Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto, made extra-creamy and luxurious with the addition of mascarpone cheese, is cooked in the oven so you won’t have to stand over the stove for endless stirring.

2. Amplify the sweetness of standard pumpkin soup by bringing in juicy (and also in-season) apples. The Honeycrisp variety, as well as chopped sage, adds multiple layers of flavor to this healthy Pumpkin-Apple Soup, which gets a garnish of chopped peanuts on top.

3. If you haven’t considered fresh pumpkin as a contender for your side dishes, meet Anne Burrell’s Curried Pumpkin with Caramelized Onions. Cooked low and slow for over an hour, this mild, slightly sweet squash variety becomes dynamic with a seasoning of garam masala, red pepper flakes and toasted green pumpkin seeds.

4. Scoop out a pumpkin’s flesh to make way for a festive fall presentation of Food Network Magazine’s Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls. Use the hollow pumpkin as a vehicle for this healthy, creamy, slightly sweet soup, and bits of roasted and tender pumpkin will work their way into your spoonfuls.

5. Bring another side of fresh pumpkin into your comfort food dishes. Turkey and Pumpkin Seed Chili may not call for the flesh of the fall favorite, but the pumpkin’s seeds bring a satisfying crunchy element to warming, good-for-you and cocoa-spiked chili.

Get even more healthy ways to cook with both fresh and pureed pumpkin here.

Produce Picks: Squash

by in In Season, October 9, 2015


Squashes are technically fruits, since they have seeds and are the fruit of the plant that bears them. They are primarily broken down into two types, the latter of which is now in prime season:

  • Summer squashes, whose skins are still tender and edible, are typically harvested in the late spring and summer. They include zucchini (green), yellow, pattypan and cousa.
  • Winter squashes, whose seeds and skins have fully matured and need to be cooked before they are eaten, are harvested in the late summer and fall. Examples include butternut, acorn, spaghetti squash and pumpkins.

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Market Watch: The Beauty of Heirloom Tomatoes

by in Healthy Tips, In Season, August 28, 2015

It’s peak tomato season at the local farmers market and the best time to explore heirloom varieties in all their imperfect glory. Read more

Market Watch: Early Golden Plums

by in In Season, July 26, 2015

With the first stone fruits appearing at local farmers markets here in New York City, it’s time to get on those golden plums. This early variety of plum is not only rosy and beautiful but also low in calories and a perfect snack. Read more

Market Watch: Brussels Sprout Leaves

by in In Season, June 23, 2015

Leave it to a local farmer to give new life to a part of a plant that is usually tossed in the trash (or the compost). Discover the seasonal beauty of the leaves of the Brussels sprout plant. Read more

Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, October 8, 2014


It’s the time of year where pumpkin fever sets in. Cans of pureed pumpkin and sugary pumpkin pie filling are flying off store shelves. And while a can of basic plain pumpkin is by no means an unhealthy pantry staple, it’s time to put an end to the myth that homemade is too hard to make yourself. Read more

6 Ways to Celebrate Tomato Time

by in In Season, August 24, 2014

tomato salad
Plump and juicy tomatoes aren’t just a summertime seduction, they’ve got nutrition credentials as well. They’re low and calories and high in vital nutrients, including choline, fiber and folic acid. They also feature cell-protecting antioxidants lycopene, vitamins A and C, and lutein. (Interestingly, a 2013 study found that organic tomatoes contain more antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts.)  But whichever type you buy — and however you prepare tomatoes — just remember not to refrigerate them.

Spicy Green Tomato-Avocado Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Green tomatoes are firmer and less sweet than their red equivalents and downright delish. Pair wedges with heart-healthy avocado and a handful of greens, then add a kick from fresh jalapeno. Read more

Market Watch: Green Tiger Zucchini

by in Farmers' Market Finds, July 18, 2014

If zucchini is a seasonal staple in your kitchen, be on the lookout at farmers markets for tiger zucchini, a less common variety. Named for its pale green stripes, tiger zucchini is a European hybrid that is best when harvested young (on the smaller side). The flavor is sweet and nutty with a tender crunch.

One medium specimen of the summer squash has only 30 calories and 2 grams of each fiber and protein. And it’s not so shabby in the vitamin and mineral department: Each tiger zucchini contains 56 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin C, 4 percent iron and 15 to 20 percent of B vitamins folate, B6 and riboflavin.

Thanks to their good flavor, tiger zucchini can be used in any recipe that calls for conventional zucchini, including these:

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Three Cheers For the Healthiest Berry Desserts

by in In Season, July 5, 2014

raspberry sherbet

Independence Day may be over, but the summer berry season is just hitting its stride. If your kitchen is bursting with all kinds of juicy gems, here’s a collection of red and blue berry desserts fit for any summer celebration.

Super-high in fiber (one cup provides more than 30 percent of the daily recommended value), these delicate berries can be found in various shades — including red white, black and purple — at farmers markets. Make homemade sherbet better than anything out of the freezer aisle or layer raspberries with other summer fruits in a cool and colorful terrine.

Raspberry-Buttermilk Sherbet (above, from Food Network Magazine)

Raspberry-Watermelon Terrine with Blueberry Sauce
summer fruit terrine

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The Smartest Ways to Buy and Store Summer Produce

by in In Season, June 26, 2014

How you pick and store summer fruits can mean the difference between mealy disappointment and juicy perfection.

Buying: Turn to these antioxidant-packed fruits for a burst of sweet-tart flavor and vitamin C. When shopping for strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, look for plump and well-shaped pieces that are brightly colored and firm.

Storing: Berries can be stored at room temperature for about 1 to 2 days. After that, get more mileage by keeping them in the fridge. Wash just before using and dry gently with a paper towel. Want to freeze berries? Use these tips.

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