When it comes to what many would consider ‘popular fall favorites,’ comfort foods are on the top of the list. Autumn means a time when guilt follows gluttonous decisions at Thanksgiving, but not all fall foods are unhealthy or packed with too many calories. Some of the best fall foods have been made with seasonal vegetables directly from the harvest of local gardeners. Here is a list of some favorite autumn foods and recipes that will leave you feeling warm inside without the negative calorie-laden emotions afterwards.

Pumpkin Treats

     Pumpkin is an essential autumn fixture! Most families will have an average of 2-3 pumpkins lying around their house for Jack-O-Lantern purposes, but few have ever tried carving their own pumpkins for delicious homemade dishes. The sweet insides of a pumpkin can be used in pumpkin pies, soups, and chili; while the seeds can be baked for a low-fat, high-fiber snack. As a symbol of Halloween and harvest season in general, pumpkins can also be used to make sweeter treats; such as cookies, cakes, and spiced drinks.

      After the recipes have been made from the family pumpkins one year, people find their cravings for pumpkin-related dishes increase over the fall season. This vegetable is packed with essential vitamins that everyone needs on a daily basis, and the shell can double as a Halloween decoration or a short-term dried bowl for baked pumpkin seeds.

Apple Time

         An apple is a fruit that allows people to know that fall has truly arrived. With the amount of festivals and parties that are going on, you can be sure that candy apples or apple dipped in caramel will be on the faire menus. However, it’s a cheaper treat to do it yourself at home! Kids will enjoy an apple dipping project simply because they can use some of their favorite toppings to make the once healthy snack, a sweeter alternative.
     For people who love apples without the taste of candy, fresh juice or homemade cider can remind someone of the fall season. Plus, the most fun of this favorite fall food comes from picking the apples yourself before using them in a recipe!

An Unexpected Treat

     Beans may not be a fall food that is instantly thought of when autumn rolls around, but it remains a seasonal favorite. Dark red kidney beans and black beans are among the top two autumn foods used in fall recipes because their taste makes everything heartier. Fall usually means cooler weather which leads to a craving for warmer food. Beans can be used in heaping bowls of stomach-warming dishes such as stews and casseroles. A great recipe for Autumn chili featuring 3 types of beans would be:

1 cup of dark red kidney beans

1 cup of black beans

1 cup pinto beans

2 cups stewed tomatoes

2 cups tomato sauce

¼ pound ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons chili powder

      Brown ground beef and onions in a medium-size pot on semi-high heat. Stir in stewed tomatoes, all beans, tomato sauce, and chili powder. Simmer on medium heat for 45 minutes. Enjoy with a glass of milk and saltine crackers! Serves 3 people!

       Favorite autumn foods and recipes revolve around comfort and the warm feelings you get from the memories of previous falls when you enjoyed the same dishes. When it comes to brand-new recipes, don’t be afraid to generously use spices and cinnamon for an essential autumn taste.