HERE AT BONBERI, we look forward all year to autumn, when multitudes of stalls sprout up at the Union Square Greenmarket, boasting crates overflowing with fresh apples, tables of gourds in all shapes and sizes, and layers upon layers of dark leafy greens like Tuscan “guido” kale that make our green juices sing. We recently trawled the market to pick out some of our favorite ingredients, which we plan on using again and again in the coming months. Whether it’s stocking up on a bag of Golden Delicious for a piping hot pie or lugging a hefty Kabocha squash home for a steamy dinner delight, we could easily live off this produce with just the bare ingredients.
As the saying goes…apples are not only high in fiber but they say provide excellent liver detoxification and are a good source of Vitamin C.
Season: Late August to mid to late October.
Prep Tip: We love to slice up sweeter varieties like Fuji and Honeycrisp, add a dash of cinnamon and a smear of raw almond butter while tarter options like Granny Smith are perfect low-sugar additions to juices and smoothies.
Recipe: Apple Pie (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Perhaps one of our favorite gourds on the season, this sweet squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber and is high in potassium (important for bone health) and vitamin B6.
Season: Late September through February.
Picking Tip: Always opt for the heavier squash, they tend to be sweeter and look bright orange inside rather than pale. Check for punctures or cuts, which can let bacteria in and cause mold.
Say what you will about nightshade vegetables, we are big fans of this bulbous plant that contains essential phyto nutrients, which improve blood circulation and nourish the brain. They’re also high in bioflavonoids, which are known to control high blood pressure and relieve stress.
Season: July through mid-October.
Picking Tip: Choose eggplants that are firm. Overripeness can cause bitterness. Also, avoid dried green leaves, they should be fresh and green.
Recipe: Babaganoush (Eggplant Caviar)
You heard us right, tomatoes! We were as surprised as you might be to see them as ripe and juicy as they would be in August. Tomatoes are the ultimate antioxidant food and provide an excellent amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Season: June through early October.
Storing Tip: Don’t refrigerate your tomatoes! They retain their sweetness when left at room temperature. (Bonus use: If you must refrigerate, the insides of a cold tomato do wonders to burnt skin.)
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Salad
Full of potassium, beta carotene and vitamin A, eating green beans may reduce the risk of certain cancers as well as maintain healthy vision and bone growth.
Season: May to October
Picking Tip: Always pick the crispest beans. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator with a paper towel to absorb moisture.
Recipe: Asian Grean Beans
As a cruciferous vegetable, the fiber in cauliflower makes it a great choice for digestive system support. It also provides an excellent source of vitamin K, an important anti-inflammatory nutrient.
Season: March, April; September through November
Prep Tip: No need to discard the stalks. Cut the heads in half and slice into 1/2 inch think slices for a hearty cauliflower steak dinner.
Recipe: Cream of Cauliflower Soup
The dietary fiber found in zucchini helps lower cholesterol and it also contains vitamins C and A, which act as powerful antioxidants.
Season: May to mid-September
Picking Tip: Look for smaller squash as larger varieties tend to be more bitter.
Also part of the cruciferous vegetable family, these little sprouts are a good source of Vitamin A and C, iron and potassium.
Season: September to mid-February
Tip: Don’t overcook, lest you want to emulate grandma’s bitter dish of days past.
Recipe: Shaved Roasted Brussels Sprouts