As New Englanders we are ushered into the fall season with cool weather and cravings for sweets. During fall there are many opportunities to buy local produce and include them in our recipes.
Part of the allure of fall is seeing the warm colors of the changing leaves mirrored in our favorite dishes. With a few simple tips, you don’t have to compromise your nutritionally balanced diet for autumn themed indulgences.
1. Know what’s in season
Eating foods that are in season is favorable for both the local economy and ecology.
Cranberries, melons, apples, and pumpkin are in season throughout autumn and make for scrumptious smoothie components.
You can sprinkle berries into your smoothie for both a tart and sweet taste. Nutrient-rich pumpkin or squash can be the main ingredient in any delicious shake.
Remember that honey and maple syrup are also local commodities that can sweeten up your recipes.
For more information on seasonal produce visit: https://www.pickyourown.org/CTharvestcalendar.htm/.
2. Shop locally
Visit farm stands and local markets to get produce that is grown in Connecticut and New England.
Connecticut Fresh Food & Produce Market on South Colony Road in Wallingford has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from farms in the state.
The Southington Farmer’s market takes place on the Southington Town Green every Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. through October 23rd.
On Saturday’s local vendors gather at the Meriden Green between 8:30 a.m. and noon for the city’s farmer’s market.
A Connecticut’s 2020 farmers’ market guide can be accessed online at: https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/ADaRC/Publications/Farmers-Markets.
3. Gather and prepare ingredients
Always wash your ingredients before you prepare them.
Follow the simple recipe below to gather ingredients for a Honeycrisp Smoothie
• 1 Honeycrisp apple cored and chopped
• 1/2 banana frozen
• 4-6 oz plain Greek yogurt
• 3-4 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
• 1 Tbsp honey
• 1/2 cup ice cubes
• 1-2 Tbsp granola
Keep the skin on the apple to add texture and fiber to your smoothie.
To intensify the flavor, add a teaspoon of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
4. Get the consistency right
Use a blender to mix the ingredients together thoroughly.
The yogurt and applesauce will give the smoothie a rich consistency. The granola will also add thickness to its texture.
If you wish to lower the viscosity of your smoothie, add a tablespoon of water to the mixture before you finish blending.
You can also swap out applesauce for apple juice, with no added sugar.
Pureed pumpkin can be used instead of, or in addition to, frozen banana to amplify the fall themed flavor palate of your delectable drink.
5. How to store leftovers
Leftover smoothies can be stored in the refrigerator for 12 to 48 hours depending on the ingredients used. Leafy greens and vitamin C can help extend the life of your refrigerated smoothie.
However, the ingredients will begin to separate after a few hours as your smoothie starts to oxidize.
For longer storage you can freeze your smoothies.
Always be sure to use tightly sealed containers when storing your left-over ingredients or smoothies to avoid both spoilage and spillage.