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Falling For Plant-Packed Comfort Food

Chilly mornings, the yellow-orange splendor of autumn leaves, shifting from iced coffee to steamy hot java, pulling those slippers out from underneath the bed…these are just a few of the signs that Fall is upon us. Well, that and craving comfort food. Almost overnight it seems, hot soups and stews sound particularly appetizing along with creamy casseroles.

More than ever, American families have been eating together and cooking at home, and along the way have rediscovered their love of comfort foods. Couple those recent trends with colder weather and you’ve got all signs pointing to Comfort Food!

The most crave-able American comfort food that offers an opportunity to feature fruits and vegetables includes: pizza, mac n’ cheese, burgers, pasta, Mexican food, ice cream, soups/stews and casseroles! Here are some ways you can feature fall fruits and vegetables in these dishes:

Pizza/Flatbreads

Fruits: Add apples, grapes, mango, pears or pineapple as a topping to your pizza or flatbread, depending on the other ingredients. Pineapple pairs well with Ham for a Hawaiian-style pizza, apples, pears and grapes work well with cheddar, brie, and gruyere topped pizza or flatbreads!

Veggies: Add bell peppers, mushrooms and onions to any and all pizza and flatbreads. You can even color your pizza with cooked broccoli, kale or spinach!

Mac ‘n Cheese

Mac ‘n Cheese offers a perfect opportunity to stir in some bite size veggies including broccoli, cauliflower, mushroom and onions, spinach, kale and Swiss chard.

Burgers

Fruit: For a sweet twist, top your meat/meatless burgers with sliced mango or pineapple rings.

Veggies: Top your meat/meatless burgers with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, bell peppers and/or spinach, or top them with fresh lettuce and onions!

Pasta

Pasta is the perfect platform for many Fall veggies depending on whether it is topped with marinara, a white or Alfredo sauce, or a pesto sauce. In particular, butternut squash, pumpkin and other winter squash, compliment a white sauced pasta. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale and spinach work well with red, white or green sauced pasta.

Mexican Food

This popular culinary category screams for the addition of green peppers and onions (think fajitas) but potatoes and pumpkin can be featured in some Mexican dishes.

Ice Cream

Sky is the limit with fruit and ice cream! From Apples and bananas to mango, pineapple and raspberries! Either create your own fruity flavor or top or stir in these flavorful-fall fruits to your ice cream.

Soups/Stews & Casseroles

All the Fall vegetables listed below can be added to assorted soups and stews. Think about your family favorites and check out the list of Fall veggies and add at least one veggie the next time you make them!

LOOK OUT FOR THESE FRUITS THIS FALL

apples, bananas, cranberries, grapes, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, mangos, pears, pineapples, raspberries

LOOK FOR THESE VEGETABLES THIS FALL

beets, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, green beans, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes & yams, Swiss chard, turnips, Winter squash

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