By EatingWell Editors
In every season, it’s important to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables – especially those that are dark green, red, and orange. Crisp apples, tart cranberries, juicy pears and tangy pomegranates are delicious and healthy fruits that are in season during the fall. This handy guide lets you know what each offers nutritionally and helps you choose the tastiest fruit at the market.
Sweet, tangy, juicy and flavorful, an apple is nature’s perfect snack, especially when it’s straight off the tree in the fall. Apples are great for snacking, but they are also versatile in the kitchen in sweet and savory dishes.
What You Get: A good source of soluble fiber and vitamin C, apples also have some phytochemicals that may help prevent heart disease.
Shopping Tip: Choose richly colored, unbruised apples with smooth skin that feel firm and heavy in your hand.
Storage Tip: Store apples in the refrigerator. In general, firmer, juicier apples like Gala and Fuji will last longer than softer varieties like Golden Delicious.
Beautiful, healthful and festive, cranberries are one of the jewels of fall. Cranberry sauce is a must-have for most of us on Thanksgiving, and cranberries also look lovely strung around the tree at Christmastime. Be sure to stock up on these delicious and healthy berries this holiday season and look for new ways to keep them in your diet year-round.
What You Get: A good source of vitamin C and fiber, cranberries are also an excellent source of several antioxidants that have been associated with cancer prevention.
Shopping Tip: Find fresh cranberries packaged in 12-ounce bags in the produce section.
Storage Tip: Cranberries freeze well and can be kept in your freezer in an airtight container, or in the bag you bought them in, for months.
Enjoying the perfect pear requires patience. Pears are one of the few fruits that don’t benefit from ripening on the tree. In fact, pears left unpicked tend to rot from the inside out. The pear easily moves between the realms of sweet and savory. Try oven-roasted pears for a decadent dessert. Or roast wedges and puree them in a silky squash soup.
What You Get: An average medium pear has about 100 calories and 6 grams of fiber.
Shopping Tips: There are a variety of pears to choose from in most grocery stores and each variety has its season, though they’re all available in the fall. Most pears don’t significantly change in color when ripe, so go by touch: ripe pears are soft when gently pressed near the stem.
Storage Tips: Let pears sit at room temperature, near other ripening fruit or in a brown bag with a ripe banana (which stimulates ripening). Store ripe pears in the coldest part of the refrigerator to prevent overripening.
The pomegranate may look hard to tackle, but cut into one and you’ll reveal its many jewel-like seeds. Add a beautiful pop of color to any dish with a sprinkling of the edible seeds or enjoy them unadorned.
What You Get: Full of fiber, vitamin C and potassium, pomegranates are high in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Shopping Tip: Look for pomegranates that feel heavy for their size, indicating particularly juicy fruit.
Storage Tips: Store pomegranates at room temperature for up to 3 weeks or refrigerate for up to 2 months. Pomegranate seeds and juice can be frozen for up to 6 months.