Getting ready for the change in season? For me that means shifting my menus to include lots of fall vegetables. In addition to cooking seasonally, some of us chefs like to geek out over fun and interesting food facts.
From their many health benefits to their rich history, here are jeopardy-worthy fall vegetable facts you HAVE to know. Use them to impress your dinner guests or to get conversation rolling around the table.
Fun Facts About Fall Vegetables
1. Carrots are around 5,000 years old…and they’re still going strong! Many say carrots were originally used medicinally. Today, they’re a culinary staple, used to prepare stocks, soups and stews. Even though we don’t often think about the health benefits, they’re still there. Carrots contain beta-carotene (how they got their name) and other important nutrients. (Source)
2. Cauliflower is the answer to…everything! Because of its versatility, you can use cauliflower to make grain-free dishes like cauliflower rice and pizza dough. You can even use it in vegetarian cooking to make meat-like meals, such as cauliflower steaks and buffalo nuggets. If you’re on a limited diet, ask us how we can turn your favorite food into a healthful cauliflower creation.
3. Mushrooms can help give your immune system a boost—which is good to know as those first fall sniffles come to pass. They’re also anti-inflammatory. You can find mushrooms sold as teas and tinctures, but I like to use whole mushrooms in my meals to yield the benefits. Sauté them and add to pasta dishes or put them in the food processor to make a vegan pâté (check out this recipe from Smitten Kitchen). (Source)
4. Chestnuts aren’t just for open fires (and Christmas songs). Chestnuts can be used to make a variety of sweet and savory dishes…seriously! Try this creamy puréed chestnut soup or use chestnut flour to make gluten-free brownies. Get creative and see how awesome chestnuts can be.
5. Potatoes: According to the International Potato Center (yup, that’s a thing) there are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes—in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colors. We like to serve them in a bunch of different ways for our personal chef clients. From mashed potatoes to french fries to latkes, there’s plenty to whip up with all those spuds this season.
Want to get more fall vegetables on your plate? About the Table will design fresh menus of healthy and delicious meals, featuring the best local produce just for you. We’ll even throw in a few extra fun facts! Contact us to learn more.