Produce that’s in season tastes better, costs less, and helps you lead a healthier lifestyle. So what’s fresh this November? Read on to find out which fruits and veggies are the must-haves at your grocery store or farmers market this month!
Depending on your proximity to their origin, foods will be even fresher, but in most of the US, we ship our produce far and wide. These seasonal fruits and veggies are available all across the 3.797 million square miles of the USA even though they are grown in very specific regions (1).
Dig into the rest of this article for info and recipes to enjoy the best seasonal produce in November.
Of course, pumpkins are the stars of Halloween, but these spooky friends stay delicious during November, so get them while they’re still in season. After November, they’ll be gone.
Your options for recipes are endless. A classic pumpkin pie belongs on every Thanksgiving table. Alternatively, a moderate culinary challenge would be pumpkin soup. There are so many delicious recipes! If you’re not an expert cook, you may use these cuties for easy decorations around your adorable autumnal house and then bake the seeds.
There are 45 different varieties of pumpkin. Another fun fact about pumpkins is that most of them are produced in just ten states. Illinois alone produces around 500 million pounds worth of pumpkins per year! About 80% of what is produced will be used to make canned pie filling and other processed foods. (2)
While canned pumpkin is available year-round, it is better to grab the fresh ones to reap the most benefit from the carotene contained inside. Carotene is good for your skin, eyes, and is an antioxidant. Also rich in vitamin A, eating pumpkin can help with immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication. All pretty important, I’d say!
All of these are good arguments for grabbing November by the gourds.
Related: Grocery Guide to Buying Pumpkin Puree at Any Time of the Years
Thanksgiving would not be the same without cranberries. These tart seasonal favorites are harvested September through November, so get them at their freshest.
While the obvious use is cranberry sauce, you can also try some of these delicious alternatives, including cranberry cocktails! Try your hand at a cranberry tart or, if you want to do something simple and delicious, you can go for a fruit crisp (incorporating the also-ripe pear).
Cranberries are grown in bogs, year-round, mostly in the North. There are many places to go tour the cranberry bogs this autumn. Because they’re in season, the prices are down but also this is just the thing to do right now, so enjoy the autumnal festivities! (3)
While different strains of cranberry have slightly different nutritional content, the North American cranberry is by far the most common. It is rich in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin e, vitamin K-1, and copper. What a powerhouse of nutrition. Cranberries are also ripe in antioxidants, which is why their juice is infamous for helping to clear the system.
You can really feel good about finding ways to incorporate cranberries into your November meals.
Related: Is it Costly to Eat Healthfully?
3. Sweet Potatoes
Another Thanksgiving staple, sweet potatoes, are best October through December. You could say you are hitting the “sweet spot” by getting them in November.
They can be used in desserts, sweet dishes, or savory.
Because they require so much sunlight, sweet potatoes are grown primarily in the southern states. North Carolina alone grows 60% of all sweet potatoes in the US. It is also the official vegetable of North Carolina! (4)
These root vegetables are nutrient-dense. They carry beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and vitamin B-6. While they are not lower in calories than your average potato, they are higher in nutrition.
So get these treats while they’re hot!
4. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are ripe October through January, so November is their prime.
They can be baked, roasted, or sauteed. Try any one of these delicious recipes.
Brussel sprouts are named after Brussels, the capital of Belgium, where they were very popular in the 16th century. Now, most of our brussel sprouts come from California but they can be and are grown all around the US. (5)
Brussel sprouts are surprisingly nutrient-dense. They carry 137% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, as well as 81% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. Lesser nutrients, include vitamin a, folate, and manganese.
Add this veggie to your fall feast!
You cannot “beet” this root vegetable in November.
Add this magenta jewel to your juices, salads, or dips.
Also called “sugarbeets”, beets grow in three major areas of the US: the upper midwest, the great plains, and the west. They’re planted in the spring and harvested September through October, so this is a perfect time to grab them. (6)
Beets are also very nutrient-dense. They carry vitamin C, folate, B6, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and iron. Studies have shown that they can significantly reduce blood pressure in only a few hours. They’re also low in calories.
Try swapping out some of your regular starches for these beautiful vegetables.
One of the fruits which you HAVE to grab when it’s ripe is the persimmon!
Eat them raw, add them to a salad, or bake them into a dessert.
Persimmons are grown all over the US. Out of season, they’re bitter, so you must try them in their prime. To pick the ripest ones, look for a deep orange color. If you grab some that are less than ripe, put them in a paper bag for a few days to let them ripen (trust me it’s worth it! you only want these fruits when they are in peak ripeness). They are delicious.
They carry 55% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, B6, potassium, copper, and manganese. They’re also loaded with fiber so a good weight loss fruit.
You must get them while they’re ripe!
Enjoy the beautiful jewel tones of autumn, and pick up the best for your family. Try some of these recipes for your Thanksgiving table and enjoy this year more than ever, falling into the season.
You can use seasonal fruits in a variety of ways, such as adding sliced apples or pears to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, making persimmon or quince jam, adding diced kiwi to a salad for lunch, or making a citrus fruit salad for a refreshing dessert.