September 2, 2015
Posted in: Culinary Arts

Your Fall Produce Guide: Colorado Style

Pomegranates are best during the fall season.

Pomegranates are best during the fall season.

Almost all fruits and vegetables can be found at grocery stores any time of the year. Yet there’s nothing better than fresh produce while in its prime season. From September to November, autumn brings a plethora of healthy and fresh produce. If you’re taking cooking classes in Boulder, you may want to know how to obtain Colorado’s best. Here is a guide to the best kinds of produce to get in Colorado during the fall and some tips on how to pick them:

Beets
Beets are their best during fall. They can range from purple to reddish colors. When picking out beets, opt for ones that are heavier,as they usually pack the most flavor. Stay away from any with visible nicks or cuts. If they’re sold with the tops still on, look to those for an indication of freshness. They should be crisp green and full, not wilted. For the bulbs, grab the ones that are firm yet smooth.

Pumpkin
Nothing says fall more than a bright orange pumpkin. Beyond their classic look and Jack-o-lantern usage, pumpkins can be cooked numerous ways. When picking out a pumpkin, there are three main things to remember: color, handle and firmness. Though pumpkins can have several different discolorations, the best ones should mostly be orange. Take note of the stem. If it’s dull, that’s usually an indication of frost damage. Lastly, the pumpkin should feel firm. It may have bumps throughout, which is OK, but an externally mushy pumpkin usually means it’s decayed internally. However, if you decide to incorporate this squash into your cooking, be sure to utilize the seeds as well. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of the omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic, which is said to help with heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Quince
Quince is an underappreciated fruit that is at its best from October to December. It has been described as a cross between an apple and a pear, except quinces are inedible while raw. But when cooked, quince’s texture resemble a pear. The best way to determine the ripeness of a quince is by color. At full maturity, it should be completely yellow. During this time, the fruit also has a strong sweet fragrance that you will definitely notice.

Pomegranates
Despite their difficulty, people love pomegranates. Choose the best pomegranate based on its weight and feel. The heavier the fruit, odds are, the more juice the seeds hold. You should be able to feel the seeds through the skin, but don’t press too hard. The seeds should be firm. Most people avoid this fruit because deseeding is very labor-intensive and time-consuming. However, there is a quicker way to go about it. First, fill a large bowl of water. Quarter the fruit, and submerge one of the pieces under the water. Slowly and gently nudge the seeds out. The pieces of skin should float so you can pour these out with the water. Empty the seeds into a colander to drain the rest of the water.