What fruits are at the farmers market in October?
Some of the summer fruits are still available, depending on the weather this year and where you live. Cranberries and Pomegranates are in full swing, and US-grown kiwi are starting to show up.
Fig season is coming to an end. And if any summer fruits are hanging around at the market, grab them now since you probably won't see them again until next year.
Click on any of the fruits below for more details and recipes.
Vegetables for October:
Winter squash, a fall favorite, are abundant this time of year. Did you know you can roast seed from any of the winter squash, not just pumpkins?
Celery root is showing back up this month. And celery, while available all year at decent quality, is in season starting this month. If you get it from a farmers market, you might notice the fresh flavor and better texture.
For a full list of other months and all of the detailed produce guides, go to the in-season page.
A special October recipe collection
This is one of the only monthly recipe lists you will find that’s totally curated for seasonality. I don’t just share any recipe that has butternut squash in it, or pears, or apples. I make sure all of the ingredients are currently in-season, or available (in good quality) all year.
I want recipes that let me pick up all of my fresh produce from the farmers market when possible.
October's main courses...
Cranberry beef bourguignon - recipe by Half Baked Harvest
Add a tart twist to the classic Beef Bourguignon with some seasonal fresh cranberries. The recipe also calls for some carrots, onions, and mushrooms, which are all available year-round.
Pomegranate steak salad (ready in 10-15 minutes) - recipe by Ask the Food Geek
Pomegranates ship well so you should be able to find high quality ones at your supermarket. Store them on the counter for a week or in the fridge for several weeks.
Spinach, artichoke, hummus pasta - recipe by Fooduzzi
This recipe uses jarred artichokes, but I encourage you to try fresh ones while they are in season. They do take quite a bit of extra work to prepare, so this substitution wouldn't be a weeknight endeavor when you need something quick and easy. Get more information on how to pick, store, and prepare artichokes, including a how-to video from Martha Stewart.
Prosciutto & Pear Sandwich with Herbed Parmesan Mayo - recipe by Foxes Love Lemons
Any pear variety will work in this sandwich, use your favorite one.
Kung Pao Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno Sauce - recipe by Jar of Lemons
This recipe combines yogurt, lime juice, and jalapenos in a blender to make the sauce. I advice tasting each jalapeno before adding it to the blender as their heat level can vary dramatically from one pepper to the next.
If you love spicy food, add in the whole pepper (minus the stem). If you like to keep it on the mild or medium side, remove the seeds and white pithy-veins (which also contain heat). Add them into the blender 1 (or ½ of one) at a time and taste the sauce before adding more.
Coffee-rubbed venison chops with parsnip-apple puree - recipe by Reclaiming Yesterday
This recipe combines ground coffee and sugar into a rub for the venison. For the puree, apples with flesh that break down easy will be wonderful, like McIntosh or Gala. However, any apple will do, including apples a bit past their prime.
Autumn harvest pulled chicken sandwich with homemade apple BBQ sauce and apple slaw - recipe by Use Your Noodles
The apple BBQ sauce calls for 4 apples, and if you have spare apples on hand, this is a great way to use those up. However, if you are shopping specifically for this recipe, I suggest using two different varieties: a super-sweet variety like Fuji or Gala to naturally sweeten the sauce, and a tart apple for complexity, like Granny Smith.
The slaw uses 1 apple, and I suggest using an apple variety that is slow to brown, like Cortland or Gala. Note: if you use red cabbage for the slaw, the apples will pick up pink coloring as it sits.
Learn more about the various apple varieties on their seasonal page.
Korean BBQ steak bowls with spicy sesame dressing - recipe by Pinch of Yum
This recipe is excellent during this time of year while peppers are in peak season.
The author actually made this recipe in January, which is actually a great way to enjoy something more fun in winter than just winter squash. Peppers ship very well, so imported peppers in the winter are usually pretty good quality. The rest of the ingredients are available year-round anyway.
Roasted cranberry and goat cheese flatbread - recipe by Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Cranberries get roasted with maple syrup, thyme, and shallots for this flatbread. Fresh cranberries are best for this recipe because frozen ones will release too much liquid.
Mini steak sandwich with brie, caramelized onion and fig jam - get the recipe from Well Plated.
This recipe calls for ½ a cup of fig jam (not fresh figs). I included it because you can also make fig jam at home.
Jerked sriracha roast pork tacos with kiwi salsa verde - recipe by Lady & Pups
Kiwi from the US start showing up in October. If they are hard and unripe, you can store them on the counter. Otherwise, put them in the fridge and they will last several weeks or more.
Spaghetti squash with aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil), and rainbow chard - recipe by Half Baked Harvest
If you want long spaghetti squash strands, cut it in half around the 'waist' by separating the top from the bottom (as opposed to making two long halves). Roast, then scoop the flesh out with a fork (see video).
Sides & salads...
Celery root fries - recipe by Viktoria's Table
Pick a celery root that is heavy for it's size, indicating it has more water content and isn't dried out.
Apple harvest salad with cinnamon-roasted chickpeas - recipe by Ask the Food Geek
Fresh apples with a crisp flesh are delicious in this salad. The recipe also explains how to roast chickpeas and get them crispy. You can also save time if you buy a bag of chickpeas made for snacking, like from the brand Saffron Road (try the honey-roasted ones on this salad).
Roasted butternut squash and apple soup with sage - recipe by My Diary of Us
Feel free to buy pre-cut butternut squash to save you time or buy a fresh one to save you money. If you buy the whole butternut squash, you can peel it with a potato peeler. Then cut it open, scoop out the seeds, and slice it up.
Roasted grape, goat cheese, and honey stuffed sweet potatoes - recipe by How Sweet It Is
If you haven't roasted grapes before, you're in for a treat. They are great with other roasted vegetables, in salads, with wild rice, and in these stuffed sweet potatoes with honey.
Maple-roasted cardamom-spiced carrots and apples - recipe by Vanilla and Bean
The author says these are great warm, but also chilled and served on a cheese board.
Caramelized brussels sprouts with maple-orange glaze - recipe by Pinch of Yum
Brusssels sprouts are cooked on the stove top in bacon fat, tossed with a maple-orange sauce, and topped with bacon. They require just a little fuss (like making sure the cut-side of the brussels sprouts face down in the pan to caramelize), but worth the effort if you have the time.
Roasted butternut squash, kale, and cranberry couscous - recipe by Gimme Some Oven
This recipe stores well, so it's great for meal-prepping for the week.
Waldorf chicken salad - recipe by Jo Cooks
A fun twist on the Waldorf salad and a great way to use up some apples, pears, and grapes. The recipe calls for a Bosc pear because of the firmer flesh (a soft variety, like Bartlett, would fall apart).
Crunchy cucumber rolls with herb cheese - recipe by Nutrition Stripped
Cucumbers might still show up at farmers markets this month. If they do, this is a nice party appetizer if an October heat wave hits.
How to roast pumpkin seeds - instructions by Vanilla and Bean
How about breakfast?
Spiced pumpkin turmeric oatmeal bowl with figs and pomegranates - recipe by Heather Christo
Peanut butter toast with skillet cinnamon apples - recipe by Two Peas & Their Pod
An adult version of PB&J that sounds like a perfect way to start the day.
Sweets treats better than Halloween candy...
Bourbon fig swirled brown butter banana bread - recipe by Broma Bakery
The recipe calls for dried figs that you re-hydrate in bourbon and water, then puree. I imagine fresh, ripe figs would also work and will be giving it a try myself soon.
Stuffed caramel apples with chocolate drizzle - recipe by The Girl on Bloor
The author uses Empire apples, which is one of the varieties that is slow to brown. Cortland, Cameo, and Gala are also slow to brown.
Mulled concord grape cider - recipe by Rhubarbarians
For us adults, go ahead and spike it 😉