Fall Ingredients to Incorporate In Every Meal
It's true that the best dishes are the ones in which you can truly taste the flavor of the season. Summertime meals are full of zesty, smoky barbeque, and winter dishes often have a variety of cinnamon and spice. Fall flavors tend to be some of the most natural ones out there and they add real quality to the hearty soups and stews that are popular at this time of year. Here are some of the best fall ingredients to incorporate into your meals this season:
There's no such thing as too much pumpkin, and it can be used in almost any dish you can think of. Almost all pumpkin-inspired dishes require pumpkin puree and you can make it from scratch with just water, a pumpkin and your slow cooker! The full, woody flavor is a great addition to soups, stews, baked goods and more.
The classic Christmas song about chestnuts roasting over an open fire may have you believing that they are a winter delicacy when in fact, they are in season beginning in October. The rich, nutty flavor of chestnuts is what makes them such an autumn staple in the kitchen. The best chestnuts are those that are uncracked, firm and heavy for their size. If you are collecting your own chestnuts from the fallen selection and not from the tree, you must roast them before taking off the shells. However, this can be a time-consuming process. Luckily, many stores sell canned chestnuts as well as chestnut puree, both of which can be substitutes for the real nut.
Along with pumpkins, apples are another product of the fall harvest that never get old. Apple butters, applesauce and apple pies are just the beginning. Many French dishes incorporate apples with pork as the tart taste nicely balances out the savory flavoring of the meat. Popular dishes include applesauce with pork chops and apple stuffing with sausage. To create one of these pork and apple creations, use your Crock-Pot® Lift & Serve Hinged Lid 6-Quart Oval Slow Cooker.
Ground nutmeg is one of the most popular spices to use during the fall season. Typically blended with other spices such as cloves and ginger, this brown spice is used to add an aromatic flavor to a number of dishes. Best known for its use with desserts, nutmeg is also a great addition to roasted fall vegetables such as squash, potatoes, cauliflower and spinach. It's even great sprinkled over sliced peaches and pears. Perhaps the best use of nutmeg, however, is in seasonal drinks. Dash a sprinkle of nutmeg on hot chocolate, cider or eggnog for an extra kick!