Things are always changing, yet somehow they seem to stay the same year after year. The sun goes up and the sun goes down every day without fail, and everything that happens in between is always a little bit different than the day before. Sometimes it's drastically different!
Have you noticed the seasons are just the same? If you're anything like us, you may have rituals or habits inspired by the seasons that you look forward to every year.
There's something very comforting about putting the garden beds to rest for the upcoming winter. Bringing out the woolen winter coats and hats and stowing away the summer sandals. Hanging the heavier drapes and resealing the windows. Packing up and storing the patio furniture and making sure the hot tub is clean and ready to receive.
We've seen another summer come and go, and now autumn is upon us once again. We love everything about the fall season. The changing landscape, vivid and sharp with crimson, magenta, and burnt orange hues - all markings of Mother Nature doing her incredible work. The cooler days and crisp, fresh air. Longer evenings, perhaps amid a crackling fire and with a hot toddy in hand soothing the throat and warming the belly.
The Best Part About Fall
If you're anything like us, the change of season has you thinking about one of the best parts of fall: the food. No doubt your summer saw its share of barbecues and backyard gatherings this past summer. There's nothing quite like the hiss and sizzle of meat on the grill against the backdrop of sunset with a cold drink in hand and good friends around.
But even that wears off after a few months and we look forward to another change - a familiar one. Oven-roasted veggies, pot roast, slow-cooker meals, hearty soups, rich hot chocolate with marshmallows, and so much more of our favorite fall comfort foods.
As we settle into the season of Thanksgiving, Halloween, and the fall harvest, grounding foods like root vegetables offer a bit more sustenance for our bodies to bear the colder days ahead. We really aren't unlike our ancestors, after all!
As we enter hibernation mode, you may find yourself craving foods you haven't in a while, such as stews and casseroles. As you feel the temperature drop, you may be opting for a warm soup appetizer over a cold salad.
If you're a little out of practice with the seasonal switchover as it relates to food, don't worry, we've got you covered. We've included a few of our favorite fall meals, snacks, and drinks to help you settle into another cozy fall in your kitchen and around the table. In each item, we've included a suggestion or two to give those classics a bit of edge. Recipes are available across the web with a quick Google search. Then all you need to do is add your own signature taste.
Our Favorite Fall Comfort Foods (With A Twist)
In the Slow Cooker
Whether you've got a Crock Pot or InstaPot doesn't matter here. Both slow cookers will host a pot roast nicely. Add fall veggies like parsnips, squash, and heirloom carrots. Here's the twist: add a tablespoon of seeded mustard or a few generous dashes of mustard powder for flavor and heat.
Chicken Noodle Soup.
You don't need to catch a cold to love this family classic. You likely have your own recipe, but if not, there are TONS online. If you want to make a gluten-free version, consider swapping out the noodles for wild rice or quinoa. And always go for chicken thighs over breast for a more tender and mouth watering experience.
In the Oven
These are a crowd pleasing appetizer and perfect for a small dinner party. They're like the budget version of bacon wrapped scallops and a little sweeter! Drizzle lightly with honey for a lip-smacking finish.
Chicken pot pie.
This is the classic pastry-filled chicken vegetable medley stewed in gravy. We recommend making your own puff pastry or using store-bought phyllo pastry sheets for a lighter version. Don't be afraid to toss some curry powder into the gravy to warm it up.
If the name of this wholesome meal doesn't inspire your appetite, don't let that dissuade you from giving it a go. Indeed, it may sound like grandma's house and mothballs, but it's about the most delicious fall meal next to meatloaf, and loaded with proteins and good-for-you fats. There are many versions of nut loaf, and each one of them boasts a satisfying, heartwarming texture. And it's a vegan alternative to meatloaf for plant-based diets. Add some smoked paprika to turn up the heat.
In the Bread Basket
Classic cinnamon rolls.
Let's face it, cinnamon buns make everyone happy. Add a bit of texture and include crumbled roasted walnuts along with raisins. Double up on the cinnamon - there never seems to be enough in any versions we've tried. Frosted or not, these are a winner anytime of day, but mostly coffee o'clock!
Make the classic recipe and then dress it up according to your tastes - crumbled goat cheese, roasted pine nuts, dried rosemary, and coarse sea salt factor in nicely. Pull this doughy, slightly oily bread apart with your bare hands and eat it as is, or stuff some of those pot roast leftovers between two slices and sink your teeth into a master sandwich.
On the Stovetop
If you want a magnesium-rich, healthier version of hot chocolate, ditch the instant powder and make your own. Organic cacao is bitter but well known for its heart-opening properties. Use a natural sugar, such as coconut nectar or sugar alternative, and add a bit of cinnamon. Regular milk is a suitable base but diluted coconut milk gives it an extra rich flavor and creaminess.
This one's a bit of a wildcard because it's not really a classic recipe unless you grew up in ancient India! It gets its name from turmeric root, its primary ingredient and medicinal root in Ayurvedic medicine. There are plenty of recipes available online. Some of them feature regular milk; some use almond or coconut milk as alternatives. Make sure your recipe includes black pepper to boost the absorption of turmeric's therapeutic properties.
To Everything There Is A Season
The world continues to turn and deliver us a new breath, a new perspective, a new opportunity in every moment. It also brings us back to familiar ground year after year, no matter how strange some things seem to get!
If you love the fall season, then you've probably already made the kitchen switch as far as recipes go. If you haven’t added seasonal scents to your fall kitchen, check out these 5 hot and homemade stovetop potpourri recipes.
We hope this blog will inspire some ideas for jazzing up your family's favorite fall comfort foods and keeping the belly warm and happy.
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From our kitchen to yours, enjoy cozy fall dinners with the family!