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The Freshest Foods To Buy in October

Even though the weather is getting cooler, there is still plenty of fresh, local produce to eat.

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October Produce_01_Pumpkins Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Pumpkins

When you buy a pumpkin to carve into a jack-o-lantern this month, get one to eat, too! This low-calorie orange squash gets its colour from beta-carotene, a phytonutrient our body converts into vitamin A, which is good for eyesight.

When shopping for a pumpkin, find one with firm, smooth skin and make sure there are no bruises or cracks. Once you slice into your squash, store the remainder in the fridge with plastic wrap and try to use it within five days.

Don’t forget to use the seeds, which are full of iron. Roast them in the oven with some olive oil and salt until golden brown for a crunchy snack. Or sprinkle them on our Curried Pumpkin Walnut Soup or Spiced Pumpkin Tea Bread.

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October Produce_02_Cranberries Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Cranberries

Lucky for us, we can find cranberries without actually getting down and dirty in the bog where they grow. These antioxidant-rich berries are best known as a holiday feast accompaniments, but are also great salad toppers. Packed with vitamin C, they also make a great snack at around 45 calories a cup.

At the grocery store or market, look for firm, dry berries with good colour and keep an eye out for mildew. Once in your kitchen, cranberries keep well in the fridge for several weeks.

Need a little cranberry inspiration? Try our Brown and Wild Rice, Walnut and Dried Cranberry Salad and satisfy your sweet tooth with our Cranberry Semifreddo with Toasted Almond Meringue.

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October Produce_05_BroccoliPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Broccoli

Forget flowers-this month, bring home a health-boosting broccoli bouquet. Studies show this cruciferous vegetable lowers the risk of colon, cervical, lung and bladder cancers. It can also fight the bacteria that causes ulcers.

When you’re perusing the produce section, go for the bright green florets with slender stems and pass on any with buds that have burst into flowers.

Adding more broccoli to your diet is an easy way to sneak in your daily dose of vitamin C, vitamin A, fibre and potassium. Try it in our comforting Broccoli, Cauliflower and Leek Soup or spice up your dinner with our Indian Chicken and Broccoli Wrap.

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October Produce_04_Green_BeansPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Green Beans

Healthy and delicious-and just 35 calories a cup-you may want to make green beans your go-to side for every meal. Plus, these small veggies are packed with protein, iron and vitamin A.

How do you know if you beans are fresh? Avoid ones with large seeds because they are past their prime. Snapping the tip with tell you if the bean is crisp and has enough moisture. Not ready to use them yet? You can store your beans in the fridge for up to one week in a plastic bag.

Add more beans to your family’s dinner menu with our Garden Bean and Basil Salad and Chicken Provencale with Green Bean and Bacon Salad.

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October Produce_03_CeleryPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Celery

Celery is a great low-calorie, crunchy veggie to keep handy. This source of vitamin A, potassium and fibre is only 16 calories per cup, and makes a perfect portable snack for adults and kids alike.

Look for firm stalks and bright green leaves when choosing the perfect bunch. Wrapped in plastic, celery will keep in the fridge for about a week. To revive your wilted stalks, toss them into a bowl of cold water to plump them up.

Nibble on raw celery for a quick, healthy snack or savour it a little longer with our Normandy Pork with Apples, Celery and Walnuts.