Upgrade Your Kitchen for Fall

The seasons are officially changing, the farmer’s market is selling the last of its stone fruit, and fresh new goodies are popping up Saturday after Saturday. Wouldn’t it follow that your kitchen and pantry should get an upgrade for the season, too?

As always, I’m a big proponent of working with what’s in season and what you have on hand to create dishes and meals that are simple, satisfying, and create minimal waste as well. So I put together a list of a few kitchen adds and tweaks that will help you to focus on and maximize the flavors of fall. There are some favorite recipes in there too, in case you’re inspired to whip up any of these dishes when you find, say, brussels sprouts at the farmer’s market this weekend.

As always, happy eating, and follow along on my Instagram for my most of-the-moment kitchen exploits! 

Sweeteners

I like a little bit more depth of flavor in my sweeteners for fall and winter, to stand up to those more hearty flavors. And when I say sweeteners, I’m not talking about what I put in my morning coffee (none, actually). These are for dressings, marinades, roasting veggies, and SO much more.

Date Syrup – It has that caramel-y flavor of fresh dates, and isn’t too sweet. Try it combined with tahini in this delicious salad dressing

Maple Syrup – Any brand you like will do, just make sure it’s 100% pure maple syrup and organic if you can. It’s for way more than your morning oatmeal, too. I love it paired with these roasted brussels sprouts with hazelnuts

Pomegranate Molasses – This is a really concentrated and reduced pomegranate juice that turns into a thick, syrupy, flavorful condiment. I love it paired with roasted squash, such as in this squash, pecan, and pomegranate salad

Warming Spices 

These are the spices in my spice cabinet that I lean on as the weather gets more chilly – 

Cloves

Allspice

Cinnamon

Cardamom

Nutmeg

Cumin

Chili powder

Turmeric

Tea 

Tea is not just for drinking, people. It also happens to be an incredible flavor add with fall baking. 

I like earl grey tea for that classic bergamot flavor, and one of my favorite uses for it is this incredible honey cake with fresh figs.

Black tea is something that’s a standby in my household, and I find a mug of hot tea with the milk (or nut mylk) of your choice while curled up on the couch to be incredibly calming. I’ve also had my eye on this orange and black tea shortbread cookie recipe for a while now… who wants to make them with me?!

Savory Condiments

Miso – The more I cook with this fermented condiment, the more I appreciate its rich umami flavor. One of my standby recipes is miso-glazed eggplant. It’s also delightful on roasted sweet potatoes with a hint of maple syrup.

Coconut Aminos – The cooler older sibling of soy sauce that doesn’t get enough press, in my humble opinion. Try it paired with baked salmon in this recipe with scallions and sesame.

Toasted Sesame Oil – This goes down in history as one of the easiest ways to add a warm, nutty flavor to any dish. I like having it on hand for quick weeknight stir-frys, but also love it as a quick salad dressing when paired with rice wine vinegar. Try marinating your raw sliced cabbage in it for a plused-up slaw.

Fall Herbs

While basil and parsley sing of summer for me, I like to transition my rotation of fresh herbs when the weather starts to cool down. Rosemary, sage, and thyme are three of my absolute favorites for the season. 

I’ve sung the praises of this Tuscan pumpkin sauce on this blog before, but the sage and pumpkin pairing is absolute heaven in fall.

Rosemary is always good to have on hand, especially when roasting little new potatoes or purple potatoes

I’ve been known to throw thyme into many things, but one of my favorite uses is stuffing the cavity of a roast chicken with the whole sprigs and lemon halves before roasting

Whole Wheat Flour

You know there’d be a baking add, riiiight? Whole wheat flour adds a whole new level of heartiness and nuttiness to your baked goods for fall.

I’m actually making these plum cobbler bars this week for a friend, and love that the shortbread crust and crumble topping incorporate WWF. And yes, plums are still in season through September 🙂

Another recipe that I’m itching to make this winter is this whole wheat chocolate chip skillet cookie. Plus vanilla ice cream because I’m not a sociopath. 

And last but not least…

You KNOW there needs to be a nod to apples! Honeycrisp tend to be my faves (always buy organic please, these are part of the dirty dozen), and I like topping them with a sprinkle of cinnamon and Maldon salt. I swear, it’s life-changing. 

If you have some time on your hands, whip up some homemade almond butter, too. It’s worth the effort, I promise. 

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