Fruits and vegetables have a funny way of being better indicators of the season than a weather forecast. The warm weather has disappeared, taking all of our fresh strawberries with it. To welcome the season of fuzzy sweaters and orange leaves, here’s a guide to the produce of the season and how to enjoy them in your dorm.
Although some of us only distinguish different types of apples by red and green, there are actually 15,000 different varieties that exist around the world, and they’re at their best between mid-September and the end of October. The struggle to keep an apple from browning is real, but if you make sure to store them in a well-ventilated room and refrigerate after peeling, you won’t have a problem.
Peel your fresh apples, slice them into rings and give them a dusting of cinnamon to make a great snack. If you have a little more time, you can bake them after tossing with some sugar, cinnamon and butter. The end result is beautifully golden and tender apple slices — a great snack to eat while doing homework or a healthy alternative to those hot Cheetos while watching Netflix.
Potatoes are one of the only vegetables that can be mashed, fried, boiled, broiled, baked or roasted and taste good in every form. It’s given us so many of our favorite foods — fries, chips, creamy mash, wedges; the list of ways to make potatoes is as endless as the craving for them. Our minds reel and mouths water to think of how much better they taste when in season.
While the chances that you own a peeler as a college student are extremely low, you can just cut the potato as is, drizzle it with olive oil and season with oregano, salt and pepper and let them roast in the oven for an easy side dish. And if you want to make them even better throw some cheddar or American cheese on them and you’ve got yourself some good ol’ home fries.
You might not realize it, but these babies are at their prime right now! Cucumbers are probably the most college-friendly vegetable because you don’t need to do a thing before eating them. If you want to get creative with your cucumber, try seasoning it with some cayenne powder or pepper. They are great in salads too, adding a crunchy texture to your kale Caesar salad. Even your water will taste more refreshing by adding some sliced cucumbers. And it never hurts to place a slice on your eyes for those days when you just need to chill.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 17 print edition. Email Arundhathi Ajayan at [email protected]