If you鈥檙e a foodie or just love good food, you鈥檒l agree that there鈥檚 something magical about creating dishes with seasonal produce. Summer is kept pretty light and easy with salads and grilled meats, but once fall rolls in,聽we鈥檙e enticed to experiment with belly-warming stews, curries, and homemade soups. Fall fruits and vegetables聽have already started to pop up at our local grocers, and though it鈥檚 exciting, it can also be a bit overwhelming. With that in mind, we鈥檙e giving you this聽guide to聽help you make the most out of this autumn鈥檚 harvest.

1. Apples: Though left hidden in the shadows of pumpkin spiced聽everything, apples are the true embodiment of fall.聽Aside from the obvious apple ciders and mulled wines, this sweet and crisp fruit聽gives us nostalgic treats like warm apple pie. You can also use them in savory comfort dishes like pork tenderloin.聽Bonus: If you use a slow cooker, your entire home will smell聽ah-mazing.

2. Beets: With a subtly sweet and earthy flavor, this versatile root veg is great to have in your fridge for warm fall-inspired salads聽and聽hearty soups, or to simply roast in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of coarse salt. The beet聽comes in varying sizes and colors 鈥 from fuchsia to orange 鈥 so it鈥檚 guaranteed to add a pop of color to your dishes. To avoid the inevitable 鈥渂leed,鈥 peel it under聽cool running water in the sink.

3. Brussels Sprouts: As kids, the only way we鈥檇 eat these itty bitty cabbage heads was smothered in a melty cheese sauce; as adults, we like to take that idea and elevate it with cheesy gratins. But we don鈥檛 *need* cheese to enjoy these little green gems 鈥 Brussels sprouts are聽also fabulous pan-fried with crispy bacon, roasted with olive oil and salt, and shredded into a salad.

4. Figs: Chances are you鈥檝e had figs in chewy cookies and granola bars, but have you ever indulged in a fresh fig? They鈥檙e聽nothing like their candied counterparts; they鈥檙e delicately sweet and offer a subtle crunch due to their plethora of tiny seeds. You can eat them raw in a salad, stuff them聽with goat cheese and bake them, or聽top an artisanal pizza with them.

5. Leeks: They go way beyond potato and leek soup. Fun fact: This聽veg is related to both the garlic and the onion, but it offers up a milder and sweeter flavor. Leeks聽are聽available year round, but聽they聽tend to shine a little brighter in comforting dishes, like quiche, stews, and numerous soups. You can also slice them up, pan-fry them to a crisp, and use them as a garnish.

6. Sweet Potatoes:聽Sweet potatoes are a fave among many, and for good reason. You can mash them, stuff them, turn them into fries, and make soup out of them. This naturally sweet root veg is high in dietary fiber, complex carbs, and beta-carotene.

7. Pomegranates: These little ruby jewels are far more versatile in the kitchen then we realize. Though they鈥檙e delicious in desserts and cocktails, sweet-yet-tart pomegranate arils add a聽brilliant聽hit of聽fruitiness to savory dishes like stews, salads, and even racks of lamb. A little bit goes a long way, so one fruit 鈥 which holds up to 600 seeds 鈥 leaves plenty of room for creativity.

8. Winter Squash: Last but not least, one of our faves 鈥 winter squash! This includes the ever-so-velvety butternut, hubbard, acorn, delicata, and kabocha. Out of the many different types, each squash has its very own unique taste and use; butternut makes impeccable soups, while roasted spaghetti squash is a great way to replace carbs聽in classic noodle-y dishes. You have all winter, so try them all.

For more ideas on how to use up your produce this fall, follow us on聽Pinterest.

(Featured photo via Pexels)