The final stretch of summer and the beginning of autumn mark a time of great variety: many summer fruits and vegetables are still in season while we welcome others announcing the change of season.
Towards the end of the summer the light changes and the temperatures soften. We are slowly entering a new cycle and it shows in the garden.
Endures a good part of the summer harvest, which continues to mature and is increasingly sweet, due to the accumulation of sun. But in turn, new fruits and vegetables appear that announce the transition and turn September into a month of great variety, ideal to face the final stretch of summer and welcome autumn.
In fact, the change in nature is so palpable that traditional Chinese medicine speaks at this time of a fifth season, the so-called late summer, which is associated with the earth element.
With the late summer comes the time to take special care of the spleen, pancreas and stomach, the organs of digestion and nutrition. We go from rest and disconnection to resume a routine that often subjects the body at a much faster rate, and digestion suffers.
Our body continues to appreciate fresh and light meals, but also the movement and that we take good times to disconnect and make the transition less abrupt.
In autumn preparation many people take advantage during this month or the next to perform a cleansing cure with grapes, one of the star fruits of the season. But it is not the only one …
WHAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ARE SEASON IN SEPTEMBER?
Peaches, nectarines, summer pears, melons and some berries are still in their best season at the end of summer.
Among the peaches, the best are now those of vineyards and the expected harvest of the peaches of Calanda arrives, with designation of origin. Among the pears, you can already enjoy another highly appreciated variety: the ercolina pear. And still watermelons and plums ripen that will allow us to extend the summer.
Among the novelties we find several short-season fruits that brighten and soften the return to the routine. The grapes, without going any further, but also the figs and blackberries, which are now at their best.
In addition the apple season starts, so beneficial for those digestive organs that at this time require more attention. It also begins that of other fruits that will be consolidated as we go into the fall, such as kiwi, avocado or mango.
At the end of the month, foods that we associate with autumn could arrive: the first fresh dates and the first quinces, custard apples and pomegranates, although sometimes you have to wait until the following month.
In the shopping cart there will also be good vegetables at this time. The chard are in a great moment and they continue to grow good lettuce, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, peppers and tomatoes. Even green beans.
But there are also mushrooms, some cabbages, thicker leeks and the first pumpkins and sweet potatoes, also announcing autumn.
IT IS ALSO A GOOD MONTH FOR …
The end of summer is the time to enjoy the first almonds of the year.
With surpluses of ripe fruit and some vegetables you can prepare delicious marmalades and confitures.
- Figs, rich in calcium
On summer walks it is a pleasure to pick the figs directly from the tree and taste them in the shade of the fig tree. They are undoubtedly a delicacy: juicy, sweet and succulent.
But, in addition to a gift for the senses, they are for the organism. They provide energy for their sugars, which are accompanied by abundant fiber (almost 3%). This is useful against constipation and to strengthen beneficial intestinal flora.
Its minerals, mainly calcium, but also potassium and magnesium, help protect bone health.
- Purifying and protective grape
After a hot summer comes the best reward: juicy and sweet grapes full of valuable nutrients.
The sweetness is granted by its sugars, which provide energy immediately and are accompanied by fiber and some vitamin C.
However, what stands out the grape most is undoubtedly for its antioxidants. Resveratrol is the best known, although not the only one. Its ability to neutralize free radicals is associated with greater cardiovascular and anticancer protection.
Eating them with the skin allows better use of antioxidants and get more fiber, which relieves constipation and promotes clearance.
- Ercoline pear against hypertension
The red spot that shows off this fine and sweet pear variety reflects the sun-drenched skin area while growing on the tree. It is widely grown in Murcia, the largest producer in Spain and Europe. Jumilla is a designation of origin.
In case of hypertension, the pear is a very advisable fruit, since its abundant potassium and large amount of water give it a marked diuretic and purifying effect.
The presence of fiber and flavonoids is greater in the skin of the pear than in the pulp. If you choose organically grown pears, you may be able to eat them with the skin without the risk of ingesting pesticides.
Its fiber also makes it somewhat laxative, which is useful for relieving constipation. Among its sugars, the levulose stands out, well tolerated by diabetic people.
- Apple, a great digestive
In late summer the apple season starts. While we can find more and more varieties in the markets throughout the year, it is now that they begin to mature naturally and taste better.
The apple, well tolerated by everyone, is light and rich in vitamin C: a 150 gram piece provides 30% of what is needed per day and only 75 calories.
Its acids and salts stimulate digestive secretions and exert an antiseptic effect, so it arouses appetite, improves digestion and helps keep your mouth healthy.
It also has a very valuable fiber: pectin. It not only favors intestinal transit and protects bacterial flora, but also helps reduce cholesterol levels.
As with the grape, with the apple purifying cures are made in the seasonal changes. They are indicated against hypertension, chronic eczema, uric acid, liver disease and diarrhea due to gastroenteritis.
Freshly harvested, the apple is more fresh and tasty. You can enjoy it naturally, well washed and with skin, but in desserts and savory dishes it also offers you endless possibilities.
- Calanda peach with all its antioxidants
The dedication with which this late variety of yellow peach is grown, which grows in the Lower Aragon region, has earned it the designation of origin. And not in vain. Its firm and fleshy pulp is deliciously sweet and aromatic.
The secret of its quality lies in the bagging of the peaches while they are in the tree. Between June and August, they are protected one by one to preserve them from pests and chemicals that can be used during cultivation. Thus they remain at least nine weeks until their collection by hand, which is done once mature. They arrive at the market, freshly picked, between September and October.
Peaches, slightly laxative and diuretic, provide the three antioxidant vitamins that contribute to delaying aging: a single fruit of about 200 grams provides 33% of the vitamin C required per day, 15% of A and 10 % of E.
- Mango, supervitamin
You can enjoy mango all year round, as it is brought from different countries. However, from the end of summer until the end of autumn the mangoes grown in our country ripen, mainly in the area of Malaga.
The juicy and aromatic pulp of this lush tropical fruit floods the mouth of sensations when tasted. And our nutrient organism!
Mango is rich in the three antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, a valuable combination to combat oxidation caused by free radicals and maintain health. Like papaya, it contains enzymes that make it very digestive, and also produces a laxative effect, useful against constipation.
You can add mango to your milkshakes and milkshakes or give a delicious and surprising exotic touch to salads, sauteed, pasta and rice.
- Blackberries, iron and vitamin C in the wild
Saying goodbye to the summer with excursions in the countryside offers the incentive of being able to pick up these tasty berries along the way, although if you don’t have the opportunity to eat them from the brambles you should not miss their brief passage through the markets.
Blackberries, in which the sweetness of their sugars intermingles with a slightly acidic taste, harbor in their small interior very valuable nutrients: fiber, vitamins C and E, folic acid and some iron. But above all they provide, like other berries, the antioxidant effect of their anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins, responsible for the purple color of blackberries, protect cardiovascular health and strengthen the immune system.
In addition, blackberries have useful astringent properties in case of diarrhea, although when they are very mature they can have the opposite effect and accelerate intestinal transit. Be careful if you exceed your excursions!
They endure 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen, whole or in compote.
- Chard against anemia
Simply boiled, with a few chickpeas or a little potato, or as stuffing with some vegetable croquettes, the chard offers comforting and very nutritious dishes.
Its abundance in iron, folic acid and vitamin C makes it especially indicated in anemia. In addition, it is rich in potassium.
In vitamins is a champion. About 200 grams provide all the required vitamin A per day, 50% of the B6 and one fifth of the B1 and B2.
Recent studies have identified up to 13 different polyphenolic antioxidants in chard, which have been linked to improved cardiovascular health and blood sugar regulation.
- White cabbage, your ally against cancer
With the end of summer the cabbages return, which will be consolidated as autumn and winter progress. One of the first to arrive is cabbage, which can be eaten raw in autumn and winter salads and with which sauerkraut is usually prepared, a probiotic that strengthens the intestinal flora.
This classic vegetable is rich in vitamins C and E, although it also provides a good dose of vitamins of group B, in particular folic acid. It also provides calcium in a way that the body finds easy to assimilate.
But this and other cabbages stand out the most because of their importance in cancer prevention, to which their antioxidants and fibers contribute. They also protect the health of the heart.
For its sweet taste, the white cabbage is delicious in soups, cooked, carved with potatoes and fried or stuffed garlic. If it is cooked, it is advised to take it with anise or ginger to avoid gas.
In a raw salad, cut it very finely and add a little cumin: it suits you and also helps you prevent flatulence.
- Mushrooms as suns: they give you vitamin D
Under that image of modest fungus, the mushrooms hide unsuspected treasures. Not only are they light and rich in minerals and vitamins of group B, but they provide unusual nutrients in vegetables, such as selenium and vitamin D.
Put them an hour in the sun before eating them and you will multiply vitamin D. One study showed that the increase in blood was comparable to taking it as a supplement.
Selenium and other antioxidants protect the body from cellular deterioration. They also provide abundant potassium, which makes them advisable in case of hypertension.
- Tender corn, lighter and digestive
This time offers the opportunity to enjoy freshly harvested corn, when it is still tender and its grains flood the mouth of sweetness when giving in between the teeth.
In this way, corn is more like a vegetable than a cereal: it retains a lot of water and its sugars have not yet been transformed into starch, which makes it lighter and easier to digest.
Unlike when it is dry, sweet corn retains its vitamin C: a serving of 100 grams covers a quarter of daily needs. But it also provides beta-carotene, an unusual nutrient in cereals, and several B vitamins.
Corn and its flour are an option for people with celiac disease or those who do not tolerate gluten.
- Leeks for your defenses and blood circulation
In summer the leeks are thinner and, as autumn progresses, they become thicker and their flavor more intense, which makes them ideal for autumn and winter cooking.
Like onion and garlic, its close relatives, it is rich in sulfur compounds that strengthen immunity and improve circulation.
In addition to light, they are considered laxatives, diuretics and so digestive that act as a balm in the stomach. If they are not overcooked, they also provide good doses of folic acid and other vitamins such as C and E.