FALL IS ALMOST HERE!!!! Forgive me for my excitement, but fall is kinda like my season. It's the time of year when I feel most like myself, like my best self, ya know? What can I say, I'm a fall person.
One of the maaaany reasons I love this season so much is because food (more specifically, vegan food, my favourite thing in the world) and Fall are a match made in heaven. Seriously, come fall, plants are where it's at. (Who am I kidding, plants are always where it's at.)
So today, in preparation for the season ahead, we're gonna talk about groceries. I'm covering my favourite in-season produce items, pantry stuff, and everyday staples, talking about why I love them, how I use them, and listing seasonal recipes containing each ingredient.
This post is a hefty one so grab yourself a snack, get cozy, and we'll dive into fall!
Silk Non-Dairy Plant Milks
Soymilk, almondmilk, coconutmilk, and cashewmilk! So many vegan milks to choose from! I use a variety of plant milks in coffee and tea, hot chocolate, creamy soups and velvety sauces, and of course, fall baking. I'd be lost without them. Starting at breakfast, Silk Vanilla Soymilk is my #1 choice for coffee. It's creamy, just the right amount of sweet, and it never, ever separates. For cereal, oatmeal, and smoothies, I like Silk Unsweetened Almond or Unsweetened Vanilla Almond. For cooking, I love the Unsweetened Almond for its clean taste. For baking I prefer the Original Soymilk because the nutritional profile is closer to dairy milk (so it's a good choice for "veganizing" non-vegan recipes.)
You're gonna need plenty of oats for warming oatmeal bowls, hearty granolas, and most importantly, baking (crumbles and crisps are at the top of my list!) Large flake oats are my preference because they cook quickly (slower than instant or quick oats but faster than steel-cut) and they're ideal for baking.
Bananas don't exactly scream "fall" but they're still a staple in my kitchen throughout the season. Frozen bananas are a must-have ingredient for smoothies (especially creamy fall-inspired flavours like pumpkin pie), smoothie bowls and parfaits. Use overripe bananas for spiced banana bread.
With the sun going down earlier everyday and schedules filling up fast, quick meals are a necessity. Couscous is my go-to quick-cooking base for a quick and nutritious dinner. I love it in stuffed squash (recipe coming soon!), or as a base for autumn salads, sheet-pan meals, and stir-fries.
Fall recipes using couscous: Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Orange Soy & Sesame Dressing (sub quinoa for couscous)
Lentils are cheap, easy to cook, nutritious, and super versatile. Quick cooking red lentils are perfect for making simple puréed soups and adding protein and fibre to broth-based soups and curries.
I'm typically a PB kinda gal, but come fall I really like to switch it up. Fancy nut butters are crazy expensive and even though I love them (cashew and walnut butter are insaaanely good), I typically don't buy them. Almond butter is a really nice change, it has a nice mellow roasted flavour that compliments fall flavours well (and it's available at Costco, score!) Add almond butter to smoothies, oatmeal bowls, and no-bake date-based treats (1).
Comfort food is key in fall, and if there's one thing pasta says, it's "comfort". Keep it simple with creamy pasta dishes, spaghetti, vegan mac n' cheese (1), and broth based noodle soups.
Chickpeas are a great addition to sheet pan meals, soups, curries, stews, and fall salads. Use canned chickpeas to add a quick boost of protein and fibre to your favourite meals. Pre-cook a batch of dried chickpeas for an extra budget-friendly option.
Fall recipes using chickpeas: Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Orange Soy & Sesame Dressing, Easy Chickpea Soup, Roasted Veggie Quinoa Bowl, Roasted Potato & Veggie Power Bowl, Chickpea & Lentil Coconut Curry, Chickpea & Vegetable Coconut Curry Soup
Coconut cream is perfect for adding extra creaminess to soups, sauces and curries. It's also great for fall baking, and of course, making coconut whip (a must-have for all those pumpkin pies, apple crisps, and fancy parfaits!)
Spices & Spice Blends
Spice blends are an affordable way to build a complex flavour base without owning a large collection of spices. My must-haves for fall are pumpkin pie spice and a mild yellow curry powder. Mild yellow curry powder works well as a quick curry base which you can bump up with your favourite spices (I like to add extra coriander, cumin and turmeric.) I use pumpkin pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves) plus extra cinnamon in most of my fall baking recipes.
Fall recipes using autumn spices: Perfect Vegan Cinnamon Buns, Healthy Pumpkin Pie Parfaits, Spiced Apple Breakfast Bowl, Spiced Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Chickpea & Lentil Coconut Curry, Chickpea & Vegetable Coconut Curry Soup
Baked pumpkin desserts are one of the highlights of fall. I like to add autumn flair to everyday foods like smoothies and oatmeal with a scoop of canned pumpkin and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice.
Autumn calls for rich, hearty sweeteners with hints of caramel. Brown sugar and maple syrup are perfect for sweetening oatmeal, coffee, and tea. Medjool dates are ideal for smoothies and oatmeal.
Fall recipes using rich sweeteners: Date Candied Sweet Potatoes, Date Syrup, Spiced Apple Breakfast Bowl, Gingerbread Tea Latté, BBQ Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Loaf, Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, Holiday Truffles
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds find their way into a lot of my recipes. Pecans, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are my top choices for autumn. Toss pumpkin seeds in soups, salads, smoothies and oatmeal for a boost of protein and healthy fats. Add pecans and walnuts to casseroles, sheet pan meals, stuffing, baked goods, oatmeal, and smoothies. And of course, pecans are essential for candied sweet potatoes!
Fall recipes using nuts & seeds: Pecan Butter Brussels Sprouts, Spiced Apple Breakfast Bowl, Roasted Vegan Thanksgiving Bowl, Perfect Vegan Cinnamon Buns, Pecan Pie Holiday Truffles, Pumpkin Walnut Muffins, Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread Muffins, Traditional Vegetable Walnut Stuffing, Pumpkin Seed Protein Granola, Banana Chocolate Chip Superfood Cookies, Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Orange Soy & Sesame Dressing
Tea & Coffee
Hot beverages are essential this time of year, whether it's coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Most days I'm drinking coffee but I love a cup of Earl Grey, Lady Grey, or rich chai tea with plenty of cardamom.
Cranberries & Raisins
Cranberry sauce and dried cranberries are perfect for adding holiday flair to recipes like vegan lentil loaves or sheet pan meals (make sure to add some mushroom gravy too!) Raisins add a touch of sweetness to smoothies, oatmeal and baking.
Fall recipes using cranberries and raisins: Cranberry Sauce, Ultimate Thanksgiving Loaf, Chocolate Covered Cranberry Oatmeal, Perfect Vegan Cinnamon Buns, Spiced Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Spiced Apple Oatmeal Bowl
Favourite uses: Sheet pan meals, creamy soups, creamy pasta dishes, stir-fries.
Favourite uses: Smoothies, sheet pan meals, stir-fries, soups, chilis, and stews.
Favourite uses: Sheet pan meals, shredded in autumn salads.
Favourite uses: Creamy soups and sauces, sheet pan meals.
Fall recipes using cauliflower: Vegan Garlic Alfredo
Favourite uses: Soups, stews, chilis, and stuffing.
Favourite uses: Stuffed squash (recipe coming soon!), sheet pan meals, and fall salads.
Fall recipes using squash: Roasted Vegan Thanksgiving Bowl
Favourite uses: Snacking and smoothies.
Favourite uses: Adding hearty "meatiness" to dishes like lentil loaves, chilis, and gravies.
Favourite uses: Sheet pan meals, autumn salads, and baked + stuffed (sweet and savoury)
Favourite uses: Soups, casseroles, sheet pan meals, mashed, baked + stuffed with vegan chili
Fall recipes using potatoes: Cheesy Vegan Potato & Broccoli Casserole, Roasted Vegan Thanksgiving Bowl, Dill Mashed Potatoes, Simple Herb Roasted Potatoes, Healthy Veggie Lentil Shepherd's Pie, Veggie Croquettes
Favourite fall herbs: Thyme, oregano, sage.
Making this guide was a great opportunity to pick out some ingredients I haven't cooked with much. The produce section in particular really surprised me, I didn't have many (and in some cases, any recipes) to link to! Now I've got an idea of ingredients I need to incorporate into my fall recipe lineup. You can expect to see recipes for stuffed squash, creamy potato and leek soup ASAP. And I'll be sure to use more cauliflower, leeks, and squash in the coming months. Cheers for more plants in the kitchen and on the blog!
This post is sponsored by Silk. All text and opinions are my own.
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