Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-How to Enjoy Your Iowa Harvest-thanksgiving table

How to Enjoy Your Iowa Harvest

You've spent the spring and summer carefully tending to your garden, nurturing your plants, and patiently waiting for that bountiful harvest, and now that fall is here, it's time to reap the oh-so-tasty rewards of all that hard work! In this blog, we're exploring the wonderful world of fall cooking by passing along some of our favorite ways to use those crisp apples, delicious pumpkins, and hearty root vegetables.

Farm-Fresh and Flavorful: Your Guide to Fall Harvest Cooking

"Farm-to-table" cooking is all about using locally grown ingredients to create wholesome, flavorful meals. Not only is it an eco-friendly way to nourish yourself, but it also ensures that you're getting the freshest, most nutrient-rich produce available. To begin your own farm-to-table adventure, head out into your garden to gather your ingredients. Focus on some star players of the fall harvest, including apples, pumpkins, squash, and root vegetables. You should also swing by Wallace's Garden Center to pick up some top-notch gourmet cooking supplies that pair perfectly with all your seasonal favorites!


Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-How to Enjoy Your Iowa Harvest-pumpkin pull apart breadFall Harvest in the Kitchen: Cooking with Pumpkins

We love pumpkins, and we know you love pumpkins too! These tasty gourds are not just for carving into spooky Jack-o'-lanterns; they're also super versatile in the kitchen and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, including a winning pumpkin bread recipe. Whether you have a pumpkin patch in your garden or you're picking one up from our garden center, they're a must-have for fall cooking.

One classic recipe that's a hit with both kids and adults is pumpkin soup. It could even be among your thanksgiving activities this year! Simply roast your pumpkin pieces with some olive oil, salt, and pepper until they're tender. Then, blend them with vegetable broth, spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, and a touch of cream, and you have the ultimate comfort food for chilly fall evenings. We also have some pretty famous pumpkin recipes you should try, like our prize-winning pumpkin bread or this whiskey-glazed pumpkin pull-apart loaf!

Drooling yet? You should be!

Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-How to Enjoy Your Iowa Harvest-apple pull apart breadApples Galore: Creative Fall Apple Recipes

With so many varieties to choose from, apples are the perfect ingredient for so many tasty dishes. From pies to crumbles and everything in between, there's no shortage of apple recipes to explore this fall! One of our personal favorites is the classic apple crisp: thinly slice your apples and toss them with a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and a touch of lemon juice. Top this with a crumbly mixture of oats, flour, brown sugar, and butter, then bake until it's golden and bubbling. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an irresistible fall dessert. Our homemade applesauce cake or the crowd-pleasing Irish apple cake with custard are equally stunning desserts that are sure to wow at your next dinner party. 

Fall Harvest Soups and Stews

As the weather cools, there's nothing quite like a warm, comforting bowl of soup or stew to soothe your soul—even better if it uses fresh or preserved crops from your garden! Try making a butternut squash and apple soup that combines the sweetness of roasted butternut squash with the tartness of apples, and add in spices like ginger and nutmeg for that extra touch of fall warmth.

Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-How to Enjoy Your Iowa Harvest-root vegetables roastedCooking with Hearty Root Vegetables

Given how hearty, nutritious, and incredibly versatile they are, it's no surprise that root vegetables—from carrots and parsnips to sweet potatoes and beets—are a staple of fall and winter cooking. Roasting root vegetables is a fantastic way to bring out their natural sweetness and enhance their flavors. Toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs, and roast until they're caramelized and tender. Voila—you've got a dynamite side dish or the perfect addition to a hearty fall salad!

Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-How to Enjoy Your Iowa Harvest-Brussels sprouts recipeFall Superfoods and Recipes

Superfoods are nutrient-packed foods that offer a wide range of health benefits. Lucky for us, many products of the fall harvest fall into this category. Kale, for instance, is a superfood that thrives in cooler weather. Use it as a base for salads, or sauté it with garlic and olive oil for a nutritious side dish. Brussels sprouts are another amazing (and amazing-tasting!) superfood; roast them with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for an easy and delicious way to enjoy their benefits.

Whether you're cooking with pumpkins, savoring the sweetness of apples, or indulging in hearty root vegetables—autumn cooking has something for everyone. We are also big believers in the idea that the bounties of the harvest should be shared with those you love, and so we hope you make entertaining a big part of your fall harvest cooking this year. For even more culinary inspiration, or to pick up supplies for your next dinner party, come check out our selection of preserves, honey, sauces, and charcuterie boards and see what other unique seasonal treats you can come up with.  

Happy cooking, and here's to a wonderful fall harvest!

More recipes by Chef Steph can be found here.

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