Find inspiration and ideas for September seasonal cooking including lists of produce to buy, what to use up, and simple recipes for seasonal meal planning. PLUS a free printable seasonal menu planning page to help you focus on cooking through the seasons.
This article is part of a year-long series on how to cook seasonal foods for each month as a resource for meal planning, saving money, and helping the environment.
Each month of the seasonal cooking series includes:
- What's in season for that month.
- What you may have in your freezer and pantry to use up if you preserve food.
- Favorite recipes using seasonal produce from An Oregon Cottage to help you plan to eat seasonally.
- A free printable weekly menu planner for the month with areas to record what's in season for you and what you have to use up!
This month marks the transition from summer to fall in our series that helps you to cook and eat more seasonally.
You can read the first section of this month for answers to the questions, "What is seasonal cooking," "Why is easting seasonal important" - and a big caution we need to take into account for eating "seasonally."
Tips for eating seasonally and using this resource page with the printable meal planner:
- Use the lists and recipes you find here for August to make a menu according to what you are harvesting/buying.
- Harvest from your own garden or visit farmer's markets for the produce you need.
- OR use the shopping lists when super market shopping, noting the sales in the produce aisle.
- Try new things that are in season.
- Add any new recipes you like and keep them in a binder to cycle through the following season.
It’s easy to lose track of produce's seasonality since most is carried all year long in stores, which is where this page and the free printable weekly menu planning page will help:
Download the menu page, print it out, and use it to write down the seasonal foods you need to use and buy, as well as the recipes you'll make that week.
Pro Tip: Keep all of these through a year and you'll have a custom seasonal menu binder you can refer to year after year!
Note: If you're already a subscriber, you can find this in the VIP library!
September Seasonal Eating
Here in the Pacific Northwest September is one of the best months for fresh vegetables and fruits. The tomatoes, beans, corn, apples, and more from August just keep producing pretty much through the whole month.
I have to admit, though, that it's a constant battle to keep up with everything- preserving the harvest by canning, freezing, or drying before the produce spoils. In fact, as I write this I can smell the apples that are starting to soften while they wait for me to get some time to make applesauce...
But I just do what I can, when I can, and think about how much we enjoy these things the rest of the year when I make the time to preserve them.
I also take the easiest routes to preserving I can find.
As an example, I experimented freezing green beans without blanching them first and we all liked them better (whew-I can't believe I wrote that, let alone that I'm doing it - it's like hearsay...). And I found lots of other simple ways to freeze produce quickly to either eat or can later when I have more time.
If you're interested in my tips and techniques, I've compiled them into a 60+ page ebook covering all the most popular vegetables, fruits, and herbs here.
Seasonal Produce for September
Fruits that are in season:
- Blackberries (we can pick wild ones August & September- I love FREE fruit!)
- Fall Raspberries
Vegetables that are in season:
- Beets (I'm still harvesting- remember you can freeze them after roasting!)
- Green Beans
Preserved seasonal food you may have to use up:
Pro Tip: Use the planning page to record how many preserved foods you have left in order to use them up as soon as possible to make room for the new season's produce.
From the pantry and freezer:
This is a month we're typically stocking the freezer, so we're eating as fresh as possible!
Seasonal Cooking for September Recipes
Using a slow cooker to cook apples down into apple butter takes all the work of monitoring the pot out of the equation! So easy and so delicious with just a bit of maple syrup to help bring out all the apple flavor.
The flavor of the caramelized onions with the fresh tomatoes pair so well with green beans - and is the BEST with fresh, seasonal produce.
I make this all during the tomato season because it's just not the same with out-of-season tomatoes. And if you have heirloom tomatoes? This is the recipe where their flavor will shine.
Easy Mexican Chicken Corn Soup (30 Minute Recipe)
For those cooler fall days, this is a lighter soup recipe that uses seasonal corn. Served with chips and salsa, it's a family favorite.
This is one of our favorite, quick sheet pan dinners I make all year around, but is especially good with fresh peppers. You can add potatoes, too, if you'd like.
This is another super quick dish that is SO good with seasonal corn and peppers. Serve with grilled chicken marinated in an amazing 2-ingredient sauce or Tex-Mex flavored main dish.
Use cabbage, carrots, and fresh peppers for this quick salad that goes well with any grilled meat, potstickers, or stir fry.
Here's a different idea for "preserving" the abundant zucchini of the season - add it to ground meat with spices and freeze to have your own, healthier, frozen meatballs.
How about a zucchini bread that's not sweet? This savory, cheesy bread is moist and delicious as a snack or side dish. It freezes well, too.
But when you DO want something sweet with zucchini, how about moist and tender chocolate cupcakes?
What are your favorite seasonal recipes to make in September?
Don't forget to download and print out your free seasonal meal planning page:
Originally published in September of 2011, this article has been completely updated to be more relevant and useful - enjoy!