What’s Fresh: Fall

  • By: Kelsey Johnson

Image courtesy of Patch’s Pumpkins


Ever remember hearing that if you ate too many carrots your skin would turn orange? Well, turns out that this piece of folklore isn’t all talk, and that eating anything with a high concentration of vitamin A (including our fall favorite – Pumpkin) can result in Hypercarotenemia, otherwise known as carotenosis. Luck for us, the ailment is completely harmless, and considering all the delicious, orange favorites in season this fall, we here at BFBL are taking on carotenosis as a badge of honor! If your skin isn’t the faintest bit orange (or more yellowish, if we’re getting hung up on details) you’re doing something wrong….


Speaking of, winter squash, apples, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peppers, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin are all making their way to the tables of the dwindling number of markets left this season. And because October is the perfect time to get together with friends to cook, eat, and enjoy the last of the somewhat inhabitable Iowa climate (And also because I got carried away finding recipes for this week’s newsletter) we have even more to share than usual!


The first two (Butternut Squash Pizza, and Apple Crisp) are thanks to the Iowa Food Cooperative, the third (Pumpkin Bars) from Wheatsfield Cooperative, and the fourth (Iced and Spiced Apple Cider) is courtesy of allspice.

Butternut Squash Pizza

Cook time:  70 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 2-3


    • 1 butternut squash (about 1 pound)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • Pizza dough for 1 pizza
    • c. grated mozzarella cheese
    • c. grated Gruyere cheese
    • 12 sprigs parsley
    • 20 sage leaves
    • lemon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice off the top of the squash about ½ inch under the stem and slice just enough off the bottom to remove the remnants of the withered flower stem; be careful not to cut into the seed cavity.

3. Split the squash in half crosswise just above the bulge. Stand each half end up and carefully cut away all the skin. Cut each portion in half lengthwise and scoop the seed and fiber from the lower half with a spoon. Cut the quarters crosswise into ¼ inch slices. The upper portions will yield half moon slices, and the lower sections elongated C shapes.

4. Brush the slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and arrange them in one layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 30 to 60 minutes, checking from time to time. The roasting time will vary according to the sugar and moisture content and the density of the squash.  It is done when lightly browned and tender to the touch.

5. Meanwhile, peel and chop fine the garlic and add to the ¼ c. olive oil. When the squash slices are done, remove from the oven.

6. Put a pizza stone in the oven and boost the heat to 450 degrees.  Roll out a circle of pizza dough, brush with the olive oil and garlic, and sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella and Gruyere.

7. Arrange the slices of cooked squash over the cheese.

8.Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes, until the crust is browned and the cheeses have melted.

9.While the pizza is baking, chop the parsley leaves, Fry the sage leaves briefly in hot olive oil, then drain them on an absorbent towel.

10.When the pizza is done, garnish with the sage leaves, the chopped parsley, and a squeeze of lemon This is a very rich pizza, and is best served in small portions as an appetizer.


Makes one 12 inch-pizza.


Apple Crisp

Author: David and Linda Gobberdiel

Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 8


                  • 5 cups peeled and sliced apples
                  • 2-4 Tblsp. Granulated sugar
                  • ½ cup regular rolled oats
                  • ½ cup brown sugar
                  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour (can use whole wheat)
                  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg and cinnamon
                  • ¼ cup butter or margarine


1.Place fruit in 2-quart baking dish.
2.Stir in granulated sugar.
3.For topping, combine rest of ingredients in a medium bowl except butter/margarine. Then cut in butter/margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4.Sprinkle topping over fruit.
5.Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes until fruit is tender and topping is golden.


Pumpkin Bars

                  • 1 c oil (canola)
                  • 1 c sugar
                  • 4 eggs
                  • 1 can pumpkin
                  • 2 tsp cinnamon
                  • 1 tsp baking soda
                  • 2 tsp baking powder
                  • 2 c flour (1 cup all purpose, 1 cup Paul’s 7 grain)
                  • 1/2 tsp salt
                  • 1 cup nuts or raisins

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.  Bake at 350 in a sheet cake pan for 20-25 minutes. Cool, then cut into bars.  (Dust with powdered sugar if desired).


Iced & Spiced Apple Cider

Who says spiced cider can’t be a refreshing summertime drink?


Start with 1/4 cup Mulling Spice Blend for every gallon of Apple Cider [or 1 Tbsp for each quart; use 1 tsp per generous mug]; Stir spice blend into cider in a saucepan, heat gently. Let mixture simmer for 15 min, and then pour over a glass of ice. Alternatively, let mixture cool in the fridge till nice and cold, then serve.

Sip – or slurp – and enjoy.

See? Not just for the wintertime.