The Ultimate Outdoors Guide for Fall in Philadelphia

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Shutterstock

It is no secret, on this blog and in my real life, that I am obsessed with fall. I get the way about fall that some people do about summer: giddy, stir-crazy, kinda itchy to get outside.

If you’re like me (hello, friend!), consider what follows your go-to resource for every fall activity worth doing in our area. I’m talking camping, hiking, apple and pumpkin picking, and more. And if you’re not a fall-lover yet, allow me to convert you.

See you on the trails.

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Make: Coconut-Maple Quinoa Granola

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

I have to admit that sometimes I can be a tad judge-y when it comes to omission diets. There are tons of books touting dairy, gluten or sugar avoidance with amazing results guaranteed. I’ve consistently maintained a solid position on team “everything in moderation.” But while I still stand by my position, I’ve recently made a major modification out of necessity: my exclusively breast-fed baby hates when I eat dairy.

So here’s my new stance: Omission diets can be a lifesaver for certain people, if and when they actually help you feel better (or they help your baby not to scream like a fighting raccoon). This quinoa granola is a wonderful, high protein start to your day whether you’re avoiding dairy (or gluten, if you use gluten-free oats) or not. Serve up about a third of a cup (granola is high calorie, so watch your portions, please) with fresh fruit and almond milk for a quick and naturally sweet meal.

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10 Fall Fruits and Veggies We Can’t Wait to Eat

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Shutterstock

The summer season gets a lot of love when it comes to produce. It’s the time of year, of course, when you can get strawberries, tomatoes and corn so sweet and delicious, you can (and probably, do) eat them for dessert. But just because summer is now officially behind us doesn’t mean you have to mourn the end of tasty fruits and veggies. Fall comes with its own haul that’s pretty darn amazing, too.

Don’t believe me? Check out the goodies that’ll be hitting the produce section in the coming weeks and months, and bookmark the following recipes for your fall kitchen adventures. Then say it with me: Adios, summer.

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The Most Delicious Way Ever to Eat Beets

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

August and September are my favorite times of year to go to the farmers’ market. Tomatoes and peaches are still in their prime but those crisp, light green apples and hearty winter squash are beginning to appear. With so many goodies at your disposal, you might find yourself bypassing the beets—but don’t. That would be a mistake.

Perhaps it’s inexperience or a bad first impression (put down the pickled beets!), but beets are easy to work with and exactly what you need to shake up your diet.

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10 Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings You Can Whip Up in No Time

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As I began writing out recipes for some of my favorite homemade salad dressings, I kept futzing with their names; I realized they all included phrases like “guilt-free” or “low-cal,” which is completely redundant because every single one of the recipes below is not only delicious, but totally healthy and light on calories. That’s a pretty good problem to have, right?

For the creamy dressings, you’ll need a blender or food processor; just put the ingredients in, turn it on, and let it go for 10 seconds or so until well combined. Store in a jar in the fridge.

For the vinaigrettes, a blender is useful to emulsify but it’s not required: All you really need for these is a mason jar. Place all ingredients inside and shake away. The mixture can be kept (lid on) in your fridge until you’re ready to use it. It might need a refresher shake but you should be good to go.

The Basic Italian Vinaigrette is the one I use several times per week, as it’s simple and comes together in a flash, but with the variety below you’re sure to find your favorite.

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DIY Down the Shore: Paul MacDonald’s Quasimohido

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For today’s installment of the DIY recipe round-up we’re finishing up with a classic. A mojito. Paul McDonald of Society Hill Society shared his spin on the summer classic. We’re not only fans of the name, Quasimohido, but the cucumber syrup which offers a fresh flavor that isn’t typical to this summertime favorite. The prep time for this drink might be a little longer than you’re used to, but you won’t regret it when you’re down the shore with drink in hand.

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Make: Toasted Pita and Tomato Salad with Chicken and Feta

Photograph by Becca Boyd

Photograph by Becca Boyd

I’m always on the look out for creative salad ideas because, in my opinion, there’s no tastier way to get your day’s requirement of veggies. I’ve eaten fattoush before, which is essentially the Lebanese cousin of the Italian panzanella. It’s a tomato and vegetable salad that contains a crunchy, bready ingredient.

Our featured recipe this week is a healthier play on fattoush; you get what you expect from the pita and feta cheese, but the mixed greens, light dressing and protein-packed chicken turns this salad into a healthy, happy and, most important, easy weeknight dinner. Enjoy!

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