Umpqua Watersheds Blog


Flavors of Autumn

Published October 14th, 2020 in Education-AmeriCorps

There are so many ways to live lightly on the earth. Each year when fall comes around, I’m eager to partake in one of them – locally grown fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy a meatless recipe. There’s an abundance of non-meat recipes, from hearty soups to salads and desserts, which are absolutely delicious! Try a new fruit- or veggie-full recipe this week using local, organic ingredients if possible. Here are a couple of options: 

Quick ‘n’ Easy Applesauce 

Apples are naturally sweet because they already contain sugars. That’s why you don’t need to add any additional sugar for this recipe – it tastes so good without it, and is healthier that way too!

Ingredients (amounts vary depending on the amount of apples used)

  • Fresh apples (perhaps ones you’ve picked yourself!)
  • Cinnamon
  • Water
  • Butter


  1. Peel the apples and coarsely chop them; compost the peels and cores or feed them to farm animals if you have them.
  2. Put the chopped apples into a large pot with an inch or two of water and a couple tablespoons of butter. Add a few dashes of cinnamon.
  3. Heat on medium heat until the apples soften and break down easily when stirred. 


Chunky Butternut Squash Soup

I have made this soup multiple times with middle school students, and they loved it, especially when they helped grow the vegetables and prepare the meal! I prefer my butternut squash soup chunky rather than puréed, so I can really see all the different vegetables I’m eating.


  • 3 TBSP Butter
  • 1 Small/Medium Onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 Medium Carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 4 Medium Potatoes (peeled & cut into ½-inch cubes)
  • ½-1 Bag of Frozen Peas
  • 1 Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded*, & cut into ½-inch cubes)
  • 32oz Chicken Stock
  • 16-32oz Butternut Squash Purée
  • ½ Bag of Frozen (or 1 Can of) Corn
  • Garlic Salt (to taste)


  1. Melt the butter in a large pot and cook the carrots for 7-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring periodically.
  2. Add the potatoes, squash, and onions and cook for another 5-7 minutes. 
  3. Pour the chicken stock into the pot, add garlic salt, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for ~20 minutes, or until the carrots, potatoes, and squash are starting to get tender. 
  4. Add the butternut squash purée and simmer for another 10 minutes. 
  5. Add peas (and frozen or canned corn if desired), and cook for 5-10 minutes. 
  6. Serve warm with fresh bread. 

*Don’t throw those squash seeds away! Have you ever roasted pumpkin seeds? Butternut squash seeds are just as good, if not better, especially when you sprinkle them with garlic salt and rosemary; they can be cooked similarly to pumpkin seeds.


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