It’s that time of year again! The leaves turn colors, the air gets crisp, and everyone’s lined up to buy a pumpkin spice latte. With autumn comes a slew of fun indoor and outdoor activities to take advantage of the change in weather and the upcoming holidays. We asked some members of Team Nature Made® to share their favorite fall-inspired activities, and then we included some tips and yummy recipes. So, pour that spiced latte and let’s dig in!
Justis, Senior Digital Designer
Every October, I help coordinate a pumpkin carving party with my friends. Everyone shows up with a pumpkin and we pick out various faces to carve. At the end, we take photos and vote for whose is the best. Having this time gives me an opportunity to reunite with friends and catch up on what’s happening before the holidays hit and we all get busy. A casual gathering like this brings joy and happiness into my life, and it helps me stay connected to people I might not see that often throughout the year. Plus, we all leave with a carved pumpkin we can put out at Halloween.
Tips for carving the perfect Halloween pumpkin:
There’s a method to carving Jack-o-Lanterns? Yep. Here are some tips to carve-up like a pro:
Wipe down the pumpkin before you start with a diluted bleach solution (4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water). This kills off those microbes that cause the pumpkin to rot.
Open from the bottom. This tip might be a surprise, but it’s easier to display your pumpkin with your top and stem intact. Plus, all the gunk usually settles at the bottom, so when you cut it off, a lot of the work is already done for you! Simply place the pumpkin over your light source and voila! Perfect looking Jack-o-Lantern.
Thin the walls. Once you scoop out all the goop (and save the seeds for roasting!) you’ll want to thin the walls. Pumpkins are thick and the light will get lost! Scrape the insides until it’s only about ½ to 1 inch thick.
Draw your design first. Before you get started, practice drawing out your design on a piece of paper. Then you can transfer your design to the pumpkin with a pencil and check the spacing. It’s easy to erase a pencil mark, but a cut lasts forever.
Use a kid’s pumpkin carving kit! Even us adults can use some help! Kids’ pumpkin carving kits include small, easy-to-use tools with flexible blades so you can handle sharp corners and create rounded shapes.
Amy, Senior Copywriter
It's hard to embrace autumn when it's 80 degrees out and the trees are still green. But just because I'm in sunny California doesn't mean I don't have ways to embrace the season! One way I get my fall vibes going is by visiting local farms. Doing this during harvest time is a great way to support local agriculture by buying fresh fruits and veggies of the season, especially everyone's favorite fall veggie: pumpkin! My family and I usually travel to Underwood Family Farms outside LA. I let the kids loose in the pumpkin patch while I load up on freshly picked radishes, squash, cabbage, and of course, pears, which I use to make a fall-inspired pear salad. We then exercise our navigation skills with a trek through the corn maze and take a ride on the tractor-drawn wagon around the farm. And, of course, we can only leave after enjoying fresh roasted corn and a slice of farm-made pumpkin pie. With an armload of pumpkins to carve when we get home, everyone is in the fall spirit for days!
Autumn Pear Salad Recipe:
Ingredients (serves 4) 2 ripe pears, sliced 4 cups mixed greens ½ cup chopped Radishes ¼ cup dried cranberries ¼ cup chopped pecans ¼ cup shaved parmesan or pecorino cheese 2 tbsp lemon juice Balsamic vinaigrette
Thinly slice the pears (skin on!) and drizzle with lemon juice, set aside
Top the mixed greens with all salad ingredients (except the pears and cheese), toss
Layer on the pears and top with shaved cheese
Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette to taste and enjoy
GP, Creative Leader
It’s exciting for my family when it’s time to start taking out our fall decorations. First we start with traditional fall décor, autumn leaves, scarecrows and pumpkins, and then I set up my fairy & gnome garden in the front yard. When October hits we start adding on decorations for Halloween. The whole house, indoors and out, gets spooky. I have so many decorations, it takes up my garage, two sheds, and indoor closets. I even have storage bins under the bed. When we want to get out and enjoy the outdoors, my family and I love taking long and leisurely drives in my vintage car to one of the many pumpkin patches in the So Cal area, but sometimes we switch it up and go pick apples at an orchard. I love apples, and fall is the perfect time to serve up family favorites, like sliced, baked apples sprinkled with cinnamon or baked hollowed-out apples that we fill with vanilla ice cream.
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.
Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.