Summer might be the most laid-back time of year, but we look forward to fall the most because it’s the sweetest season of them all. Think about it: From apple-picking trips to Halloween candy and pumpkin-spiced everything, there are definitely enough things in autumn to tickle our sweet tooth. But if you’re anything like us, you’re probably wondering how you’ll be able to preserve that summer beach body you worked so hard for with all those sugary temptations post Labor Day. The answer to that is simple: Load up on quince.
A golden fruit that looks like a bumpy pear covered in soft peach fuzz, the quince (pronounced like kwints) is a gorgeous fall treat that’s been around for millennia (some ancient stories even say that the quince was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden). And while the quince is popular throughout Europe and Latin America, it still hasn’t made quite the dent in the US — which comes as a complete surprise to us, given how delicious and nutritious it is.
What are the health benefits of quince?
Like most fruits, the quince packs quite a nutritional wallop. It’s a powerhouse of vitamins — among them A, C, and E — with flesh that’s chock-full of minerals such as copper, iron, and potassium. On top of that, the quince is the queen of fiber, making it a perfectly apt pairing for your avocado toasts at brunch.
However, quince’s true dietary magic lies in its calorie count. According to the USDA, a single serving of raw quince (100 grams) provides a meager 57 calories. Compare that to other fall staples such as grapes (62 calories), apples (92 calories), and pears (102 calories), and you get the gist of why the quince is so beloved: Not only is it beneficial for you, it’ll also help keep your waistline nice and trim through the colder months.
How do you prepare a quince?
When eaten raw, the quince has a sweet-but-sour taste that might take some time to get used to. Cooking it is the best way to bring out all its inner indulgent glory. In South America, a quince paste called “membrillo” is a popular after-dinner treat that’s often paired with cheese and wine. You can try making this delectable dessert yourself, or you can purchase it online (Amazon, $11.65).
Otherwise, the versatile fruit can be baked into tarts, pureed and mixed into smoothies, or sprinkled atop your favorite salad. Trust us, you’re gonna want this fruit snugly stuffed in your cornucopia once Thanksgiving comes around.