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5 Vegan Reasons to Get Excited for Fall

Summer might be over, but fall food and festivities are just beginning!

Today is the last official day of summer, but with the launch of pumpkin-spice everything earlier this month, we’re already saying goodbye to the sun and backyard barbecues. Although we had a great season, there’s no need to grieve summer’s passing when there are so many fun fall activities to enjoy. With this in mind, here are five vegan-friendly fall favorites we’ve been looking forward to all summer long.

1. Outdoor activities
We love fall because we can enjoy the outdoors for hours without overheating or freezing … and the fact that these perfect temperatures just so happen to be ideal for iconic seasonal activities such as apple picking, pumpkin-patch strolling, and getting lost in a corn maze. Apples are in season for only a few months of the year (which is why we check with our local orchards for prime picking times), while pumpkin patches and corn mazes appear toward the end of September and continue through Halloween. To combine a few fall-related activities, we suggest carving a pumpkin on a lazy Sunday afternoon while sipping apple cider in your backyard. For the jack-o’-lantern, try new designs such as carving “VEGAN” into your gourd, or use a stencil to create farm animals. If you’re feeling more active, corn mazes are a fun alternative to your daily workout. Go alone and time yourself, or bring a buddy with a keen sense of direction. Have a lot of friends? Initiate some competition by teaming to see which pair can complete the maze first. Then, eat corn!

2. Vegan Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is a two-and-a-half-week festival that originated in Munich, Germany. Although originally established as a wedding celebration between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese in 1810, the event has now evolved into the world’s largest beer festival. This year, Oktoberfest takes place between September 16 and October 3, and although Munich will be celebrating the entire time, other cities tend to pick a week (or weekend) to don their lederhosen and raise a foamy pint to Germany. Sadly, Los Angeles’ Vegan Oktoberfest is not happening in 2017, which is one more reason to throw a beer bash at home. Check out our guide to vegan beer for beverage suggestions, or visit Barnivore for information regarding plant-based wines and liquors. Of course, you can still enjoy the festivities even if you don’t drink alcohol by supplying guests with on-tap kombucha, homemade soft pretzels with vegan beer cheese, and warm apple strudel (lederhosen optional). Or, if you’re near Toronto, head to Vegan Oktoberfest 2017, where chef Doug McNish is serving one-night-only Oktoberfest-themed food. Our advice: eat after deciding to do the (vegan) chicken dance.

3. Autumn recipes
Another thing we love about fall? New, seasonal produce to spruce up our salads. Every year at approximately this time, we begin to salivate over crisp apples, pomegranates, grapes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. In fact, if you’re anything like us, fall is when you’re topping salads with pomegranate seeds and roasted squash, making fully loaded apple crumb and pumpkin pies, cooking big batches of chili and creamy soups for weeknight meals, and wowing friends with savory root vegetable pot pies. We’ll also be frequenting our favorite coffee shops for their autumn-inspired drinks and browsing our local grocery store for all the new pumpkin-spice products. One more thing: if it’s fall, you know you can find us at the farmers’ market!

4. Vegan cookbooks
Speaking of food, sometimes we need a new culinary perspective, which is why we’re excited for the vegan cookbooks launching this fall. This year, we’ve got our eyes on the e-book from Sweet Simple Vegan & Conscious Chris (end of October), The Edgy Veg Cookbook: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes (October 16), Healing Mushrooms: A Practical and Culinary Guide to Using Mushrooms for Whole Body Health from Four Sigmatic’s Tero Isokauppila (October 10), and Vegetarian Times Plant-Powered Protein Cookbook (September 12). We don’t want to miss any new vegan recipes (we’re professional vegans, after all), which is why we’ve already placed our pre-orders!

5. Fall wardrobe shopping sprees
With all the cruelty-free clothing options available these days, we don’t mind trading in our swimsuits for a cozy scarf and vegan leather jacket, especially if it’s made by Stella McCartney. Furthermore, this fall, we’re revamping our wardrobe with Vaute outerwear such as the “Belden Future” three-quarter-length peacoat and Bead & Reel’s seasonal fashion and accessories. And because no fall makeover is complete without new boots, we’re looking at Olsenhaus, Melissa, and Novacas for their fall lines of rain boots, ankle booties, and riding boots.

Tanya Flink is a certified Master Personal Trainer based in Orange County, CA and host of The Vegan Potluck podcast.

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