Healthy Fall Recipes You’ll Fall for in Delightful, Delicious, De-Lovely Philly!

Philadelphia’s fall flavors are delicious and good for you too! Here are three terrific recipes: a soup made with Kennett Square mushrooms, a luscious dessert with local apples, goat cheese, and honey, and a healthy take on the Philly soft pretzel!

Philadelphia in the fall is a real beauty. The native trees (sugar maple, red maple, tupelo) are a riot of color, and summer’s sometimes sticky heat is replaced by cool breezes and clear blue skies. The chillier weather and brisk outdoor exercise on area trails pique appetites for sure, and the challenge is to find delicious but healthy fall recipes. Luckily, the Philadelphia region is blessed with some fabulous, healthy local foods to enjoy. Assemble your ingredients and get cooking, Philly-style!

First in the spotlight, incomparable Kennett Square mushrooms. This corner of Chester County, known as the Mushroom Capital of the World, produces mouthwatering portabellas, criminis, and shittakes, as well as lesser-known varieties such as beech, maitake, and royal trumpet. If you can’t get down to Kennett Square yourself, you can easily order a wide variety of fresh mushrooms online, and to make delicious use of your bounty, why not try a hearty mushroom soup? Now that’s a healthy fall recipe with a Philly flair!

This climate is perfect for growing apples, and an afternoon in a local orchard such as New Hope’s Solebury Orchards picking crisp, juicy apples (for baking and eating out of hand), is a very popular autumn pastime around here. Add smooth and creamy locally-made goat cheese and rich dark honey, and you have the basis for a truly stellar dessert: apple, goat cheese, and honey tartlets. Look for chevre made from the milk of Nubian goats at Shellbark Hollow Farm. Visit the farm in nearby West Chester, or purchase your Shellbark Hollow cheese in center city Philadelphia at Reading Terminal Market. To find the most delectable dark honey, Philadelphia folks in the know take a scenic drive to neighboring Lancaster County and Dutch Gold Buckwheat Honey.

After creating a gourmet soup and dessert with local flavors, it’s time for some unabashedly “fun food,” suitable for snacking any time of the day or night. The legendary Philly soft pretzel is available on almost every center city street corner, served with yellow mustard (of course). But this specialty of the City of Brotherly Love, which tastes even better in the fall, can also be whipped up in your home kitchen. Are there such things as healthy fall recipes for these treats? Try these yummy (and good for you) whole wheat soft pretzels.

So the next time you talk to a Philadelphia native and they ask, “Yo, djeet?” (Hi, did you eat?) you can, honestly, answer, “Did I ever!”

And if this article has made your mouth water, you may well be ready to call this delicious city home!


Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at

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