Top 5 Fall Foods

Top 5 Foods to Include in Your Diet this Fall

Beaux waits around for fall and pumpkin spice lattes to come around. Although here in the South, Fall is more of a date on the calendar than an actual event. It is the middle of October and temps are still in the high 80’s with “feels like” in the high 90’s. Gross. C’est la vie. We can at least pretend it is fall, even if all that means is eating more fall type foods! And not pumpkin spice everything; I leave that to Beaux.

That being said, pumpkin itself is a great addition to your diet! Here are the top 5 Fall Foods:

1.) Pumpkin:

Nothing else really says fall as much as pumpkin. And not only do they look good on your porch, they are good for you to eat. A good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. (click here for more nutrition data.)

How to Eat it:

Pumpkin is not just a dessert food. You can make it curried as a vegan dish (or add meat if you choose), add it to chili (again with a vegan option), or a creamy pumpkin soup. I don’t drink milk so I use coconut milk to make creamy sauces or soups- don’t worry, it doesn’t make the food tropical tasting at all. If you are looking for breakfast options, there are muffins, smoothies (whether you want pumpkin spice, pie or a healthy version!), protein bars, and yogurts. And of course, plenty of dessert type recipes besides pie such as custards, breads, and pumpkin butter.

The next thing I make might have to be this Amond butter/pumpkin spread though! It is either going to be amazing or disgusting…I will find out.

Pumpkin Recipes:

2.) Brussel Sprouts/Cabbage

Brussel Sprouts are actually tiny little cabbage and these buggers are in season September to March. Brussels sprouts are a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes the nutritional powerhouses kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and collard greens, all of which supply loads of nutrients for a small amount calories. If you are trying to improve your diet, cruciferous vegetables should be at the very top of your grocery list. Consuming one cup of Brussels sprouts will provide 195 percent of vitamin K, 125 percent of vitamin C, and 10 percent or more of vitamin A, vitamin B-6, folate, potassium, and manganese needs for the day. (more nutrient info here)

How to Eat Them:

My mother HATED brussel sprouts (a bad childhood experience—the Irish aren’t known for their culinary skills) and then we introduced her to roasted ones with crumbled bacon pieces. She is officially converted! Most recipes call for them cooked but you certainly can slice them thin and eat raw in salads! I am going to try this spicy recipe next!! 

Recipes:

3.) Apples

It seems “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” might be a pretty true adage! Apples can improve your digestion — thanks to being one of best high-fiber foods — lower disease-causing inflammation, improve heart health and help you better manage your weight. Plus, apples make a great, portable post- or pre-workout snack thanks to their quick-releasing natural sugars. While berries usually get most of the antioxidant credit, apples are a close runner-up. With a diverse family of phytonutrients (mostly in the skin and right below), some studies have linked the consumption of apples with a reduced risk of certain forms of cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and even diabetes. (read more here)

How to Eat Them:

While I highly enjoy biting into a fresh apple, they are a very versatile fruit. Keep in mind most of the nutrient value is in the skin, so don’t peel them! I like a baked apple for dessert (so easy!) as well as sliced apples drizzled with honey and pecans for a snack. You can cook them (especially if they have started to turn) into sauces or compotes, add to salads, chicken or pork dishes, even make the juice into cocktails! And of course, there is apple butter.

Recipes:

4.) Squash

Squash contains: 457% of the daily value per serving in vitamin A, polyphenolic carotenoid/flavonoids such as betacarotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein convert to vitamin A in the body for a “one-two punch” of protection. You get 42% daily value of Vit C in every cup, 17% potassium and 18% manganese, along with healthy amounts of vitamins E, B, B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, niacin, folate, calcium and magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid. It is a great source of healthy carbs or starches.

How to Eat Them:

While most of the time I think of squash as cooked, I recently had an amazing squash salad at Stokehold that was shaved raw squash and it was soooo good! There are a number of varieties of squash, so be sure to try them all out. We use spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti (betcha coulda guessed that) and I add zucchini to a lot of our meals: eggs, chili, stir fry, red sauce, etc.

Recipes:

5. Beets

These are one of my fav veggies, although I realize they are not high on everyone’s list. But perhaps you should rethink that. Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Beets are also an excellent source of folate and a very good source of manganese, potassium and copper. They are a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6. Read more here

How to Eat Them:

Beets can be steamed or roasted, but don’t overdo it. Steaming should be 15 min and roasting less than 1 hour so you retain all the nutrient value! I love roasted beet salad with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar dressing. Sometimes I buy pre-cooked beets (for quickness and convenience) but when I buy the root, I saute and cook the greens as well! They have a slightly bitter taste so I use tons of garlic.

Recipes:

If nothing on this page made you want to run to the kitchen and try a new recipe, I don’t know what will! I’ve spent this whole blog thinking about all the delicious food I am going to eat and the new recipes I am going to try! I am hoping that it cools down soon, as it looks now, winter is not coming.

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