Hi all! Brianna here, as promised I am bringing you some healthy eating tips for the season! Now the changing of the seasons allows us to enjoy not only the crisp weather and beautiful fall foliage, but also autumn’s flavorful harvest. Seasonal eating can bring a variety of delicious produce, from pumpkin and apples to chestnuts and sweet potatoes. As we transition into cooler weather with the fall season, our innate pull towards warmer and denser foods is as natural as the shedding of the leaves after a long winter. Grasses and flowers transition from bright shades of green to cooler hues of brown, peddles fall from flowers and plants start to prepare for the drop in temperature. The sweeter more cooling foods we are fond of during the summer months become less appealing, and we find ourselves gravitating towards hardy meals, hot soups, and warm beverages. To make the most of fall’s offerings, take advantage of eating seasonally, and enjoy some favorite fall foods that are available only during the autumn months!
Benefits to Eating Seasonally
Eating foods that are in season can bring benefits to your health and wallet. Freshness and flavor, as well as being more affordable and providing additional nutritional value, are some of the benefits that you can expect from eating locally grown, seasonal produce.
Seasonal food is also often local, which means that the miles between your food and your plate are shortened, delivering fresher food faster! Since in-season produce is less likely to be shipped from across the country, that brings you produce that is at its peak in regards to freshness and flavor. Furthermore, picked at its ripest peak, fresher produced can retain more nutrients, allowing you to be exposed to additional antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
When you eat seasonally and locally, you can find yourself saving some money as well. When you are buying and eating what’s in season, you are buying food that is at its height of supply and availability. This costs the farmers less to harvest and distributors less to ship, which means it can cost you less to buy once it reaches your grocery store.
Finally, eating the same food year round can get boring and bland; when you eat with the seasons you can bring variety in to your diet. Try eating what is in season to get excited about experimenting and cooking with new foods!
Welcome the natural changes of the season with the following fall favorites, providing the perfect combination of festive flavors and freshness!
Pumpkin – The season of pumpkin flavored everything is upon us, and with good reason. Rich in antioxidants, carotenoids and fiber, this super fruit also is a source of Vitamins A, E and C. The vitamin A found in pumpkins can support skin and eye health. Don’t forget the seeds! Pumpkin seeds provide a source of iron, zinc, and selenium, important minerals that can support immune and cell health.
- Try roasting a handful of pumpkin seeds sprinkled with some sea salt in the oven for a flavorful fall snack! You can also throw a few tablespoons of raw pumpkin seeds right into your morning smoothie or yogurt.
Pears- One of the highest fiber fruits, pears are a great addition to your fruit basket this fall. Pears are packed with vitamins, including B, K, and C, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. The potassium found in pears can support muscle, nerve, and cardiovascular health.
- For a cool spin on this fall favorite, drizzle some balsamic vinegar, honey, and goat cheese on top of a sliced pear and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes!
Sweet potatoes- Baked, roasted, mashed, however you chose to eat them, sweet potatoes are a power- house when it comes to flavor and nutrition. Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, which is important for eye, skin, and immune health. Sweet potatoes also contain Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and carotenoids, which can squelch free radical damage.
- For a sweet spin simply bake your sweet potato as you normally would and top them with a dollop of Greek yogurt , a drizzle of pure maple syrup and sprinkle with some cinnamon for a surprisingly delicious sweet treat!
Apples- Apple picking, bopping for apples, of course this is considered a fall all-star! Apples are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants, including Vitamins C, B, and E, as well as a dietary fiber. Apples also contain phytonutrients or plant chemicals that can support immune, cell, and cardiovascular health.
- Make candy apples right at home! Simply slice up your favorite apple, melt some dark chocolate or even use almond butter to coat the apple and roll them in some crushed nuts or coconut flakes!
Parsnips- A member of the carrot, parsley, and celery family, parsnips are a root vegetable with a slightly sweet taste. Parsnips contain Vitamin C, folate, and fiber, as well as minerals such as potassium, iron, manganese, and copper. Folate is required for making healthy DNA cells as well as red blood cells.
- Try slicing parsnips very thin and drizzling them with some olive oil and sea salt. Roast in the oven on low heat for about 45 minutes to make parsnip chips, a crispy fall treat for the whole family!
Butternut squash- This versatile vegetable, one referred to as “the apple of God,” originated in Mexico, and is a member of the melon family. Popular in many fall soups, this sweet and nutty veggie is loaded with Vitamin A, as well as fiber and important minerals such as potassium and magnesium. The Vitamin A found in butternut squash also acts like an antioxidant, providing protection against free radical damage and supporting immune and cardiovascular health.
- Cut up one butternut squash and combine in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, and pepper. Pour the butternut squash cubes onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender and lightly browned-roughly 25 minutes- for a hardy, low calorie side dish!
Beets- High in vitamins C, A, K, and B, specifically folate, as well as essential minerals such as potassium and manganese, beets are a tasty and nutritious power food this fall! The vitamins and minerals found in beets are required for healthy nerve and muscle function, as well as DNA and red blood cell production. Beets provide a natural source of betaine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid like compound that plays a role in liver detoxification and neurotransmitter synthesis.
- No need to turn on the oven, simply juice some beets for an immune boosting nutrient packed drink! Try and beet this delicious and easy recipe: juice 1 beet with 1 apple and a small parsnip. Pour over ice and enjoy your beet beverage!
Much love, Brianna @briannadiorio