Fall is here, we can feel it and we can taste it! Eating seasonally is a great way to stay in tune with your natural surroundings and also ensure you’re eating a nutrient-dense diet. Below are some of fall’s favorite foods and ways you can include them in healthy dishes!
Pumpkin: Pumpkin is one of the most popular foods during the fall months! A registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic says pumpkin is a superfood that is low-fat, low-calorie, and packed with plenty of nutrients. Not only is eating pumpkin healthy for you, but it’s quite tasty, too! Check out these recipe ideas that utilize pumpkin:
- Pumpkin Bread: This sweet, warm, and delicious bread is the perfect fall snack. To make it healthier, swap out a recipe that uses sugar for maple syrup or honey!
- Pumpkin Pancakes: A festive, fall breakfast that never disappoints. Just add in some cinnamon or nutmeg for an extra kick of spice and antioxidants!
- Pumpkin Gnocchi: Have any extra pumpkin leftover from making those pancakes? Toss it with some whole wheat flour and seasoning for a delicious gnocchi dough.
Butternut Squash: Savory or sweet, you name it! This vegetable is so versatile and can be used in a variety of different dishes. Butternut squash is rich in vitamins A and C and is also known to boost immunity. If your mouth isn’t watering yet, check out these recipe ideas:
- Roasted Butternut Squash: Roasting your vegetables is a great way to maintain the healthy vitamins and minerals they offer. Prep the squash with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of cinnamon, rosemary and salt, then preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Let it roast for 40-50 minutes and it’s ready to serve!
- Butternut Squash Soup: Make this soup at home for a cozy, fall dish that’s packed full of nutrients! Once your squash is roasted, blend it with vegetable broth and seasonings such as ginger, rosemary, or sage.
- Stuffed Butternut Squash with Barley: A perfect vegetarian dinner option. Fill your roasted squash with cooked farro, lentils, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, parsley, and top with some crumbled feta cheese. Can be served hot or cold!
Apple: “An apple a day may reduce high blood pressure, lower cholesterol and help you live longer,” according to Cleveland Clinic. Have any extra apples on hand? Here’s what you can do with them:
- Baked Apples with Maple Oat Filling: Similar to an apple crisp, but better! Make the delicious filling with oats, cinnamon, pecans, raw butter and maple syrup. Cut a divot in your apples and fill them up with the filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 mins until gooey and crisp!
- Apple & Goat Cheese Salad: Fill your bowl with a bed of spring-mix lettuce and top it with crisp, thinly sliced apples, goat cheese, walnuts, and a honey-mustard dressing. Stir in some quinoa for extra fiber or top with chicken for protein!
- Apple Overnight Oats: Grab a jar and fill it with some oats, chopped apples, kefir, chia seeds, cinnamon, and honey for a go-to healthy breakfast!
Pear: Not only are pears delicious, but they’re also anti-inflammatory and known to help control blood sugar and promote a healthy gut. What can you do with pears before they go out of season?
- Grilled Pears: Still want to utilize your grill in the colder months? Grill up some fresh pears and serve it as an appetizer topped with balsamic glaze and crumbled blue cheese. The sweetness and saltiness of this dish are unmatched!
- Pear & Ginger Muffins: The spicy aroma of pears and ginger cooked together is delightful. Bake these muffins for a great breakfast option, or even dessert! Ginger offers great, anti-inflammatory health benefits, too!
- Pear Crostini: Looking for a crowd-pleaser appetizer? Make this! Warm up some sourdough bread in the oven. Once it’s ready, top it with fresh ricotta cheese, thinly sliced pears, a drizzle of raw honey, and some chopped walnuts.
Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes are also known to be a superfood, high in fiber and antioxidants! Full of zinc, iron, vitamin B, and much more – here’s how you can incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet:
- Baked Sweet Potatoes: The simplicity of a baked sweet potato is hard to beat. Just pop it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour at 400 degrees with some olive oil and salt. Delicious!
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: You can go any which way with this one: fall harvest-style, curry-spiced, Tex-Mex, or Greek! Feel free to add some quinoa, roasted vegetables or your favorite protein and top it with a homemade dressing for a healthy and delicious meal.
- Sweet Potato Pancakes: To make this recipe more nutrient-dense, you can substitute white flour for oat flour, and replace the use of vegetable oil with coconut oil. The perfect breakfast to eat fresh, or freeze and save for later!