It’s that time again! A new season means new seasonal ingredients for delicious dishes! We’re going to look at the top 5 healthy fall foods and their nutritional benefits and recipes. After all, eating in season is a great way to get inexpensive produce and try new meals.
You can’t go wrong with apples. This naturally sweet fruit comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and tastes. From sour to sweet, you can create the perfect pies, salads, cakes and breads during the fall with apples.
Apples also have a variety of health benefits. According to an article from EatingWell, apples have quite a bit of soluble fiber in them and contain a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C. In addition, EatingWell states that through a variety of studies, researchers have found that those who eat apples consistently have lower risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease due to the “antioxidant coupounds found in apples which help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and inhibit inflammation.”
Apples are great in salads, desserts, and even caramelized toppings for your dinner. The Food Network offers a variety of healthy apple recipes for this fall season HERE including Apple-and-Ham-Salad, Whole-Wheat Apple Pancakes, Apple-Honey Drumsticks, and more.
Pumpkin is quite the signature fall ingredient. From those delicious Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Pumpkin Bread or Pie, pumpkin is perfect in those classic fall desserts & Thanksgiving side dishes. It also offers some nutritional benefits that are often overlooked. According to an article from WebMD, pumpkin aids in weight loss, sharpening vision, better immunity, smoother skin, and more. Not only is it rich in fiber, but also contains vitamin C, betacarotene (which converts to vitamin A), and other antioxidants to aid in your health.
Pumpkin is great in lots of sweet treats, but can also be incorporated in a variety of dinner recipes, too. Cooking Light offers healthy recipes that use pumpkin including pumpkin soup, salad, ravioli, cake, and casserole. Pumpkins and sweet potatoes are also a great combination for those fall comfort foods, offering just a bit of sweetness to any meal.
Sweet potatoes, the fall competitor of white potatoes, offer an excellent source of calcium, potassium, and fiber, along with 400% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A, according to Health Essentials from the Cleveland Clinic.
EatingWell provides some excellent sweet potato recipes that are both sweet and savory this fall season. From chili to bisque, and stews to pasta, these recipes are sure to be delicious and nutritious. Check out a variety of healthy recipes from EatingWell, HERE.
When hearing the word “Brussels Sprouts,” some may associate distaste, but this little ball of green vegetable is highly nutritious and is an excellent, delicious vegetable side when prepared properly!
According to an article on LiveSTRONG.com, “Brussels sprouts provide you with 20 essential vitamins and minerals. A ½ cup serving provides 48.4 mg of vitamin C, an antioxidant, and 604 IU of vitamin A, which supports healthy eyesight.” In addition, the article states that Brussels Sprouts provide lots of fiber and protein with very little calories, making this vegetable a great source of nutrition.
As for those yummy recipes that will make you love this healthy little vegetable, Real Simple provides some simple ones to try. One of the best ways to cook Brussels Sprouts is to roast them in the oven. Combined with spices, olive oil, and a few other ingredients, these vegetables can transform into perhaps your favorite green food item of the season.
This classic Thanksgiving side dish is not only a fall staple, but is highly beneficial to one’s health year-round. Not only are cranberries a powerful antioxidant, but according to WebMD, they are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber also. In addition, cranberries are great for your kidneys and can help cleanse and prevent urinary tract infections, according to LiveSTRONG.com.
An article from Taste of Home offers 5 healthy cranberry recipes to try this fall including Relish, Medley, and Chutney. Though fresh cranberries are mostly found in the fall months, dried, canned, and frozen cranberries are found year-round and can be enjoyed with a variety of meals and recipes.
These 5 healthy fall foods offer a large amount of nutritional benefits and are a main component of some tasty recipes! Try shopping in season and incorporating some fresh produce into your meals this fall – you won’t regret it!
-Emily Sanville, Digital Communications Coordinator