07 Nov Healthy Fall Foods the Whole Family Will Love
Autumn’s harvest offers a wide range of root vegetables and crisp fruits, ideal for preparing hearty meals when the temperature cools.
And there’s more good news for you: those same wonderful fall vegetables and fruits are packed with health benefits!
Consider these healthy Fall meals that you and your family will love, without compromising the comfort and flavor you desire during the fall season:
- Spaghetti Squash: Spaghetti squash is a winter vegetable rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains beta carotene and vitamin C — two antioxidants that can curb free radical damage and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. It’s also easy to make and is a terrific low-carb alternative to noodles in your favorite pasta meals. You can prepare spaghetti squash by roasting the squash, scraping out the strands, and adding your favorite toppings!
- Hearty Chili: Nothing says Fall like a warm bowl of chili! It’s super easy to make and feel free to throw in as many vegetables as you want including beans, peppers, corn, onions, tomatoes, lentils, peas, etc! Some lean protein sources to choose include ground chicken, beef or turkey. You can also make it vegan by adding an extra can of beans or soy “beef” crumbles. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, jalapenos, light sour cream or greek yogurt, guacamole or all of the above!
- Loaded Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain a lot of nutrients — fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C just to name a few! Loaded baked sweet potatoes are so easy to make and you can cook the potatoes in the microwave or oven. Get creative with your toppings and make this meal your own! Some topping suggestions include black beans, salsa, fresh cilantro, guacamole, roasted bell peppers and onions!
- Pumpkin Pancakes: With its fluffy texture, signature orange hue, and autumn spices, healthy pumpkin pancakes have special powers to make life feel delightfully Fall. To make the batter, simply blend 100% pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup and fall spices! Pumpkin puree is packed with nutrients, such as fiber, potassium, vitamin A and iron.
Choosing seasonal options increases the benefits not just to you but also to the environment. Seasonal produce is often picked at its peak freshness and nutritional value and some examples of seasonal Fall fruits and vegetables include: Apples, pumpkin, potatoes, beets, cranberries, pears, kale, grapes, radishes, winter squash, brussel sprouts, broccoli, bell peppers, etc!
Use the meal ideas above for inspiration and experiment with seasonal fall produce to create tasty & healthy dishes!
|Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Consultant