Fall is the beginning of comfort food season and holiday gatherings, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your healthy eating habits. The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of fresh produce, either. There are plenty of seasonal foods that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Consider adding some of these options to your diet this season.
As they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and it’s not just a nice rhyme. Apples make satisfying snacks no matter how you eat them because of their high amounts of fiber – 4 grams per serving, according to Health magazine. They also have tons of antioxidants, but to get them, you’ll need to eat the skin. Head out on a family apple-picking excursion to load up on all the apples you’ll need for fall’s favorite recipes.
Grapes make a great snack, and they’re particularly abundant in fall. Eat them as-is, freeze them for a tasty treat or add them to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast. U.S. News & World Report lauded grapes for their high antioxidant levels that promote healthy blood vessels and reduced inflammation.
Everyday Health noted that pears are high in fiber just like apples, and they’re low in calories, too. Add raw slices to salads or breakfast foods for a boost of nutrients, or cook them for a warm fall dessert. Look for pears that are slightly hard when you buy them. They’ll ripen over the next couple of days.
October’s favorite gourd is a nutrient powerhouse that can be eaten in all sorts of ways. From traditional pumpkin pie to stuffed pumpkin, you can get loads of vitamin A for not a lot of calories, reported Good Housekeeping magazine. Do a little online browsing to find pumpkin recipes that suit your tastes.
Cauliflower is an ideal vegetable to feature in all of your fall and winter side dishes. Health magazine recommended eating cauliflower the old-fashioned way by steaming it, or pureeing it into a mashed-potato like dish or even creamy soups. Make buffalo cauliflower instead of buffalo wings for football games, or whip them into a healthy Alfredo sauce alternative. You can sneak it into all kinds of dishes without your picky kids even knowing!
The many types of squash offer you countless delicious options for fall meals. Spaghetti squash, for example, can be substituted for pasta for a low-carb dinner. Butternut squash makes a decadent soup, an easy pasta filling or fabulous sauces. Low in calories and high in flavor, you can't go wrong by picking up a few different types next time you hit the grocery store.
When they're cooked right, Brussels sprouts are surprisingly tasty, not to mention high in vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium and folate, noted Good Housekeeping. Roast them with other veggies for a healthy side dish, or saute them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for an easy addition to any meal.